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Rewind the Tube

Rewind the Tube

Fri Sep 20, 11.05pm-12.10am, C4

By Phil Harrison
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The rest of C4’s ’80s night looks bewilderingly pointless (nothing evokes that era quite like a conversation between Alan Carr and Jessie J, right?), but this documentary about one of the jewels in the channel’s anarchic crown is a lot of fun. Although it does serve to highlight how little comparable wildness, subversion and genuine risk-taking sneaks into primetime at the moment.

C4 always set out to create the odd programme that would ‘drive mum and dad out of the room’. And with ‘The Tube’, they certainly managed it – although the odd dad might have stuck around to get a look at the show’s co-host Paula Yates. This doc is full of cracking tales – expect the Jools Holland ‘groovy fuckers’ scandal, the successful launch of Frankie Goes to Hollywood and an appearance from a striking miner with the implausibly brilliant (and yet actually real) name Norman Strike.

But expect a few regrets too – chief among them being the desperate need for something vaguely similar now. As Glenn Gregory of Heaven 17 pleads: ‘We need a new one.’ Well, C4. Are you content to just pat yourself on the back? Or might you consider obliging?
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