In its heyday, The Evening Session was the midweek soundtrack for a generation of students and music aficionados and was in part responsible for boosting the careers of Britpop successes such as Oasis and Blur.
Now the show is back, albeit on a music station that is facing the axe. Yesterday the BBC announced that the programme, which was permanently shelved in December 2002, is to return for a one-off show on 2 April. It will be hosted by Steve Lamacq and Jo Whiley, the pair who presented the programme together between 1993 ad 1997.
But while it has been suggested that the one-off show could lead to a permanent slot, its long-term future is questionable. Under proposals outlined earlier this month, 6 Music is due to stop broadcasting at the end of 2011. The move has been criticised by fans of the station, while artists such as David Bowie and Lily Allen are lobbying the BBC Trust to keep it open. But the threat of closure did not temper the mood of Lamacq or Whiley when they announced their return to the airwaves yesterday.
Lamacq said: "I jumped at the chance to work with Jo again, because we both have slightly different visions of what pop music is, but they seem to complement each other. Plus, if you make a mistake, you have someone to cover you. We'll be revisiting some of the music, interviews and sessions from the 90s – Blur, Oasis and Radiohead – while showcasing bands and tracks we're excited about now."
Whiley added: "I'm looking forward to being back on air with Steve on a show that is really close to my heart. Being reunited with my radio partner after all these years will be a lot of fun and will bring back memories. It'll be fun to see how many we got right and how much we got wrong. Can't wait."
The show was started in 1991 by Mark Goodier before Lamacq and Whiley took over. The show attracted its share of controversy, most notably in 1997 when Lamacq interviewed Liam and Noel Gallagher. The pair arrived at the studio having had one too many drinks, and the shambolic show which followed included extended bouts of swearing and an offer, made by Liam, to fight several ageing rock stars whom he believed had been critical of Oasis.
The Evening Session was most famous for uncovering new music. Oasis, Blur, Idlewild and Doves were all championed by the programme, although early support for The Parkinsons, a Portuguese rock band, and Kinesis, a Bolton four-piece, now seem premature.