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25 Years Of Smash Hits (Channel 4 12 Apr 2003)

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AIRDATE: Saturday 12 April 20003 on Channel 4

The chances are, if you know the words to the latest hit single, you’ll have learned them from the pages of Smash Hits , Britain’s most popular and enduring pop bible, which has been a must-buy for teenagers every fortnight since 1978, and which this year enjoys its 25th birthday.

From the start, Smash Hits wore its skewed good-humoured scepticism on its sleeve, the prose paced and loaded to match the images it described – it knew innately and, at the time, uniquely that it was infinitely more revealing to ask a pop goddess about the contents of her handbag than ask her about politics – and its huge influence can be seen in nearly every corner of British popular culture today.

25 Years of Smash Hits investigates the influence of the magazine on the bands, music industry, media and fans. Providing insight into the workings of the pop machine will be some of the biggest stars in pop, as well as industry and media players from the last 25 years. The story of Smash Hits will be the story of the ephemeral entity that is modern British pop culture. As former editor, David Hepworth succinctly puts it: “The thing that’s always happened with Smash Hits , from Adam and the Ants right through to Duran Duran and Take That to whoever it is today, is that whoever is the biggest pop star around, you will fall out with them. Pop stars are like buses. There’s always another one coming along in a minute.”

The programme features interviews with Smash Hits favourites past and present, including Duran Duran, Jason Donovan, Blue, Mark Owen, Neil Tennant, Kelly Osbourne and Pete Waterman. There a re also interviews with ex- Smash Hits editors David Hepworth, Mark Ellen, Emma Jones and Mark Frith.

Producers: Nick Neads/Lyn Rowett
Director: Chris Fouracre
Executive Producer: Martin Cunning
Production Company: At It

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