THE EYE: Television
THANK YOU FOR THE MUSIC
Saturday 10 May 1997
Here is a man steeped in music, a man who, when he hears a great track on his car radio, will pull over to the side of the road and start trying to get the act on his show. His sheer enthusiasm for music infects the whole of Later with Jools Holland, which starts an impressive ninth series tonight.
Try as he might, Holland cannot suppress his relish for the job. "What more could you want?" he raves. "I don't love everything, but it's like when I learnt to play the piano and first got a buzz out of the sound. I'm looking for that excitement again and again and again, that same hit I got when I discovered boogie-woogie and rhythm and blues. I'm still looking for that first fix. It's like being an applied junkie. But I found I had problems putting that on my passport so I changed the job description to `expert'."
Mark Cooper, the show's producer, reckons that Later benefits from Holland's naturalness as a host. "Jools has kept his integrity because he's never cared too much about television," he observes. "Most people on television are trying to present a face to the world. Jools is the same off-screen as on. He doesn't pretend. People identify with that natural quality."
The other thing Later is notable for is its eclecticism. Again, Cooper puts this down to his presenter, a former frontman on The Tube and Juke Box Jury and keyboardist with Squeeze. "Jools is a genuine musician to his fingertips," he asserts, "and he's curious about all types of music. Critics like to divide things up, but we try not to be so compartmentalised."
Holland concurs. "We cover everything from Oasis to John Martyn to heavy metal. You could only do this on the BBC, because a commercial channel would say, `Great, you've got Oasis, but why have you also got this folk person that nobody's heard of? He won't get the ratings.' The BBC's view is that an artist may be less popular, but the quality is no less good. We're fulfilling the remit of educating, informing and entertaining.
"People have open minds," he continues. "They want to see what's around. It's not necessarily about seeing more of what you like. It's not about confirming what you know already, but introducing you to something you didn't know."
Too often, music shows on television have had the worst of both worlds - providing both bad music and bad television. "A lot of times, people find music hard to sell on television," Cooper says. "They don't trust the medium. They think it has to go through hoops or be put in the context of lots of other things. The biggest music shows are things like Des O'Connor, which is music with patter and jokes."
Later's unique selling point is its simplicity. "Lots of music shows have tried to sell something else - lifestyle or youth," Cooper continues. "But Later is not a lifestyle show aimed at a specific market. It's old-fashioned in that way. It sticks to the orthodoxies of Greek tragedy, showing what happened in one room in one hour. The `holy circle' set- up we have in the studio inspires performers. What works best is the intimacy of it. If you see Hole on Later, you've met Courtney Love."
But will Holland's zest for fronting Later ever wear out? It seems not. "You're never too old to love music," Holland argues. "Look at Paul Weller, he's much better now than he's ever been. I suspect that people don't go downhill, they just get stronger and stronger. New things today will be coming back stronger tomorrow. The short answer is that Later will become like The Sky at Night and I'll be like Patrick Moore hobbling on. I'll be on your screens for the next 50 years."
A new series of `Later with Jools Holland' starts tonight at 11.45pm on BBC2
Jonathan Creek (Sat BBC1) Unorthodox murder mystery series from the creator of One Foot in the Grave.
Dancing for Dollars (Sun C4) Fascinating view of Soviet ballet pirouetting to disaster.
Melissa (Mon-Wed C4) Alan Bleasdale's latest epic is a typically involving thriller.
Menzone (Sat BBC2) Lads-only television. Oh dear.
The Return of the Swamp Thing (Mon C5) Toothless horror spoof unredeemed even by the presence of a half-man, half-vegetable.
The Freddie Starr Show (Mon ITV) (That's enough hamster-eaters, Ed)
Tibs and Fibs (Wed C5) Jokey medical quiz hosted by TV's Mr Panel Game, Tony Slattery.
Watchdog Healthcheck (Thur BBC2) A new report into the public's awareness of meningitis.
Health Alert (Thur C4) A stethoscope on the problem of alcopops.
Life & Style blogs
The Evil Within preview: a survival horror fan’s best worst nightmare
36-year-old skeleton of dead baby found inside Indian woman
Porn film production 'must stop in Los Angeles' after actor tests positive for HIV
Anal sex study reveals climate of 'coercion'
iPhone 6 'release date' firmed up in leaked photos of Apple smartphone
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
- 1 Unseen Charlie and the Chocolate Factory chapter deemed 'too subversive' released
- 3 Joan Rivers: 'Palestinians deserve to be dead'
- 4 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 5 Mexican woman becomes world’s 'oldest person' at 127
- < Previous
- Next >
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Progressive Recruitment are cu...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Real Staffing are currently lo...
£90 - £120 per annum: Randstad Education Hull: Key Stage 2 Supply Teacher requ...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Computer Futures (an SThree br...