The Tube, Britain's most innovative and iconic music show, returns from 3 November on Channel 4 Radio after a break of 19 years as a brand new radio show. The monthly show will be back at 6pm on Fridays at http://www.channel4radio.com and presented by Blur legend Alex James, newcomer Emily Rose and Blue Peter's Konnie Huq.
Alex James, Emily Rose and Konnie Huq will present The Tube in Manchester in front of a live studio audience, and will be supported by co-presenter Anthony H Wilson. The show, produced by UK 1 FM, will feature a mix of new and unsigned acts together with established big names.
Bands on the first show, which goes online on November 3, include New Order, Camera Obscura, Clinic and Eskimo, playing live in front of an audience at Blueprint Studios in Manchester. The producers, north-west-based independent UK1FM, have pulled off something of a coup in persuading Freebass, the collective name for Hooky, Mani and Andy Rourke of New Order, Primal Scream and the Smiths, respectively, to compose the show's signature tune, which, just to complete the name-dropping, has been remixed by the Utah Saints. Such is the affection for The Tube that Michael Stipe of REM also pops up in a phone interview with Hacienda and Factory Records guru Tony Wilson.
So why is 4Radio going to so much trouble and expense to revive an old TV format? Part of the answer is that there is nothing like The Tube in British media now, in a world dominated by thematic music channels from MTV and Emap. It is also that there is genuine desire at Channel 4 to create innovative fresh radio that broadens the range of commercial stations and offers an alternative to the BBC. Nathalie Schwarz, director of 4Radio, has already signed up John Peel's son Tom Ravenscroft to present a weekly new music show, and the revival of The Tube is just the next step in developing Channel 4's music portfolio.
One of the innovations in the show is a quiz hosted by Tony Wilson, called Ayepod or Naypod, where the audience is used as an interactive music panel. The idea is to play songs and ask the audience whether they would have it on their MP3 player. The tracks chosen ranged from the bizarre Screamo by Enter Shikari, which left most participants speechless, to the ghastly King Kong by Shanadoo, Japan's answer to the Spice Girls. Ayepod or Naypod is Jukebox Jury for the download generation, but with a freshness and attitude that will make it one of the highlights of the radio show.
The tube begins from November 3rd at http://www.channel4radio.com You can also access other music shows now including 'Transmission Radio' 4Radio presents and 4radio backstage.
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THE TUBE - The facts....
The Tube ran from 1982 to 1987 and was Channel 4's first live music show
The Tube was broadcast live from the City Road studios of Tyne Tees Television in Newcastle upon Tyne.
In January 1987, Jools Holland accidentally swore with the words 'groovy fuckers' during a live trailer for the show. 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 3 weeks as a result
It was home to 80s bands such as The Boomtown Rats, R.E.M., Elvis Costello, The Smiths and U2 as well as Thin Lizzy, Wham and Ultravox.
The show became famous for its music range and 'eccentricity' as well as the flirtatious interview style of Paula Yates who once persuaded Sting to remove his trousers.
Muriel Gray was a regular contributor as were comedy duo, French and Saunders.
The Tube on Channel 4 Radio is a new show that will pay homage to the Channel 4 original but will be distinctive in its own right.
UK 1 FM Productions is a new radio company based in Manchester which has been founded by, among others, Rob McLoughlin the award winning TV and Radio Producer and Presenter and Chris Bird, a former radio executive.
Rob attended the original programme which saw Madonna's first UK TV appearance at The Hacienda. He has also been responsible for a series of music programmes and joint TV and radio co-productions.
Independent distributor Network has released the DVD of The Tube - The Best of Series One. The DVD is available as a two-disc set, and contains some of the programme's finest performances from some of the biggest and lesser-known bands of the Eighties pop, rock and alternative music scenes.