The Tube (TV series)

Last updated

The Tube
The Tube Neon Sign.jpg
Genre Music
Directed by Gavin Taylor
Bernard Preston
Presented by Jools Holland
Paula Yates
Leslie Ash
Muriel Gray
Gary James
Michel Cremona
Felix Howard
Nick Laird-Clowes
Mike Everitt
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
No. of series5
No. of episodes121
Production
Executive producersMalcolm Gerrie
Andrea Wonfor
Crispin Evans
ProducersMalcolm Gerrie
Paul Corley
John Gwyn
Running time90 minutes (inc. adverts)
Production company Tyne Tees Television
Distributor ITV Studios
Release
Original network Channel 4
Original release5 November 1982 (1982-11-05) 
24 April 1987 (1987-04-24)

The Tube was a United Kingdom music television programme, which ran for five series, from 5 November 1982 to 26 April 1987. It was produced by Tyne Tees Television for Channel 4, which had previously produced the similar music show Alright Now and the music-oriented youth show Check it Out for ITV; production of the latter ended in favour of The Tube.

Contents

The Tube was presented live by hosts including Jools Holland, Paula Yates, Leslie Ash, Muriel Gray, Gary James, Michel Cremona, Felix Howard, Tony Fletcher, Nick Laird-Clowes and Mike Everitt.

Sunderland band The Toy Dolls were the first band to play live on The Tube.

The brand name was relaunched by Channel 4 as an online radio station in November 2006. The show was directed by Gavin Taylor; Geoff Wonfor directed some of the insert videos along with other staff programme director of Tyne Tees Television Martin Cairns. Many other specials were made, including one for the eve of the millennium.

Showcase for contemporary bands

The Tube was a showcase for many emerging 1980s bands.

The Tube was an important outlet for the performers. For The Proclaimers, performing "Letter from America" on The Tube was instrumental in helping the Scottish duo to their first top ten UK hit; it was also responsible for introducing Frankie Goes to Hollywood to their record label ZTT and its co-owner, and their producer Trevor Horn.[ citation needed ]

In addition to being the launchpad for new and upcoming performers, The Tube became known for its high-profile music performance 'scoops' from established world class musicians such as U2 live at Red Rocks, Madonna, Robert Plant, Tina Turner, Bo Diddley and ZZ Top. The show was also fortunate to persuade Ringo Starr to give one of the first post-Beatles interviews in an extended article on his work with Marc Bolan and T. Rex, filmed at his then (and previously John Lennon's) house, Tittenhurst Park. It was during the 50th show in November 1984 that Bob Geldof allegedly ran into Midge Ure and suggested the idea of a fund-raising single for the Christmas market to help the Ethiopian famine, the project that would become Band Aid and later Live Aid.

The Jam performed on the first edition of the show in 1982, it was their last live TV appearance together before they split up at the end of the year.

Half Man Half Biscuit famously turned down the chance to appear on the show, as Tranmere Rovers were playing that night, even though Channel Four offered to fly them by helicopter to the game. [1]

Format

The cornerstone of the shows was the live performances from three or four bands each week. In an era where most music TV shows featured non-stop miming, the fully live sets by the guest artists were innovative (but the sound mix was often very poor, with a curious quality that made it sound like everything had been 'phased'). The programme would start with a 45-minute magazine section consisting of interviews, fashion items and comedy appearances by a wide range of alternative artistes such as Frank Sidebottom, Vic Reeves (before his association with Bob Mortimer), Foffo Spearjig and even French & Saunders. During this section Yates would become known for conducting rather flirtatious interviews: in 1985, for example, she prompted Sting to remove his trousers.

The main presenters were supported, for the first two series, by five newcomers who were picked following a nationally advertised competition: these were Muriel Gray, Gary James, Nick Laird-Clowes, Michel Cremona and Mike Everitt. The supporting presenters took turns to co-present. The show usually featured four or five band appearances per week, with one main extended session to close. The format of the show was extended following Series 1 with a number of special events - most notably A Midsummer Night's Tube (1984), a 5-hour version broadcast live from the Tyne Tees studios, the pub across the road from the studios and The Hoppings annual fair in Newcastle. This ground breaking broadcast was, at the time, the longest continuous live music show in television history and received much critical and technical acclaim.

