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New 80s inspired music show That Was Then... This Is Now! to launch

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 15/10/2020 Natasha Hooper For Mailonline
Toyah Willcox, Chesney Hawkes are posing for a picture: MailOnline logo © Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo

That Was Then... This Is Now! is a new music TV show set to launch online, in an effort to give some of the biggest stars of the 1980s financial help during the pandemic.   

It was revealed on Thursday that pop songwriter, Mike Stock, has produced the on demand series on his quest to help artists who have been 'largely ignored' in recent years. 

The five-part series will feature live performances and interviews from touring artists who have lost their livelihoods due to current restrictions on performance and travel.

a person standing on a stage: Then and now: That Was Then... This Is Now! is a new music TV show set to launch online, in an effort to give some of the biggest stars of the 1980s financial help during the pandemic - pictured Toyah who is one of the musicians taking part © Provided by Daily Mail Then and now: That Was Then... This Is Now! is a new music TV show set to launch online, in an effort to give some of the biggest stars of the 1980s financial help during the pandemic - pictured Toyah who is one of the musicians taking part

Mike, 68, who penned many of the decade's enduring hits as part of the musical trio, Stock Aitken Waterman, explained why he decided to produced the series independently.   

He said: 'I was looking at the artists I worked with back in the 80s. Names that you will know have not had a great run latterly with the media and with television and radio interest - they've been largely ignored.

'I don't blame that. Music moves on. But what they took to doing, and it seems ever popular, is this 80s style of revival weekend, rewind festivals. 

'All of the 80s artists that I work with and all of the others seem to be still popular enough to go and do these festivals, and earn a living at it. 

a man standing in front of a stage: Helping hand: It was revealed on Thursday that pop songwriter, Mike Stock, has produced the on demand series on his quest to help artists who have been 'largely ignored' in recent years - pictured Chesney Hawkes © Provided by Daily Mail Helping hand: It was revealed on Thursday that pop songwriter, Mike Stock, has produced the on demand series on his quest to help artists who have been 'largely ignored' in recent years - pictured Chesney Hawkes

'But because of coronavirus they've done nothing this year... Most of them do all the festivals in the summer, maybe get in a pantomime or something like that in the winter, but there's not much else for them.


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The new show will feature artists including Paul Young, Kim and Marty Wilde, Toyah, Steve Harley, Chesney Hawkes, The Fizz and more.

It will broadcast live at 7pm on Thursday evenings in a nod to the Top Of The Pops timeslot, a show that Mike criticises for not paying music guests fairly. 

He added: 'And whilst they are struggling to earn a living - they have no means of support - the BBC, for example, still play the reruns of Tops Of The Pops on BBC Four every Friday for the '80s - a show which everybody watches, but the artists get nothing for it.

a person standing in front of a stage: 80s magic: The five-part series will feature live performances and interviews from touring artists who have lost their livelihoods due to current restrictions on performance and travel - pictured Paul Young © Provided by Daily Mail 80s magic: The five-part series will feature live performances and interviews from touring artists who have lost their livelihoods due to current restrictions on performance and travel - pictured Paul Young

'So the BBC still milk those times but these artists can't, so I just thought I'm in a position, I can do this, I can invest the time and money.'    

Veteran broadcaster Mike Read, best known for his BBC Radio 1 shows and for hosting Top Of The Pops, will be joined on presenting duties by Sky TV's Hayley Palmer for the new show. 

English pop singer Kim Wilde detailed her experience filming the 80s music revival series. 

She said: 'Stepping onto the set of This Is Now with Mike Stock and Mike Read felt simultaneously like taking a step back in time, and taking the first exciting step forward to the next chapter in pop.

'The pop-loving public have been waiting for a show like this for a very long time. I'm so proud to be a part of its inception!'

Kim Wilde holding a sign posing for the camera: Taking centre stage: English pop singer Kim Wilde (pictured in 2018) described her experience filming the new online show as 'stepping back in time' © Provided by Daily Mail Taking centre stage: English pop singer Kim Wilde (pictured in 2018) described her experience filming the new online show as 'stepping back in time' Read more
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