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Music Blog: What's happened to music TV?

PUBLISHED: 16:49 21 January 2010 | UPDATED: 15:41 29 October 2010

Then: Bob Marley on The Old Grey Whistle Test. Now: X Factor winner Joe McElderry (top).

Then: Bob Marley on The Old Grey Whistle Test. Now: X Factor winner Joe McElderry (top).

Kingsley Harris

Am I in a minority or are my musical habits too anal, because, I don't mean to mock as it takes all sorts, but I really don't know or hang around with many people who watch or enjoy reality-style music TV.

It's been a frustrating week weather-wise on the music scene, the gigs I couldn't get to went ahead and those I could, were cancelled. Obviously safety comes first so you just have to get your kicks elsewhere.

I was pondering my boredom and thinking a month's worth of this and I would be chewing through my desk, when I caught a TV ad for Popstar to Operastar. “It's a new program to see if pop singers' voices can make it in the world of opera,” my partner pointed out, well I'm glad that's cleared up.

This got me thinking, am I in a minority and are my musical habits too anal? I don't mean to mock because it takes allsorts but I really don't know or hang around with many people that watch or enjoy reality style music TV.

I even struggle with Jools Holland's Later, which seems to lack direction and I find myself distracted to the point of missing the only band I really wanted to see.

I fail to see any entertainment value in these programs and don't understand the people who do; yes, if it was one of my relatives taking part. That though doesn't explain the millions of others supporting a complete stranger or voting for out of work B-rated actors, most of who would have danced or sung at acting school.

I'm not a super intellectual but I would prefer to watch Prime Minister's Questions than join in with all that false panto and drama. I am happy though to be told that I am wrong, as I go out several times a week and pay to see bands I haven't seen before and that may seem just as boring and pointless and occasionally it does leave me with the same sense of disappointment as a dose of reality TV.

I watch very little music TV now and keep abreast of the fast food music scene via the internet and the many news pages. Although I did misread a Britain's Got Talent bulletin last year and spent the week watching Sumo on Youtube.

What has happened to the UK's ground-breaking music TV? I'm not talking about Opportunity Knocks where the clap-o-meter was a guy pulling a needle on elastic or Marti Cane and New Faces.

I got blogging on this and I don't seem to be the only one wondering what's gone wrong and why there is a massive void in this area. I remember my whole family sitting down to watch Top Of The Pops; my dad wasn't even into music but he knew Pan's People would be on.

Later on you didn't leave the house on a Friday night until after The Tube had finished and lets not even get started on how great The Old Grey Whistle Test was.

The bloggers are telling me that MTV and all those other on-tap jukebox channels have killed it, although I can't help feeling Popstar's nasty Nigel Lythgoe and that slimey Cowell have something to do with it; perhaps Robbie Williams is right reality really has killed the video star.

Does today's TV cater for your musical needs? Discuss.

t Kingsley Harris is head honcho at NROne Records and curator of the East Anglian Music Archive.

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