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BBC4 orders crowd-sourced format “History of Pop”

Produced by 7 Wonder, the interactive history format titled The People's History of Pop will package a 4 x 60-minute series with crowd-sourced memorabilia from the public.
September 14, 2015

UK pubcaster BBC4 has ordered an interactive history format titled The People’s History of Pop from London-based indie 7 Wonder.

The program will be accompanied by an online archive of music memorabilia that is to be crowd-sourced from the public. Material from the online initiative will then be packaged as a 4 x 60-minute series for BBC4, set to air on Friday nights in April, July, September and November of 2016.

7 Wonder is working with not-for-profit online memory-gathering organization Historypin to crowd-source photos, audio and video content of the public’s music memorabilia, which includes ticket stubs, diary entries, teen band recordings, mix tapes, wrist bands and rare footage. According to the BBC, contributors who have submitted “the most surprising, moving and rare material” may also be filmed to appear in the program.

In addition, each film is to be hosted by a different presenter who covers a decade of music and highlights the best of the virtual archive. People’s History of Pop will start with 1956 – the year of skiffle and rock ‘n’ roll – and end with 1996 and its “raft of optimistic pop.” Featured events include The Beatles’ final gig in 1966, Northern Soul in Wigan, The Sex Pistols’ first concert at Central St Martins in 1975, and later the Spice Girls phenomenon.

The People’s History of Pop was ordered by Cassian Harrison, channel editor for BBC Four, and commissioned by Jan Younghusband, head of commissioning for music TV. Steve Condie is exec producing for 7 Wonder and Zoë Jewell and James Giles are serving as producer-directors.

“With our call out for musical memories and memorabilia and our innovative website we are making a new kind of social history program and offering everyone a chance to share their part in the musical brilliance which is one of Britain’s greatest achievements,” said Condie, 7 Wonder executive producer, in a statement.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.

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