Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Shock at Showbiz Mentor's Death

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Shock at Showbiz Mentor's Death

Article excerpt

Byline: SOPHIE DOUGHTY Reporter

TRIBUTES have today been paid to film and music historian Chris Phipps.

The Birmingham-born producer, author and historian, who settled on Tyneside, is understood to have passed away on Friday.

Chris worked as a producer on 80s underground music show, The Tube, and during his long career in the entertainment industry he earned a reputation as something of an expert on film, music and popular culture.

Chris penned a number of books about film and music, many focusing on the North East. He was part of the team behind the the Whitley Bay Film Festival, currently running until September 1, and hosted a big name interview at the event every year.

Chris was due to speak at the Jam Jar Cinema, in Whitley Bay, tonight.

Festival organisers posted news of his death on their website.

They said: "We are struggling to take in the news that our good friend and mentor Chris Phipps has passed away. Please bear with us.

"There are no words to express the deep sadness we are feeling. Much love to his family at this very sad time."

Chris's colourful career saw him work as a reporter for BBC Birmingham in the 1970s, as well as co-presenter of BBC Midland TV's Look! Hear! with well-known singer and actress, Toyah Willcox.

But the cornerstone of his reputation was laid when he was hired by Channel 4 in 1982 for its controversial music show The Tube presented by Jools Holland and Paula Yates.

During this time he was responsible for launching the careers of unsigned talent including Fine Young Cannibals and Twisted Sister, and the revival of Tina Turner.

After The Tube's five-year run, Chris became an award-winning film and documentary maker for regional and network television, covering subjects from Bob Marley to the capital punishment debate. …

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