The revolutionary 1970s and 1980s television music show is to be revived at its former home of Television Centre for a one-off BBC Four special.
“Old Grey Whistle Test is one of the most iconic British television programmes ever made and we’re delighted to be hosting the anniversary edition live from its original home at Television Centre.” – Meryl McLaren, Commercial Manager, BBC Studioworks
BBC Studioworks, the commercial subsidiary of the BBC which provides studio and post production services to the broadcast market, is facilitating the 30th anniversary show of Old Grey Whistle Test they have announced this week.
Produced by BBC Studios, the one-off special – Old Grey Whistle Test Live: For One Night Only – will be broadcast live on the 23rd of February from BBC Studioworks’ 10,800 sq. ft. studio, TC1, at Television Centre.
Television Centre was home to the alternative music show in the 70s and 80s with the show becoming synonymous for its lack of showbiz glamour. Paying homage to the original production, the three-hour anniversary show, presented by Bob Harris, will feature music from Peter Frampton, Richard Thompson, and Albert Lee – who all performed on the show.
Other former presenters including Annie Nightingale, Richard Williams, David Hepworth and Andy Kershaw will also feature, sharing stories of their time on the series. There will also be archive footage of some of the best-loved and rarest performances from its extraordinary back catalogue.
As with any music-based live broadcast, audio quality is crucial. The show will benefit from BBC Studioworks’ recent technology investments at Television Centre including a Studer Vista X combined with Pyramix. The solution includes snapshot capabilities to assist with the handling of multiple acts performing different tracks, as well providing crucial offline sound checks. Reidel talkback, with the latest Bolero handsets, allows for sophisticated communication for the smooth running of a complex broadcast such as this. BBC Studios will also make use of BBC Studioworks’ EVS tapeless recording system. The anniversary show will be aired on BBC Four.
When it was originally broadcast, Old Grey Whistle Test hosted many seminal acts including the first British TV performance of Bob Marley and the Wailers and many little-known acts at the time such as Billy Joel and Judas Priest. BBC Four has become renowned for its mix of current and archive music programming ranging from contemporary documentaries to repeats of chart run-down series Top of the Pops.
“While both the show and its broadcast location are steeped in nostalgia, we’ll be providing cutting-edge technology and state-of-the-art facilities to truly bring this one-off special to life.” – Meryl McLaren, Commercial Manager, BBC Studioworks