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24 September 2014
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BBC 6 Music celebrates 20 years Of The Smiths

Some of today's best artists have recorded their own versions of songs by The Smiths exclusively for BBC 6 Music as part of a special week of programming to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the release of the band's first single.

The Smiths released Hand In Glove on 13 May 1983 and went on to become one of the most influential bands in British history.

The BBC's digital rock and pop station is also launching a search to find the country's most obsessive Smiths fan.

The two finalists will battle it out in Liz Kershaw's special broadcast from Salford Lads Club, the celebrated Smiths landmark which featured on the inside cover of The Queen Is Dead album and in the video for Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before.

Liz will also be joined by special guests including former Smiths drummer Mike Joyce.

The week - 12 to 16 May 2003 - also includes broadcasts of rare archive material of Smiths' sessions and concerts recorded for the BBC.

Bands who have covered Smiths songs for 6 Music include The Thrills (who supported Morrissey on his recent UK tour) with their version of Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me, fellow Mancuians Alpinestars who bring their own electronic twist to Panic and Ed Harcourt with a beautiful stripped down piano and vocal version of Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want.

Sheffield newcomers Slo Mo perform How Soon is Now?, Moses play their interpretation of the 1985 single Shakespeare's Sister and Nada Surf perform There Is A Light That Never Goes Out.

All the tracks will be featured in Phill Jupitus Breakfast Show during the week.

6 Music Online - - is searching for the country's most obsessive Smiths fan starting today (Monday 14 April).

The website wants photographic evidence of huge quiffs, fake hearing aids or bedrooms plastered with posters and will whittle the entries down to a top ten which listeners can vote for online.

The final two will battle it out to be crowned the Champion of Smithdom, winning a coveted prize.

The Mid Morning show with Gideon Coe concentrates on archive including a rare version of Miserable Lie from the first Smiths Peel Session on 18 May 1983.

The track was the only one from this session that was not included on the Hatful of Hollow album.

The Smiths Peel session on 2 December 1986 gave the B sides to Shelia Take A Bow with Is It Really So Strange? and Sweet And Tender Hooligan. Both recordings went on to appear on the Louder Than Bombs compilation album.

However, London and Half A Person which were recorded for the same session were never released commercially and therefore will be of great interest to Smiths fans.

Gideon also plays Morrissey's new material from a session he recorded last October for a Janice Long session including the track Crashing Bores.

Teatime with Andrew Collins brings a Smiths themed "Better than the real thing".

In this regular feature Andrew pitches cover versions of varying quality up against the originals.

Amongst those battling will be the Supergrass version of Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others and Placebo's take on Bigmouth Strikes Again with their alternative lyrics - listeners are invited to interact and tell Andrew their views.

Tom Robinson's Evening Sequence introduces one of the best radio documentaries on the band - The Smiths At The Beeb.

This intricate and in-depth documentary features interviews with members of the band, John Peel and producers such as Stephen Street.

Janice Long's close association with The Smiths continues in her Dream Ticket programme where she plays some rare archive, including the Kilburn National Ballroom concert from 23 October 1986.

Many tracks from this concert were featured on the live album Rank. However, 6 Music brings listeners a chance to hear the entire concert and tracks omitted from the album.

Also featured is a concert recorded at the Wembley Arena on 17 November 1995.

Notes to Editors

6 Music is a BBC digital radio station that champions the very best in rock and popular music, and can be accessed via DAB digital radio, digital satellite television, Freeview, digital cable television and the internet at

Programming to celebrate The Smiths includes:

* John Peel Session, 2 December 1986 - Tx Monday 12 May, Mid Morning Show with Gideon Coe, 10.00am-1.00pm

* Morrissey Interview with Janice Long, 3 October 2002 - Tx Thursday 15 May, Mid Morning Show with Gideon Coe, 10.00am-1.00pm

* John Peel Session, 18 May 1983 - Tx Friday 16 May, Mid Morning Show with Gideon Coe, 10.00am-1.00pm

* The Smiths At The Beeb, 13 February 1994 - Tx Part One, Monday 12 May and Part Two, Tuesday 13 May, included in Tom Robinson Evening Sequence, 9.00pm-9:30pm

* Kilburn's National Ballroom Concert, 23 October 1986 - Tx Tuesday 13 May, Dream Ticket with Janice Long, 10.00pm-midnight

* Wembley Arena Concert, 17 November 1995 - Tx Wednesday 14 May Dream Ticket - Janice Long 10.00pm-midnight

* Tx Friday 18 May, Liz Kershaw from Salford Lads Club, 1.00-4.00pm

All the BBC's digital services are now available on Freeview, the new free-to-view digital terrestrial television service, as well as on satellite and cable.

Freeview offers the BBC's eight television channels, interactive services from BBCi, as well as 11 BBC radio networks.



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