‘Today’s’ spectacular conclusion

Feb 2013 ‘Today’s’ spectacular conclusion


The Anarchy Tour

Book by Mick O’Shea

Omnibus Press: £16.95 160 pages

Thames Television’s live early evening magazine show ‘Today’ used to end with the jaunty sound of ‘Windy’, a characteristically airy recording by the 60s group the Association.

But when ‘Windy’ played out across the credits on December 1, 1976, the programme’s viewers and its production team alike were still reeling from what they’d just seen and heard.

That particular edition of ‘Today’ had concluded in historically spectacular style after the show’s Bill Grundy had came up against the Sex Pistols and some of their associates.   

Swear words

The encounter between the seasoned broadcaster and the foremost proponents of punk rock saw a clutch of swear words being used by a number of the interviewees. It all caused shock waves up and down the country – with the newspapers helping to keep the furore in overdrive across the ensuing days.

The telly skirmish had also taken place just before the start of a touring enterprise called ‘Anarchy in the UK’ – the Sex Pistols, the Damned, the Clash and the Heartbreakers were about to descend on some unsuspecting venues and perform their music in front of younger members of the populace.

Among the repercussions from ‘Today’ was the abrupt cancellation of a string of shows – in fact far more performances were scrapped than actually took place.

‘The Anarchy Tour’ carries the entertainingly recounted story and is illustrated throughout by colour and b&w photos of key figures in the episode, Mr Grundy included.

Russell Newmark