Live music was the backbone of this, probably the last great pop music TV show of the century. Not the return to The Tube that everyone was hoping for, but none the less another important step in the rehabilitation of rock music on British television.
Produced by Initial Television and featuring many backroom names from The Tube like director Geoff Wonfor and producers Malcolm Gerrie and Chris Cowey it set out like a fun version of The Old Grey Whistle Test and broadcast on Saturday night, the same time as Later on BBC2.
The first show was a one-
It would be one of the first shows to make a virtue of the fact that it was broadcast 'in digital stereo', a technology that broadcasters had been tinkering with since 1974. Eurythmic Dave Stewart wrote and played the theme.
The studio set-
The chosen host was Mark Radcliffe, Radio 1 DJ and host of the previous year’s Channel Four Glastonbury weekend. The series attracted guests who were previously presumed banished from television, unless they had a hit single to plug on Top Of The Pops. The first show (of the series proper) featured a fabulous live set from Stevie Wonder, while the popular mix and match approach was exercised with Ray Davies and Damon Alburn in the next show, while Paul Weller and Noel Gallagher appeared together later in the series’ first run. Prince, David Bowie, Lou Reed, Iggy Pop and his transparent trousers, Shane MacGowan tripping over his bass player, all made live appearances as did many of the Britpoppers. Thankfully there were no interviews, boogie woogie or jamming, just big pop stars playing live, just as you'd want them to be, with one or two classic archive clips shown each week as well.
The first series of seven was well received and a New Year's Eve show was commissioned
which saw Jo Whiley introduced as a co-
After a successful second series a third set of nine shows was commissioned for autumn 1996, but only five were broadcast. A series of repeats were shown up until February 1997.
After a significant shake-