Friday, 3 February 2017
First viewed : 25 March 1983
The London-based summer replacement for The Tube has been largely forgotten now, partly down to the fact that neither of its presenters, Yvonne French and Graham Fletcher-Cook , went on to become household names although the latter is still a working actor.
Switch was very similar to Whistle Test with short sets played to an audience of technicians in an empty studio, interspersed with the odd video. I remember Fletcher-Cook was very partisan in his tastes, pulling a face when having to cue in the video for Depeche Mode's Everything Counts and then saying "That was Depressed Toad" after it had finished.
It's to be hoped Fletcher-Cook was a fan of Paul Weller because he and the acts on his Respond label seemed to get more than their fair share of exposure. The first episode closed with a continuous set from The Questions, then Tracie ( with Weller having a rare outing as a bass player on her hit The House That Jack Built ) then The Style Council. To be fair , Weller's operation was based in the capital so they would be an easy booking.
Respond were always a shaky proposition. The Questions had some potential but they were a former Jam support act and never escaped from Weller's shadow. I think the association probably did them more harm than good. Tracie ( Young ) was a slight talent who just about deserved her handful of hits. Why on earth he signed The Main T Possee ( aka New Romantic loser Vaughan Toulouse ) though , I can't imagine. I remember my mum watching him do his dire single Fickle Public Speaking and saying "This is horrible" and she was dead right. Within a couple of years it was all over.
By that time, Switch was history. It finished in September 1983 and never returned.