The Word (TV series)
|Created by||Channel 4|
Amanda de Cadenet
|Theme music composer||808 State|
|Opening theme||Olympic (Euro Bass Mix)|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||5|
|No. of episodes||104|
|Executive producer(s)||Jane Buchanan|
|Running time||60 Mins|
|Original network||Channel 4|
10 August 1990 – |
24 March 1995
|Followed by||The Girlie Show|
Its presenters included Mancunian radio presenter Terry Christian, comedian Mark Lamarr, Dani Behr, Katie Puckrik, Jasmine Dotiwala, Alan Connor, Amanda de Cadenet and Huffty. Originally broadcast in the old Tube time slot of 6 pm Friday evenings, The Word's main live show was shifted to a late-night timeslot from 9 November 1990, 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, intimately kissed old people, and did generally repulsive things in order to get featured on the programme.
The first series of the show was broadcast live (with no delay) originally from London Studios in the LWT building on the South Bank and then from Limehouse Studios, Wembley (1991–1992). When those studios closed the show moved to Teddington Studios.
Paul Ross was the series editor on series 3 and 4, and became executive producer for series 5. Director Martin Cairns directed many of the stunt film clips for which the programmes became famous. Some receiving warnings on content from C4. Jo Whiley worked as a researcher–band booker and is credited as having given Nirvana their historic and notorious first TV appearance.
The programme ran for five series from 1990 to 1995. From the start, there was considerable tabloid backlash against the show. In mid 2000, Channel 4 screened a short-running compilation series titled "Best of The Word", which mostly featured music performances and was presented by Terry Christian.
Tango sponsored the show in 1994.
- The first British Network airing of Madonna's "Justify My Love" Music Video.
- 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."
- Singer/guitarist Donita Sparks of L7 removing her jeans and underwear during a performance, the full-frontal nudity displayed when she drops her guitar being briefly broadcast. The Word's audience had got off lightly; earlier in the year, Sparks had thrown her used tampon into the concert audience at the Reading Festival.
- The TV debut of Oasis playing "Supersonic".
- Rage Against the Machine playing "Killing in the Name", resulting in a stage invasion with guitarist Tom Morello and singer Zack de la Rocha both being stopped from performing by the chaotic crowd.
- Lynne Perrie, best known for her role as Ivy Tilsley in soap opera Coronation Street, performing a tuneless and somewhat embarrassing rendition of the Gloria Gaynor classic "I Will Survive".
- A very drunk Oliver Reed giving a barely coherent interview before performing "Wild Thing" by The Troggs with Ned's Atomic Dustbin."
- Shabba Ranks advocating crucifixion of homosexuals, which received universal condemnation including from presenter Mark Lamarr, who responded "that's absolute crap and you know it".
- Simon Donohue (31 December 2002). "Madchester revival may be on the cards - News - Music - Greater Manchester's CityLife". Citylife.co.uk. Retrieved 22 August 2009.
- "Nottingham Music - 808 State". BBC. 3 February 2003. Retrieved 22 August 2009.
- Parsons, Charlie (10 August 2010). "How The Word changed television for ever". Guardian. London. Retrieved 2 November 2010.
- Mark Lawson (9 March 1995). "The Last Word In Trash Tv - Life & Style". The Independent. Retrieved 19 November 2012.
- "History of TV studios in London". Tvstudiohistory.co.uk. Retrieved 19 November 2012.
- "BBC - Press Office - Jo Whiley". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 19 November 2012.
- "Best of The Word". Channel 4. Retrieved 4 December 2009.
- Tim Lusher (10 August 2010). "Best moments of The Word: from grunge to gross-out | Television & radio". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 November 2012.
- "Elephant Man Buju Banton Shabba Ranks boom bye bye". YouTube. Retrieved 19 September 2013.