Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 29 November 2014

Whistle Test to go back on the air

Bob Harris will host the new show on Radio 2
Bob Harris will host the new show on Radio 2

Classic BBC music show Old Grey Whistle Test is to live again - on radio.

The show, which was hosted by Bob Harris, Annie Nightingale and Mark Ellen among others, championed numerous underground and cutting-edge acts before they found fame.

Now Radio 2 is to broadcast a 16-part series featuring some of the classic performances, as well as new performances from artists associated with the show.

The BBC2 programme is credited with giving early exposure to acts such as Bob Marley, Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen and Steely Dan. It also gave a platform to performers such as Klaus Nomi and Barnes And Barnes, whose oddball video for the song Fish Heads was showcased on the programme.

The Radio 2 series is to mark OGWT's 40th anniversary this year and will be hosted by Harris.

He said: "Making this series for Radio 2 is proving to be a heart-warming and exciting experience. It is wonderful to discover the affection so many of the artists still have for the Old Grey Whistle Test - big-name stars whose careers the programme supported in their early days.

"It's a massive reunion, featuring superstars of British and American music. We are re-creating the ethos of the original shows, featuring amazing new performances, interviews and archive in a gloriously musical atmosphere.

"Whether you remember the original programmes or not, Old Grey Whistle Test 40 is simply a must-listen for all serious music fans."

OGWT ran for more than 16 years, with other presenters including Andy Kershaw, Richard Skinner and David Hepworth.

The Radio 2 series - starting next month - will also feature interviews with artists. Among those who will take part are Sir Elton John, Alice Cooper, Roger Daltrey, Robert Plant, Paul Weller, Emmylou Harris and Simple Minds.

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