ASPEL-HELMED LONDON-ONLY weekend-starting magazine, notable for launching television careers of JANET STREET-PORTER and DANNY BAKER, while MASTERMIND’s FRED HOUSEGO, CHRIS TARRANT and, on the way home from County Hall, KEN LIVINGSTONE were also on board. GREG DYKE was the brains behind it all. Became the most watched regional programme in Britain – unsurprising, really, with items like Janet jousting with pigeon fanciers or trying to raise a replica matchstick Titantic from a pond, or a live OB on Southend beach where the tide came in early and wrecked everything, or an item invaded by a bunch of kids, one of whom was promptly picked up by the reporter and thrown across the street. Most memorable moment of all was furious contretemps at a railway station twixt an officious British Rail employee and a swarthy Baker who was attempting to elicit voxpops from the capital’s plebs. Official: “Come on Danny, you know you can’t film here.” Baker: “How dare you! Don’t you dare speak to me like that!”
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Says here “new”, but you know what they mean. It’s the very famous show from the Royal Albert Hall in 1968 which as well as featuring one of the most influential bands in pop history is also quite important because it was shown on BBC1 in the days when progressive pop was a very rare occurrence on the channel, and which spurred Mrs B Oldland of Sheldon, Birmingham to write to the Radio Times to say, “I must say that never in all the years of television have I seen such a confusion of sheer unadulterated nonsense, with flashing pictures to match. Their music had no beginning or ending, and was a continuous mumbo jumbo of ‘middle’ from start to stop. If this is their farewell performance, then it wasn’t a minute to soon for me!”
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Points of View
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