Much Tastier Viewing; MTV Has Come a Long Way since It Launched 22 Years Ago. Then It Played Cliff Richard. Now It's the Coolest TV Channel on the Planet, Making or Breaking Stars like Britney Spears. as Edinburgh Gears Up for the Channel's Europe Awards, MARIA CROCE Checks out MTV's Amazing History

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Byline: MARIA CROCE

MTV was responsible for bringing us that Madonna and Britney snog at its recent Video Music Awards. Now music fans will be dying to see what happens at the Scottish awards bash, to be hosted by Christina Aguilera with performances by Beyonce and Kylie.

Telly changed forever when MTV became the first channel to feature music videos as its prime source of programming.

The idea was to use the station as a platform to showcase the emerging music video format.

Initially, there were only a few videos to choose from but the record companies soon caught on to the power of MTV.

Scotland's top promoter Geoff Ellis the man behind T in the Park believes MTV has completely transformed the music industry since its inception in 1981.

He said: ``One of the biggest impacts is that the promotional video is now an essential part of any band's marketing campaign.

``Some people even think it is the most important way to break a song.

``MTV has transformed the music industry and has led the other TV channels in how music is presented.

``The MTV awards is the most important music event in the world.''

Here's how it all began ...

1981: MTV launches in the US on August 1 at 12: 01 am with Buggles' Video Killed The Radio Star.

1982: MTV starts providing amazing, money-can't-buy competition prizes. The first sees Huey Lewis play live in the winner's living room.

1983: MTV debuts Michael Jackson's genre-busting 14-minute Thriller video.

1984: MTV presents the first-ever MTV Video Music Awards from New York's Radio City Music Hall with performances from Madonna, Rod Stewart, Tina Turner and ZZ Top.

1985: MTV broadcasts LiveAid. Andy Warhol hosts his own MTV show, Andy Warhol's 15 Minutes. Video Of The Year is The Boys Of Summer by Don Henley.

1986: Rock stars talk openly about their experiences with drugs in MTV's Rock Against Drugs campaign. Video Of The Year is Money For Nothing by Dire Straits.

1987: MTV Europe is switched on at 12.01 am on August 1 by Elton John in Amsterdam. It's immediately available in 1.6 million homes.

1988: MTV Europe celebrates its first birthday with 3.5 million subscribers and spreads to Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Greece and Norway, with the Norway feed switched on by Jon Bon Jovi.

By the end of the year MTV Europe will be available in 6.7 million homes. The channel gives away a tropical island in a headline-grabbing competition.

1989: MTV Europe broadcasts

live from behind the Iron Curtain, covering the Moscow Music Peace Festival from the Lenin stadium. …