Madness gig to mark end of era at BBC

 

Madness will kick-start a farewell to BBC Television Centre with an hour-long concert tonight to celebrate the building's 53-year history.

The band's performance outside the West London Grade II-listed building, nine days before TV Centre closes, will be the last live event there, the BBC has announced.

The live concert will be broadcast from 7.30pm on BBC4 followed by Goodbye Television Centre at 8.30pm which was filmed on Monday.

In the pre-recorded show, BBC stars including Sir David Attenborough, Sir Michael Parkinson, Sir Terry Wogan, Sir Bruce Forsyth, Ronnie Corbett and Sir David Jason bid farewell to the famous building.

Richard Klein, controller of BBC4, told the BBC website: "I can think of no better band than Madness to help celebrate a golden age of television coming out of the BBC's Television Centre, and I am really pleased that one of Britain's finest groups has agreed to come along and help BBC4 celebrate in fine style. Madness, as always, are one step beyond!"

Madness told the BBC: "We've played at some exciting places in London lately but the closing of BBC TV Centre, well, that is close to our hearts, as a band we grew up there, those walls have plenty of Madness tales to tell, a sad day, the end of an era, oh, but what a celebration! We're honoured to be the band the Beeb have chosen for this fond farewell."

The band will play new material as well as classics such as One Step Beyond, I Never Knew Your Name, Baggy Trousers and Our House to celebrate more than 50 years of programme making at Television Centre.

The 1960s centre, once home of Top of the Pops and Blue Peter, sold for £200 million and will be made into a shops and offices complex that will include hotels, flats, and a cinema.

The last recorded studio show will be a variety show for BBC Entertainment on Monday and the final event to go through the studio will be the Pope's Urbi et Orbi address, which will use voice over facilities next Sunday (March 31).

Nearly 6,000 BBC staff will move to the BBC's New Broadcasting House in central London, a transition that began in October last year.

But the TV Centre studios will be refurbished for leasing out to production companies, including the BBC, from 2014, when BBC Worldwide will consolidate their headquarters at the centre. BBC Studios and Post Production will also return to Television Centre studios in 2015, the corporation said.

PA

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