Friday, 22 April 2016
385 The British Rock And Pop Awards
First viewed : 11 April 1979
This cheap and cheerful annual awards show for the pop industry is often mistakenly thought of as the forerunner of the Brits. In fact the show was nothing to do with the British Phonographic Industry, which didn't have its own ceremony for the first three years this was on ( perhaps to avoid giving any gongs to those awkward punk types ) and then, in 1983 and 1984, held their shindig at a different venue on the same nights !
The British Rock and Pop Awards was a joint venture between Radio One, Nationwide and The Daily Mirror, which unlike the Brits handed out the gongs for Best Single, Best Album , Best Group, Best Male Singer , Best Female Singer and Best Family Entertainer based on the public vote ( so you didn't get Annie Lennox winning in years when she didn't have a record out ). The public were slightly steered by preview features on Nationwide ( which made it worth watching for once ) in the weeks leading up to the show. There were also two special awards for All Round Pop Personality voted by just the Mirror readers and an award given by the Radio One disc jockeys for an outstanding contribution to music.
Unlike the Brits, the artists normally behaved themselves and there were no real Jarvis Cocker moments in the six years it was on. Kate Bush had a near monopoly of the Best Female Singer Award in the early years , Nick Lowe and Jerry Dammers were worthy winners of the first two DJ trophies and Hazel O Connor's stupendously naff "D-Days" was almost certainly a hit due to the exposure it got on the 1981 show.
Sadly in 1985 the Beeb took the decision to televise the BPI Awards instead with all the irritations that brought in its wake but we'll discuss that in due course.