The Word (TV series)


The Word (TV series)

"The Word" was a 1990s Channel 4 television programme in the United Kingdom.

Its presenters included Mancunian radio presenter Terry Christian, comedian Mark Lamarr, Dani Behr, Katie Puckrik, Alan Connor, Amanda de Cadenet and "Hufty". Originally broadcast in the old Tube timeslot of 6pm Friday evenings, The Word's main live show was shifted to a "post-pub" timeslot, with a compilation sister show fronted by Mark Lamarr in the week. The magazine format allowed for interviews, live music, features and even game shows. The flexible late night format meant that guests could do just about anything to be controversial.

There was also an 'I'll do anything to be on television' section called 'The Hopefuls' in which people ate worms, bathed in maggots, licked sweat off fat people, and did generally repulsive things in order to get featured on the programme.

The show was the brainchild of Charlie Parsons and was originally produced for series 1 and 2 by the production company 24 Hour Productions, which later became Planet 24.

The show was broadcast live (with no delay) originally from Limehouse Studios, Wembley (1990-1992). When those studios closed the show moved to Teddington Studios. [cite web |url = http://www.tvstudiohistory.co.uk/studio%20history.htm#fountain |title = History of TV studios in London]

Paul Ross was the series editor on series 3 and 4, and became executive producer for series 5. Jo Whiley worked as a researcher/band booker and is credited as having got Nirvana their historic and notorious first TV appearance. [cite web |url = http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/biographies/biogs/radio1/jowhiley.shtml |title = BBC - Press Office - Jo Whiley]

The programme ran for 5 series from 1990 to 1995. Towards the end there was considerable tabloid backlash against the show and it was not recommissioned.

Memorable moments

*The first British Network airing of Madonna's "Justify My Love" Music Video.
*Rod Hull and Emu appearing alongside Snoop Doggy Dogg, neither knowing who the other was. There was much tension for those viewers who knew that Hull's act consisted primarily of attacking his co-guests and presenters with his puppet, while Snoop placed considerable stock in his cool, somewhat threatening image.
* Riot grrrls Huggy Bear causing chaos when Terry Christian was chatting to the Barbi Twins. The band shouted at the presenter before being violently ejected from the studio.
* Nirvana's international television debut performance of "Smells Like Teen Spirit," with Kurt Cobain declaring Courtney Love to be "The best fuck in the world".
* Mark Lamarr telling Shabba Ranks that he was "talking crap" after an interview where Ranks expressed homophobic views, and being applauded by co-guest Danni Minogue.
* A member of L7 removing her jeans and underwear during a performance, the full-frontal nudity being briefly broadcast.
* Faith No More's Mike Patton physically attacks a cameraman at the end of a performance of "Everything's Ruined", commandeering his camera in the final moments of the show. When the band is asked back on the condition that Patton behaves, he throws water over presenter Terry Christian during his interview and later leads the band in performing a cover of the Bee Gees' "I Started a Joke" despite being specifically told to play their cover of Commodores' "Easy".
* Presenter Alan Connor being held at gunpoint in a German sex club.
* The Posies smashing their instruments like The Who and then throwing them into the audience at the end of their performance of "Definite Door".
* A performance by Sepultura for which the show placed the band's fans in an animal cage.
* A spoof of "Blind Date" for bisexual contestants called "Bi Date".
* The sister show would feature video demos of new bands, with one hopeless song called "Luke I Love You" becoming a running joke in its torment of Mark Lamarr.
* Dinosaur Jr refusing to stop playing until the plugs were pulled.
* The TV debut of Oasis playing "Supersonic".
* Rage Against the Machine playing Killing in the Name, resulting in a near riot with guitarist Tom Morello and singer Zack de la Rocha both being stopped from performing by the chaotic crowd.
* The Hopefuls - "I'll do anything to get on TV" moments such as one guy [http://jamesspratt.org/blog/2008/06/08/the-hopefuls-eating-block-of-lard/ eating a block of lard] , a woman who got into a bath full of watery cow manure, a young guy french kissing an old grandmother and a man who put a huge sheep's testicle in his mouth.
* Chris Eubank admonishing an audience member who taunted Eubank with a remark about Michael Watson. A clearly irritated Eubank described the person responsible as "weak".
* Oliver Reed appearing extremely drunk and joining the band Ned's Atomic Dustbin to sing a version of The Troggs's "Wild Thing".
* Rolf Harris performing a cover version of Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" in his own unique style.
* Madonna's "Like a Prayer (song)" and "Justify My Love" singles were played backwards and revealed the phrases "I Love Satan" & "Satan Save Me".
*"Win or Weep" whereby contestants would gamble their most prized possession in the hope of winning the prize of their choice (losing would ensure their possession would be destroyed). One man gambled his caravan, and watched tearfully as it was dropped into a car crusher whilst the crowd chanted "Where's your caravan?" in mockery.
* John Lydon suggesting his foul-mouthed, aggressively-toned interview with Terry Christian would bring about the end of Christian's career, at which point the camera cut to Richard Carpenter being given a lifetime achievement award.
* Barry White refusing to leave his dressing room and appear on set because he overheard someone call him 'The Walrus of Love'.
* Lynne Perrie, best known for her role as Ivy Tilsley in Coronation Street performing a tuneless and embarrassing rendition of the Gloria Gaynor classic I Will Survive.

References

*imdb title|id=0169515|title=The Word


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