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On 19 October, Douglas Hurd, then Home Secretary, introduced broadcasting restrictions (the "broadcasting ban") on organisations proscribed in Northern Ireland and Britain, including direct statements by members of Sinn Féin. I remember Tony Wilson presented a few of them. "Apparently he damaged his head in the pile-up. They will brave the wrath of the government of their country - where it is illegal for citizens to share a platform with the PLO. We sought to reassure Atwell, explaining that After Dark often received hoax calls and urged him to check further with his C4 superiors. [146], The Watergate conspirator John Ehrlichman was at the dentist when the surgery phone rang. Viewers could fall asleep in front of it, wake up and find the discussion just hotting up.

There were lots of people on it and they all sat around on Chesterfield leather sofas and chatted about stuff. As so often with After Dark I switched on to watch 10 minutes and stayed till the end. Heddle's tactic was to lecture the feckless Spider, and tell him to pull up his socks. [46], Vergès is clearly a man who knows how not to lose an argument even when he cannot win it, but there was a moment when his mind-boggling calm was almost shattered.

I was then asked by Robin Ramsay of the Lobster magazine about my own early writing which he knew about from his co-editor Stephen Dorril who had interviewed me for his book Honeytrap, the sad story of my friend Stephen Ward hounded by the Establishment to suicide in 1963. In all the ways that matter the control of After Dark passed from the producer and the broadcaster to the participants. There was no one famous and it made riveting viewing with the people allowed to discuss thoughts at length, you just don't get TV like that now. [16], From late April in 1987, Channel 4 screened a Nighttime strand, a mixture of films and discussion programmes that ran until 3am on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. But why did live transmission then resume after 20 minutes? Until the service came to an end in 2020 fifty editions of what the BUFVC called 'the much missed series After Dark'[142] were streamed online.

"[5], After Dark has managed a genuinely fresh approach.

brought together victorious Tory MP Teresa Gorman; 'Red Wedge' pop singer Billy Bragg; Helen from the Stonehenge Convoy; old colonialist Colonel Hilary Hook... and Adrian, one of the jobless. The subject was pornography and a well balanced mixture of perversion, puritanism and prurience combined to entertain and enlighten insomniacs. It was the most junior job I'd ever had and I was extremely happy! The ICA wrote: "it ended with (Stefan Jaworzyn) vehemently debating the meaning of the word "integrity" with fellow guest Michael Winner". With the ending of After Dark, not a single programme from the list remains.

The Financial Times wrote of the programme on 18 March 1988: Bernadette McAliskey (formerly Devlin) was allowed to talk throughout as though the British Army were waging war against 'her' people.

The researchers used their personal knowledge of each guest to help the discussion along. Another guest on the programme, author Neil Lyndon, wrote an article in The Independent about the experience.

[112], In his column in the Daily Mirror, Victor Lewis-Smith boasted of his hoax call: "The show was taken off air not by C4, but by... little-old-wine-drinking-me, sitting at home, far from the TV studio.... Once connected, I shouted: 'Michael Grade is furious about this. [6] Channel 4 launched After Dark as an open ended format broadcast on Friday nights (later Saturday nights) as an original piece of programming that would be inexpensive to produce. The points made in the final 15 minutes last Friday, about the differences between Britain and the US in attitudes towards wealth, and the way in which this might explain the puzzling (albeit pleasing) failure, so far, of organised crime in Britain, were the most interesting of the entire discussion. But the Channel Four masterminds wanted to know about my war activities and the following day Montgomery Hyde, a barrister, phoned me to warn me that a High Court writ was on its way. Over the next two series of After Dark, I read and cut 10 newspapers a day, 10 magazines a week, plus monthly digests of foreign press – a fantastic introduction to current affairs.

This was Don Cabana, a professor of Criminal Justice from Mississippi but once a prison governor and once, indeed, an executioner. We do not want to see it disappear.[126]. Friends and neighbours had to go and clean that bedroom up. A voice from London: how would he like to take part in an open-ended, very-late-night discussion on the nature of truth. It was especially important to give guidance on contempt of court as guests risked a criminal offence if they committed contempt.

For all its faults, as when Oliver Reed appeared tired and emotional as a newt, the programme fulfilled its purpose and filled a gap. After Dark was a British late-night live discussion programme broadcast on Channel 4 television between 1987 and 1997, and on the BBC in 2003. For some reason I thought it was on the BBC2 review programme, whatever it was called.

The most impressive guests were Molly Parkin, who asked all the right questions; ex-body builder Zoe Warwick, whose perceptiveness and incisive comments kept opening up new areas of discussion; and Professor Arthur Marwick, who had to bear the brunt of everyone's criticism and abuse.... Ms Mudd and disabled actor Nabil Shaban shouted him down. There was no 'chair', simply a 'host', and the discussion took place around a coffee table in a darkened studio. I remember an odd show late night on Channel 4 in the 1990s which had a cgi cafe with various animated characters then never seemed to make sense, & seemed to link some other material. Channel Listings; By viewing our video content you are accepting the terms of our Video Services Policy. He predicted that the programme could seem even more unusual now, in the age of slick and formatted television.[135].

