Hosting TV discussion After Dark in Easter 1991.
Anthony Howard Wilson
20 February 1950
|Died||10 August 2007 57) (aged|
|Resting place||Southern Cemetery, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester|
|Education||BA in English|
|Alma mater||Jesus College, Cambridge|
|Occupation||Journalist, TV presenter|
|Employer||Granada Television, BBC North West|
|Known for||Factory Records, Madchester impresario, Haçienda nightclub|
Anthony Howard Wilson (20 February 1950 – 10 August 2007) was a British record label owner, radio and television presenter, nightclub manager, impresario and a journalist for Granada Television and the BBC.
Wilson was behind some of Manchester's most successful bands. He was one of the five co-founders of Factory Records and the founder and manager of the Haçienda nightclub. Wilson was known as "Mr Manchester",dubbed as such for his work in promoting the culture of Manchester throughout his career.
He was portrayed by Steve Coogan in Michael Winterbottom's film 24 Hour Party People (2002), and by Craig Parkinson in Anton Corbijn's film Control (2007).
Depending on what he was working on, he would switch between alternate versions of his name. For example, when he was being a serious formal and respectable persona, such as certain TV presenting appearances, he would use "Anthony H Wilson", or for example when reporting for Granada Reports he was referred to as "Anthony Wilson", otherwise he would go by "Tony Wilson" most commonly while on Factory Records business.
Wilson was born 20 February 1950 in Hope Hospital in the Hope area of Pendleton, Salford, Lancashire, to Sydney Wilson and Doris Knupfer, and moved to Marple, near Stockport in Cheshire, at the age of five.His maternal grandfather was a Jewish German immigrant. After passing his Eleven plus exam, Wilson attended De La Salle Grammar School in Weaste Lane, Pendleton, Salford. He developed a love of literature and language, ignited by a performance of Hamlet at Stratford upon Avon. Wilson started his professional career in 1968 at the age of 17, working as an English and Drama teacher at Blue Coat School in Oldham. He later graduated with a degree in English from Jesus College, Cambridge.
After his graduation in 1971, Wilson began as a trainee news reporter for ITN, before moving to Manchester in 1973, where he secured a post at Granada Television. He presented Granada's culture, music and events programme, So It Goes. Through the 1970s and 1980s he was one of the main anchors on Granada Reports , a regional evening news programme, where he worked with Judy Finnigan and Richard Madeley among others. He continued in this line of work even at the height of his success in the music industry.
He reported for ITV's current affairs series, World in Action in the early 1980s and hosted some editions of After Dark , the UK's first open-ended, late night chat show, in which he chaired live discussions in a darkened studio, first on Channel 4 and later BBC Four. In 1988, Wilson hosted The Other Side of Midnight, another Granada weekly regional culture slot, covering music, literature and the arts in general. Wilson co-presented the BBC's coverage of The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert at Wembley Stadium with Lisa I'Anson in 1992. He hosted the short-lived TV quiz shows Topranko! and MTV Europe's Remote Control in the 1990s, as well as the Manchester United themed quiz, Masterfan, for MUTV.
In 2006 he became the regional political presenter for the BBC's The Politics Show . He presented a weekly radio show on Xfm Manchester – Sunday Roast – and a show on BBC Radio Manchester. In October he joined Blur bassist Alex James, Blue Peter presenter Konnie Huq and previously unknown presenter Emily Rose to host the 21st century version of the 1980s music programme, The Tube , for Channel 4 Radio which ran until 2 March 2007. His final music TV show was filmed in December 2006 for Manchester's Channel M. Only one episode, entitled "The New Friday", was recorded before Wilson became ill.
Wilson's involvement in popular music stemmed from hosting Granada's culture and music programme So It Goes. Wilson, who intensely disliked the music scene of the mid-1970s which was dominated by such genres as progressive rock and arena rock, saw the Sex Pistols at Manchester's Lesser Free Trade Hall, in June 1976, an experience which he described as "nothing short of an epiphany".He booked them for the last episode of the first series, probably the first television showing of their revolutionary British strand of punk rock.
He was the manager of many bands, including A Certain Ratio and the Durutti Column, and was part owner and manager of Factory Records, home of Happy Mondays, Joy Division and New Order – the band managed by friend and business partner Rob Gretton. He also founded and managed the Haçienda nightclub and Dry Bar, together forming a central part of the music and cultural scene of Manchester. The scene was termed "Madchester" in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
He made little money from Factory Records or the Haçienda, despite the enormous popularity and cultural significance of both endeavours.Both Factory Records and the Haçienda came to an abrupt end in the late 1990s.
In 2000, Wilson and his business partners launched an early online music store, Music33.
A semi-fictionalised version of his life and of the surrounding era was made into the film, 24 Hour Party People (2002), which stars Steve Coogan as Wilson. After the film was produced, Wilson wrote a novelisation based on the screenplay. He played a minor role (playing himself) in the film, A Cock and Bull Story (2005), in which his character interviews Steve Coogan. Wilson also co-produced the Ian Curtis biopic, Control (2007), being portrayed on this occasion by Craig Parkinson. He died a few months before its release.
