Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

When Variety Was the Spice of Life ; PICK OF THE DAY What A Performance! Pioneers of Popular Entertainment (BBC4, 9pm)

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

When Variety Was the Spice of Life ; PICK OF THE DAY What A Performance! Pioneers of Popular Entertainment (BBC4, 9pm)

Article excerpt

IT'S a terrifying thought that sends my blood running cold, but imagine life without a television...

These days, we're content to watch hours of telly. In fact, we'll even watch other people watching telly (Gogglebox, anyone?).

But before the magic box arrived in our living rooms, people had to do something for entertainment, and it turns out they actually went out.

No lounging on a sofa eating biscuits (or maybe that's just me).

In this three-part series, comedian Frank Skinner and music broadcaster Suzy Klein tell us the story of popular entertainment, from the music hall era of the 19th century, through the golden age of variety to the working men's clubs of the 1950s.

It's essentially a history lesson, but brought to life by our enthusiastic hosts and some dressing up for fun.

"We plan to celebrate our rich entertainment heritage by finding out all we can about the great acts of the past, and by having a go ourselves," says Frank. …

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