", Xaviera Hollander and "Men and Women: What's the Difference? "[95] Michael Randle eventually appeared on After Dark, fourteen years later, on 22 March 2003. The Glasgow Herald wrote of the After Dark special broadcast on 17 August 1995: The debate on judicial murder looked to be going nowhere.

In 2004 After Dark was characterised as "legendary" by the Open University[8] and in 2014 as "the most uncensorable programme in the history of British television". An alternative view is provided by Laura K. Donohue (writing in the Cardozo Law Review [88]), who summarises Professor Keith Ewing and Conor Gearty as follows: ... at the urging of the British Government, Channel 4 eliminated one of the After Dark programs, in which Gerry Adams was scheduled to appear.[89]. [43] Also present was Sir Fitzroy Maclean, who was the British liaison to Josip Broz Tito's Partisans in World War II.

[145], Q magazine quoted the producer: "We're actually trying to break down the barriers that divide people...Jeremy Isaacs told us it was the best proposal for a live show he'd ever seen. "After the Nelson Mandela concert last summer, (After Dark) ran a discussion programme including Harry Belafonte, Breyten Breytenbach, Denis Worrall and Ismail Ayob (Mandela's lawyer).

In a discussion titled "British Intelligence", broadcast on 16 July 1988, the guests included Merlyn Rees, H. Montgomery Hyde and a man called Robert Harbinson, described by Francis Wheen in The Independent newspaper as follows: Robin Bryans, a... travel writer and sometime music teacher who also goes under the names Robert Harbinson and Christopher Graham. There was... 50 years of hate between them."[62].

"I believe some people are born evil, but my son wasn't one of them. The Evening Standard described this as "totally compelling viewing": It is not simply what is said that is important. David Lee and John Corner, "After Dark – Channel 4's Innovation in Television Talk".

I thought it was very badly produced, editorially."[125].

"That is no way for a good lawyer to make his case." Jay Rayner described the backstage atmosphere in Arena magazine: The situation is a little more controlled than the viewer might imagine...As the guests arrived they were shepherded off to individual dressing rooms. [43], On 21 October Tony Wilson hosted a discussion about royalty with, among others, Andrew Morton, Peregrine Worsthorne and Archduke Karl von Habsburg. [80], John Underwood wrote of the programme broadcast on 6 August 1988: "I recall hosting an edition of... After Dark in which (Bianca Jagger) intellectually crushed Dr John Silber, a senior adviser to Ronald Reagan, and Roberto Ferrey, an apologist for the Contras. If the host had not already responded by making it clear that a guest's libellous views were his or hers alone, that is.

It returned the following year for occasional specials until its final demise in 1997. The Guardian ran the first recruitment advertisement for programme staff: In May Channel 4 launch an extraordinary discussion programme.... Open Media are offering a number of short-term contracts on this remarkable series.... We need senior researchers with considerable experience of current affairs television, versatility, good humour, a limitless capacity for work and, above all, sympathy with and knowledge of many different viewpoints and people – not all of them sympathetic. In March 2003 After Dark gave airtime to a self-confessed paedophile. In 1995 the Financial Times wrote: Channel 4 ended its remarkable season on capital punishment, "Lethal Justice", by reviving After Dark, the best studio discussion format ever created; why they do not run it 52 weeks a year is a mystery. Since After Dark, unlike most radio phone-ins, boasts no tape delay, the alleged defamation could not be prevented. The producer wrote: "The very last After Dark programme ended, appropriately enough perhaps, with a plug for the campaign for a screen-free TV Turnoff Week".

"[66], The producer wrote: "In amongst the exceptional and the celebrated, the stars and the scandalous, quieter folk often triumphed.

Registered in England. The hostility between just two of the participants, which often brings most life to the programme, occurred this time between Tony Benn and ex-CIA man Miles Copeland, and it was the fundamental difference in political outlook between these two which informed the entire discussion.

The camera work was radical...The idea was to use very low light conditions, and an atmosphere that was supposed to be dark and moody". "[147], The Times wrote: "Some of the juxtapositions have been inspired.

There was no 'chair' but a 'leader of discussion' and the discussion took place around a coffee table in a darkened studio. However Michael Atwell, without further consultation, decided to stop transmission. The significance of the programme... was how it shifted the debate from the white political agenda followed so assiduously by South Africa-based correspondents, and gave due weight to the real opponents of the regime. After one hour Reed returned from the toilet and, getting more to drink, rolled on top of the noted feminist author Kate Millett, who then complained (though she later asked for a tape of the show to entertain her friends[110]).

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