Sunday, August 12, 2007

Factory closure

The poster tagline for 24 Hour Party People, under pictures of the film depictions of Ian Curtis, Shaun Ryder and Tony Wilson respectively, read 'Genius. Poet. Twat.' According to Wilson, the original poster labelled him 'Prat', but he decreed that they should go for the full version.

Anthony Harold Wilson, cantankerous git, serendipitous impresario, royalties drain, light relief local news reporter and ceaseless Mancunian flagwaver, has died. We hope the wake is assigned FAC 521 as befits catalogue number order. We're officially away festivalling, but not so far to be away from an internet connection, so here's a quick YouTube session of the man and his assorted works:

* Starting at the end: a News 24 tribute, slightly different same and the Newsnight round table on his legacy with Paul Morley (who pays seperate tribute in the Observer), Richard Madeley, Stephen Morris and Peter Saville (part 1, part 2). Even in these circumstances there may be nothing more bizarre than Richard Madeley discussing Joy Division.

* A proud Manc to the last, he took a televised wander round Hulme to discuss Factory in 1988, which although we're not entirely sure must be about the same time he interviewed Sonic Youth. We'll cover Factory more in the next Weekender.

* He celebratedly remained a local news man, defecting briefly to the Beeb last year but a Granada man at some point throughout the last four decades. Here he is bringing Frank Sidebottom to the region in 1985, leaving the task of actually introducing him to Richard Madeley, although note Wilson dropping about a sizeable a hint as possible as to it being a Chris Sievey project at the end. Tony and Frank retained a healthy working relationship, as proved by this clip of Channel 4 quiz show Remote Control from 1991.

* Five years ago to coincide with 24 Hour Party People Granada put out That Tony Wilson, an hour-long documentary that gave his life a localised slant, including this summation of his musical television work. On the same film subject, he showed up at the Cannes premiere press conference alongside all sorts of connected reprobates. Dubbed into French, unfortunately.

* He kept himself busy long after his diagnosis, organising June's New York leg of In The City, associate producing the Ian Curtis film Control and holding court at a digital rights conference. That was mostly why he was at Coachella in April, although he also found time to introduce the Happy Mondays onstage. He continued presenting the BBC North West Politics Show opt-out into May, even if he was sometimes forgetful, and made his last known television appearance on North West Tonight in July discussing the problems funding the drug that could have prolonged his life.

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