Saturday, 18 March 2017
634 Eight Days A Week
First viewed : 14 September 1983
This was one of my favourite TV programmes of the eighties and it's a real shame it only lasted for a couple of seasons in 1983-84. It was basically Did You See about pop music with The Guardian's Robin Denselow chairing the discussion and slipping in his own acerbic observations ( "his guitar playing didn't look live to me " ) in the arch style that Angus Deayton would soon make his own. The studio panel were usually from different worlds to engender a lively discussion and they'd cover three or four albums, books, gigs etc a show with short clips relating to each one. The first series was produced by ZTT eminence gris Jill Sinclair , the second by future Radio One assassin Trevor Dann. The theme music was Way of the West's 1981 hit "Don't Say That's Just For White Boys".
It was always entertaining but the most memorable e[isode was on 25th May 1984 when George Michael, Morrissey and Tony Blackburn gathered to discuss Everything But The Girl. Break Dance, some Atlantic reissues and the book about Joy Division An Ideal for Living. I was watching it in the common room at my hall of residence sitting next to a Welsh guy called Mike Hughes. He liked whatever the NME told him to like and was instantly hostile to Michael saying "you haven't got a thought in your head " before he'd even opened his mouth. It was ever so slightly unfair, although George's appearance., coiffed hair, vest top and sun tan, could have been said to invite it
He went a bit quiet when Michael revealed a liking for the second side of Closer. Yes, this is the show that Marcello Carlin's bangs on about whenever George Michael crops up on Popular as if all the often vapid and shallow stuff Michael has produced since is validated by this random listening choice. Michael also said their image was "pretentious and contrived and it did have very fascist elements to it" but Mr Carlin doesn't usually quote that bit. Incidentally, when I first came to Popular I thought "DJ Punctum" might actually be Mike Hughes, so similar were their opinions, but I know better now.
Denselow handled some pretty large egos very deftly and could have played for a chat show gig but instead stuck with serious journalism on Newsnight . He still writes on music for The Guardian.