Wilson was a partner in the annual 'In the City'and 'Interactive City' music festivals and industry conferences, and also F4 Records, the fourth version of Factory Records, which was set up to be an online distributor for Wilson's long term protégé Vini Reilly, of the Durutti Column.
Wilson identified himself as a socialist and refused to pay for private healthcare on principle.Wilson was also an outspoken supporter of regionalism. Along with others including Ruth Turner, he started a campaign for North West England to be allowed a referendum on the creation of a regional assembly, called the "Necessary Group" after a line in the United States Declaration of Independence. Although his campaign was successful, with the British government announcing that a vote would take place, this was later abandoned when North East England voted against the introduction of a regional tier of government. Wilson later spoke at several political events on this subject. He was also known for using Situationist ideas.
Wilson's goal of a strong regional political settlement was eventually achieved in 2017, ten years after his death, with the election of a "Metro Mayor" for Greater Manchester and an equivalent for Merseyside.
Wilson was married twice, first to Lindsay Reade and then to Hilary, with whom he had a son, Oliver, and a daughter, Isabel. In 1990 he started a relationship with Yvette Livesey, a former Miss England and Miss UK, who was his girlfriend until his death in 2007. ..., written by David Nolan and published in 2009.Livesey has since co-operated with a biography of Wilson's life, called You're Entitled to an Opinion
After Wilson developed renal cancer and had one kidney removed in 2007, doctors recommended he take the drug Sutent. Manchester Primary Care NHS Trust refused to fund the £3,500 per month cost of providing the drug, while patients being treated alongside him at the Christie Hospital and living just a few miles away in Cheshire did receive funding for the medication.A number of Wilson's music industry friends, including former Happy Mondays manager Nathan McGough, their current manager Elliot Rashman and TV stars Richard Madeley and Judy Finnegan, formed a fund to help pay for Wilson's medical treatment.
Wilson said: "This [Sutent] is my only real option. It is not a cure but can hold the cancer back, so I will probably be on it until I die. When they said I would have to pay £3,500 for the drugs each month, I thought where am I going to find the money? I'm the one person in this industry who famously has never made any money. I used to say 'some people make money and some make history', which is very funny until you find you can't afford to keep yourself alive. I've never paid for private healthcare because I'm a socialist. Now I find you can get tummy tucks and cosmetic surgery on the NHS but not the drugs I need to stay alive. It is a scandal."
In early 2007, emergency surgery was performed to remove one of his kidneys.This forced the postponement of plans to create a Southern Hemisphere version of the In the City festival. Despite the surgery, the cancer progressed and a course of chemotherapy was ineffective. Wilson died of a heart attack in Manchester's Christie Hospital on 10 August 2007 aged 57. Following the news of his death, the Union Flag on Manchester Town Hall was lowered to half mast as a mark of respect.
Probate documents reveal his estate was valued at £484,747 after tax. That figure includes the value of his city centre flat on Little Peter Street. The will, signed by Wilson on 4 July 2007, gave Yvette Livesey, 39, his girlfriend of 17 years, the proceeds from their home. He also left her his share of six businesses. His son Oliver and daughter Isabel shared the rest of his estate.
His funeral was at St Mary's RC Church, Mulberry Street, Manchester (The Hidden Gem) on 20 August 2007. Among the music Wilson chose Happy Mondays’ "Bob’s Yer Uncle".As with everything else in the Factory empire, Tony Wilson's coffin was also given a Factory catalogue number: FAC 501. He is buried at Southern Cemetery in Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester. His black granite headstone, erected in October 2010, was designed by Peter Saville and Ben Kelly and features a quotation, chosen by Wilson's family, from Mrs G Linnaeus Banks's 1876 novel The Manchester Man, set in Rotis serif font. The quotation reads: "Mutability is the epitaph of worlds/ Change alone is changeless/ People drop out of the history of a life as of a land though their work or their influence remains."
The main square of the HOME/First Street development in Manchester, which opened in 2015, is named Tony Wilson Place.
Joy Division were an English rock band formed in Salford in 1976. The group consisted of vocalist Ian Curtis, guitarist/keyboardist Bernard Sumner, bassist Peter Hook and drummer Stephen Morris.
Factory Records was a Manchester-based British independent record label founded in 1978 by Tony Wilson and Alan Erasmus. The label collapsed in 1992 and was bought by London Records.
ITV Granada is a regional television service in North West England provided by ITV Broadcasting Limited. In its heyday as an independent company, prior to merging with Carlton Communications to form ITV plc, it was the largest Independent Television producer in the UK, accounting for 25% of the total broadcasting output of the ITV network.
