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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Graham Bradshaw Why is there never Folk on TV? (86* d) RE: Why is there never Folk on TV? 11 Jan 07

IMO there are 2 crucial reasons why there is not much folk on TV (although there is a lot more on radio, but not enough).

1. TV is all about image and visuals (obviously), and most folk musicians are not too savvy in this department. On the other hand, pop music is quite the reverse. It is ALL about image, and the music can come second. Take somebody like Robbie Williams (who incidentally is brilliant on camera). He came from a group (Take That)who were put together purely to look good. The music was sorted out by an army of people behind the scenes. The fact that he has emerged as a great talent is a happy accident.
For most folk musicians, it is the music first and the image is an afterthought.
I think things are starting to change though, as the young bloods of the folk world have grown up in this MTV world and understand a lot better about the whole image thing.

2. We won't get more folk on TV until there is a critical mass of people working in TV who actually like folk music. At the moment, the few who do are voices in the wilderness, and are treated with derision by their colleagues if they voice this interest.
The folk music degree courses are supposed to equip people to succeed in (folk) music as a career. I'm not sure how much they already address these issues, but I suspect they need to do a lot more. If there was significant content about image, and how to be a TV producer, they might be able to go along to the Beeb, degree in hand, and stand a chance of getting a job in TV. Then things will start to change.

All this throws up the question: Do we really want the folk scene to be like the pop world? We have already heard much from people on this forum when certain folks start behaving as if they are pop stars.
You can't have it both ways.

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