Studio 5 was also used to produce a spin-off show called TX45. This show ran for two series hosted by Chris Cowey and produced by Jeff Brown and featured local bands such as The Kane Gang, Caught in the Act, Secret Sam, She and President. [2] [3] The programme's theme music, the instrumental "TX45", was by Sophie and Peter Johnston, based on the song of theirs, "Some Sunny Day". A video clip of them performing it is available. [4]

Many stars drank in the neighbouring pub The Egypt Cottage, using it as a green room. Jools Holland said "A legendary amount of things happened in the Egypt Cottage, and the Rose and Crown when it was on the other side of the road. Everyone – the likes of Miles Davis, Paul McCartney – who came up for The Tube will have sat in that pub." [5] The pub was demolished in 2009. [6]

Between 1986 and 1987, the series had a summer replacement named Wired which lasted two series. [7]

Demise

In January 1987, during the fifth series, Jools Holland used the phrase "be there or be ungroovy fuckers" during a live trailer for the show. [8] The incident caused a national scandal, as the trailer was transmitted at a peak children's viewing time and the show was taken off air for three weeks as a result. [8] Holland was reprimanded by Channel 4, as this was not the first time he had accidentally sworn on the live show.[ citation needed ] The show's producer, Malcolm Gerrie, and Tyne Tees' Director of Programmes, Andrea Wonfor, announced their resignations in March.[ citation needed ] They cited as reasons for doing so a mixture of internal bickering, political pressure and "stifling bureaucracy and heavy-handed moralism".[ citation needed ] A further series was never commissioned. In truth, the viewing figures for the series had dropped significantly, and the original format had been watered down.[ citation needed ] Some people[ who? ] close to the show had said that Holland's swearing was seen as a convenient way of ending the show.[ citation needed ] The presenters' live interviews and filmed magazine items were nervously watched by the show's producers and editors as well as Channel 4 executives, especially when certain pop stars and celebrities not known for their shy and retiring nature were being featured. It was this that gave the show the curious feeling of 'anything might happen' that actually made it the success it was. [9]

For Holland, Yates and Gray it was the launch pad for successful careers in television. [10]

In 1999 The Tube was brought back for a one-off live special on Sky1 entitled "The Apocalypse Tube". [11] Hosted by BBC Radio 1's Chris Moyles and Donna Air, the show came live again from Studio 5 at Tyne Tees and the bar of the Egypt Cottage next door.

'The Tube' took its name from the plastic-roofed structure that linked Tyne Tees Studio 5 to the street. This has now been demolished. Tube, Tyne Tees, City Road.jpg
'The Tube' took its name from the plastic-roofed structure that linked Tyne Tees Studio 5 to the street. This has now been demolished.

In 2005 Tyne Tees Television moved from its City Road complex on Newcastle Quayside. In July 2006 Studio 5 of the TTTV City Road site was leased by an evangelical money church, and the whole complex was demolished in 2010. The famous Tube neon sign was bought at auction by Tyne and Wear Museums for a future display at the Discovery Museum in Newcastle's Blandford Square.

Radio revival

In November 2006, the brand was revived as a radio show, also entitled The Tube for Channel 4 Radio. [12] Presenters Konnie Huq, Alex James and Tony Wilson hosted the main show (The Tube) and filler show (Mind The Gap).

Available on the Internet

In July 2008 ITN (rights holder for The Tube) signed a deal with MUZU TV to make The Tube available online. [13] [14]

Selected list of performers

Discography

Transmissions

SeriesStart dateEnd dateEpisodes
15 November 198218 March 198320
228 October 198313 April 198425
35 October 198429 March 198526
411 October 19854 April 198626
531 October 198624 April 198724

See also

Related Research Articles

<i>Byker Grove</i> Television series

Byker Grove is a British teen drama television series which aired between 1989 and 2006 as part of CBBC on BBC One. It was created by writer Adele Rose and executive producer Andrea Wonfor. The show was broadcast at 5:10pm after Newsround. It was aimed at an older teenager and young adult audience, tackling serious and sometimes controversial storylines.

ITV Tyne Tees ITV television franchise for North East England

ITV Tyne Tees, previously known as Tyne Tees, Channel 3 North East and Tyne Tees Television, is the ITV television franchise for North East England and parts of North Yorkshire. The analogue signals in the Tyne Tees region were switched off in 2012, making the station, along with ITV London and UTV, one of the last ITV regions to solely broadcast digitally. Tyne-Tees Television Ltd and Tyne-Tees Television Holdings still legally exist. Each of these companies is, along with most other regional companies owned by ITV plc, listed at Companies House as a "Dormant company".

Jools Holland English musician and television personality

Julian Miles Holland, is an English pianist, bandleader, singer, composer and television presenter. He was an original member of the band Squeeze and has worked with many artists including Jayne County, Sting, Eric Clapton, Mark Knopfler, George Harrison, David Gilmour, Magazine, The The, Ringo Starr and Bono.

<i>Later... with Jools Holland</i> British contemporary music television programme

Later... with Jools Holland is a contemporary British music television show hosted by Jools Holland. A spin-off of The Late Show, it has been running in short series since 1992 and is a part of BBC Two's late-night line-up, usually at around 11 pm to 12 midnight. The day of transmission has varied, but currently it is usually recorded on a Tuesday for Saturday broadcast and features a mixture of both established and new musical artists, from solo performers to bands and larger ensembles.