Madchester was a musical and cultural scene that developed in the English city of Manchester in the late 1980s, closely associated with the indie-dance scene. Indie-dance saw artists merging indie music with elements of acid house, rave music, psychedelia and 1960s pop. The term Madchester was coined by Factory Records' Tony Wilson, with the label popularised by the British music press in the early 1990s, and its most famous groups include the Stone Roses, Happy Mondays, Inspiral Carpets, the Charlatans, James and 808 State. It is widely seen as being heavily influenced by drugs, especially MDMA. At that time, the Haçienda nightclub, co-owned by members of New Order, was a major catalyst for the distinctive musical ethos in the city that was called the Second Summer of Love.
The Haçienda was a nightclub and music venue in Manchester, North West England, which became famous during the Madchester years of the 1980s and early 1990s.
Peter Hook is an English singer, songwriter, composer, multi-instrumentalist and record producer. He is best known as the bassist and co-founder of English rock bands Joy Division and New Order. Hook often used the bass as a lead instrument, playing melodies on the high strings with a signature heavy chorus effect. In New Order, he would do this, leaving the actual basslines to keyboards or sequencers.
24 Hour Party People is a 2002 British biographical comedy-drama film about Manchester's popular music community from 1976 to 1992, and specifically about Factory Records. It was written by Frank Cottrell Boyce and directed by Michael Winterbottom. The film was entered into the 2002 Cannes Film Festival to positive reviews.
Channel M was a regional television station, serving Greater Manchester. The station, originally known as Manchester Student Television, was owned and operated by the GMG Regional Media division of Guardian Media Group.
Manchester's music scene produced successful bands in the 1960s including the Hollies, the Bee Gees and Herman's Hermits. After the punk rock era, Manchester produced popular bands including Joy Division, New Order, the Smiths and Simply Red. In the late 1980s, the ecstasy-fuelled dance club scene played a part in the rise of Madchester. In the 1990s, Manchester saw the rise of Britpop bands, notably Oasis.
Christopher Mark Sievey was an English musician and comedian known for fronting the band The Freshies in the late 1970s and early 1980s and for his comic persona Frank Sidebottom from 1984 onwards.
Xfm Manchester was a commercial radio station broadcasting alternative and indie music to Manchester in North West England.
Control is a 2007 British biographical film about the life of Ian Curtis, singer of the late-1970s English post-punk band Joy Division. It is the first feature film directed by Anton Corbijn, who had worked with Joy Division as a photographer. The screenplay by Matt Greenhalgh was based on the biography Touching from a Distance by Curtis's widow Deborah, who served as a co-producer on the film. Tony Wilson, who released Joy Division's records through his Factory Records label, also served as a co-producer. Curtis' bandmates Bernard Sumner, Peter Hook, and Stephen Morris provided incidental music for the soundtrack via their post-Joy Division incarnation New Order. Control was filmed partly on location in Nottingham, Manchester, and Macclesfield, including areas where Curtis lived, and was shot in colour and then printed to black-and-white. Its title comes from the Joy Division song "She's Lost Control", and that much of the plot deals with the notion that Curtis tried to remain in control of his own life, and yet had no control over his epilepsy and pharmaceutical side effects.
Granada Reports is the evening news programme produced by ITV Granada and broadcasting to North West England and the Isle of Man. It broadcasts for thirty minutes each Monday to Friday from 18:00, covering regional news stories, features, sport and weather. It is presented by Lucy Meacock and Gamal Fahnbulleh. Shorter bulletins air in Good Morning Britain, on weekday lunchtimes, after News At Ten and at weekends.
So It Goes was a British TV music show presented by Tony Wilson on Granada Television between 1976 and 1977. It is most famous for showcasing the then burgeoning punk rock movement. It was named partially in reference to Kurt Vonnegut's 1969 novel Slaughterhouse-Five.
The Manchester International Festival is a biennial international arts festival, with a specific focus on original new work, held in the English city of Manchester. The festival is a biennial event, first taking place in June–July 2007, and subsequently recurring in the summers of 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017 and 2019. MIF19 took place from 4 to 21 July 2019. The organisation is based in Blackfriars House, adjacent to Blackfriars Bridge but is due to move to a new £110 million new home, The Factory, by the beginning of 2020.
MediaCityUK is a 200-acre (81 ha) mixed-use property development on the banks of the Manchester Ship Canal in Salford and Trafford, Greater Manchester, England. The project was developed by Peel Media; its principal tenants are media organisations and the University of Salford. The land occupied by the development was part of the Port of Manchester and Manchester Docks.
David Nolan is a British television producer and author, specialising in music and popular culture biographies, covering subjects from the Sex Pistols to Simon Cowell. He is a former lecturer at Salford University.
Media in Manchester has been an integral part of Manchester's culture and economy for many generations and has been described as the only other British city to rival to London in terms of television broadcasting. Today, Manchester is the second largest centre of the creative and digital industries in Europe.
Tony Morris was a British newsreader for Granada Reports, produced by ITV Granada. He previously worked as a reporter and bulletin presenter for BBC North West Tonight and for a brief period was a reporter for the BBC national news.
St John's is a proposed £1 bn development of a 6 hectare plot within central Manchester, England. The site is being developed by Manchester Quays Ltd (MQL), a partnership between Manchester City Council and Allied London.
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