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TV Pop Diaries
Pop Music on British Television 1955 - 1999

An early adventure for Channel 4, hosted by actor Keith Allen it was a reportage on matters of interest to Britain's youth, three years into Thatcher's administration. Similar in concept to BBC2's Something Else and Oxford Road Show, it was a mixture of filmed reports and in-studio discussion.

Each week a live band would be featured, filmed at the Ace in Brixton. The likes of Stiff Little Fingers, The Dead Kennedys, Depeche Mode, Killing Joke, Orange Juice, Southern Death Cult and other indie favourites would also be featured in four extended concert specials under the banner Whatever You Didn’t Get after the regular series had ended. The show also gave over one complete episode to "community" radio, pirate radio with a small broadcasting radius.

Host Keith Allen was due to meet with trade union representatives for a discussion about their perceived complacency in the light of three million unemployed. The previous week the show had offered us the delights of The Virgin Prunes, whose act of simulated oral sex, although not broadcast, had led to Channel Four boss Jeremy Isaacs to be called into account by Home Secretary, William Whitelaw. On Isaac's return to the office had announced that the trade union piece "lacked balance" and the piece was to be subjected to editing, despite the claim that this was not political censorship. Keith Allen found it difficult to get a meeting with Channel Four's commissioning editor to discuss the situation he resorted to pretending to be Comic Strip producer Michael White. The truth was that the programme had suffered cuts and sackings and Allen would be the next in line. When his resignation arrived at RPM's office they exclaimed "Oh, one lives and learn", before adding "It's a question of who gets in first. A letter is already on the way asking him to leave."

Not as contentious or provocative as maybe the show's makers would have liked, the show was forgotten about almost immediately. In Channel 4’s silver anniversary brochure it was referred to as an "ill-fated chat show", giving the impression that no-one at Channel 4 had ever seen it either.

The show didn't return for a second series.


C4 / RPM Productions

8th November 1982 - 21st February 1983


C4 / RPM Productions

28th February 1983 - 28th March 1983