TELEVISION: INSIDE THE TUBE
Saturday 22 August 1998
go by. Channel 4 are currently shooting The Young Person's Guide to Becoming
a Rock Star. A satirical six-parter by Bryan Elsley (The Crow Road), it tunes into the fortunes of The Jocks, a five-piece Glaswegian rock band played by Ciaran McMenamin, Duncan Marwick, Stephen McCole, Nicola Stapleton and Simone Lahbib. You can find out about The Jocks' real-life counterparts in another series of Rock Family Trees, which starts on BBC2 next month. Featuring the complex genealogical trees meticulously drawn by music journalist Pete Frame, the series will cover: heavy metal and Black Sabbath;
1970s "prog-rock" (Yes, Emerson, Lake, Palmer); the 1960s Merseybeat scene (Gerry and the Pacemakers, Billy J Kramer and The Swinging Blue Jeans); the Manchester bands of the 1980s and 1990s (The Buzzcocks, New Order and Happy Mondays); the American 1960s folksters (Mamas and Papas, Lovin' Spoonful); and the London punk rockers of the late 1970s (Siouxsie and the Banshees, Adam and the Ants, Public Image Limited). As if that wasn't enough, on Saturday 12 September, C4 are hosting an evening of Disco Inferno, when we are invited to re-create Saturday Night Fever in our living rooms. Studio 54 revisits the notorious New York nightclub of that name, which became a byword for 1970s hedonism. In its 33-month existence, the club, founded by two unknowns from Brooklyn, Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager, became the most famous disco in the world. Its reputation for orgies no doubt had something to do with that. Then Disco Top 10 pulls on a pair of glittery flares to re-examine the people who shook their funky groove thing in the late 1970s disco movement: The Bee Gees, Gloria Gaynor, Odyssey, and KC and the Sunshine Band. The programme is hosted by Antonio Fargas, aka Huggy Bear from Starsky and Hutch. In a touch to delight all 1970s revivalists, he will be wearing his famous leather trenchcoat for the occasion. Party on, dude.
Reminder to self: must stay in for Bridget Jones Night on BBC2 this autumn. The evening will include: Lowri Turner investigating How to Meet the Perfect Man, looking at upmarket dating agencies and people who write the rule books, and the history of single women in popular television drama. PS: Lay in extra stocks of ciggies and chardonnay, and don't invite any "smug marrieds".
Continuing a strong run, BBC1's Inside Story on Tuesday 1 September reports on Justin Fashanu: Fallen Hero. Britain's first million-pound black footballer, Fashanu had the world at his feet two decades ago. Then in May of this year, he was discovered hanged in a lock-up garage in London's East End. Nick London's documentary about what went wrong features an exclusive interview with his brother and fellow professional footballer, John.
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