<i>The Big Breakfast</i> Television series

The Big Breakfast is a British light entertainment television programme which was broadcast on Channel 4 and S4C each weekday morning from 28 September 1992 until 29 March 2002, during which period 2,482 shows were produced. The Big Breakfast was produced by Planet 24, the production company co-owned by former Boomtown Rats singer and Band Aid/Live Aid organiser Bob Geldof.

Terence Christian is a British broadcaster, journalist and author. He has presented several national television series in the UK including Channel 4's late night entertainment show The Word (1990–1995) and six series of ITV1 moral issues talk show It's My Life (2003–2008). He has also been a regular guest panelist on the topical Channel 5 series The Wright Stuff and Jeremy Vine.

Edith Bowman Scottish radio DJ

Edith Eleanor Smith is a Scottish radio DJ and TV presenter. She hosted the Weekday Afternoon Show and the Weekend breakfast on BBC Radio 1 until 2012, and has presented a variety of music-related television shows and music festivals.

Mike Neville (newsreader)

Michael Neville, MBE was a British broadcaster, best known as a presenter on regional TV news in North East England. In a 43-year career with the BBC and ITV franchisee Tyne Tees Television. In 1990, Neville was awarded the MBE for services to broadcasting.

<i>Super Gran</i> Fictional Scottish superhero grandmother

Super Gran is a fictional series about a grandmother with super powers. Initially a series of books written by Forrest Wilson, a children's television show was adapted by Jenny McDade and produced by Tyne Tees Television for Children's ITV. The title character was played by Gudrun Ure, with Iain Cuthbertson as her nemesis, The Scunner Campbell. It originally ran from 1985 to 1987.

Rowland Rivron is a British writer, comedic actor and television personality.

Guy Garvey English musician, singer, songwriter and radio presenter

Guy Edward John Garvey is an English musician, singer, songwriter and BBC 6 Music presenter. He is the lead singer and lyricist of the rock band Elbow.

<i>Get Fresh</i>

Get Fresh is a children's television programme that ran from 1986 to 1988 in the United Kingdom.

Wayne Tunnicliffe / Wayne Bond is a British nightclub DJ and a radio presenter.

Jonathan Morrell is an English presenter and journalist who presents the mid morning show on BBC Radio Wiltshire.

The Roxy was a British music television programme broadcast on the ITV network from June 1987 to April 1988 and was produced by Tyne Tees Television, shortly after its more successful Channel 4 music show, The Tube, was decommissioned.

Alright Now is a British rock music television series made by Tyne Tees Television for ITV in 1979–1980.The show was named after the song "All Right Now" by the band Free. the series showcased both established and up-and-coming acts, with a focus on those from North East England; among them were Dire Straits and The Police, both enjoying their first chart successes. The show ran for two seasons. In 1982, Tyne Tees produced the similar music show The Tube for the then-new Channel 4.

Lyn Spencer is a former British broadcaster, best known for her work at Tyne Tees Television.

TFM is an Independent local radio station based in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, owned and operated by Bauer as part of the Hits Radio network. It broadcasts to Teesside, County Durham and North Yorkshire.

Television Centre, Newcastle upon Tyne

The Television Centre, Newcastle upon Tyne, also known by the street name City Road was home and headquarters of the ITV contractor for the North East region, Tyne Tees Television between 1959 and 2005.

Andrea Wonfor

Andrea Jean Wonfor also known as Andrea Duncan was a British television executive and producer. Her successes included The Tube, The Big Breakfast, Byker Grove and The Word.

References

  1. Give Us An ‘R’ interview. – Tranmere Rovers fanzine issue 52.
  2. "President". President-uk.co.uk. Retrieved 28 December 2015.
  3. "President , Videos". Youtube.com. Retrieved 16 April 2013.
  4. "AOL on Homepage". Video.aol.com. Retrieved 16 April 2013.
  5. Urmee Khan (15 August 2009). "Jools Holland and landowner clash over future of pub that hosted The Tube stars". The Telegraph. London.
  6. "Newcastle, City Road, Egypt Cottage Public House | sitelines.newcastle.gov.uk". Twsitelines.info. Retrieved 28 December 2015.
  7. Archived 10 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  8. 1 2 'Quite a lot has happened' Louise Carpenter, The FT , 13 October 2007 . Accessed October 2014
  9. "TV and Radio". The Times . Retrieved 28 June 2014.(subscription required)
  10. "Andrea Wonfor". The Independent. 23 September 2004. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  11. Stuart Jeffries (27 November 1999). "Look at me - I'm really embarrassed | Books". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 December 2015.
  12. "Music". Channel 4. Retrieved 16 April 2013.
  13. "Finance". The Irish Times . Retrieved 28 June 2014.(subscription required)
  14. "In brief: Muzu TV adds to online content". Independent.ie. 20 August 2008. Retrieved 28 June 2014.
  15. "Various - Tube". discogs.com. Retrieved 12 October 2017.
  16. Aaron J. Sams. ":: U2 Discography - The Very Best of the Tube Album / Various". U2 Wanderer.Org. Retrieved 16 April 2013.