How Britpop Changed The Media

Sunday 5 January



Miranda Sawyer looks at Britpop's explosion into the mainstream alongside Young British Artists such as Damien Hirst (who studied at Goldsmith's college with Blur's Alex James and Graham Coxon) and new magazines like Loaded (started by ex-NME journalist James Brown).

The press realised that these musicians could shift papers and started putting them on the front covers, Tony Blair invited Noel Gallagher to Number 10, and magazines such as the Modern Review declared that pop music should be put on a cultural par with opera.

Miranda Sawyer says: "Britpop was more than Blur v Oasis. The explosion of alternative homegrown talent, of genuine British stars, forced the UK mainstream to change the way it viewed indie music. From being a niche experience, covered by specialist magazines, pop became our biggest culture, covered seriously by every media outlet from The Sun to the Economist. Britpop changed the media and it never changed back."

This documentary will be followed by a debate in Jeremy Vine’s Radio 2 show on Monday 7 April (12-2pm), looking at how Britpop changed Britain, and whether it was a force for good or bad.

Part of Britpop at the BBC, a week of programmes on Radio 2, 6 Music and BBC Four and at marking 20 years since the birth of Britpop.

Presenter/ Miranda Sawyer, Producer/ Jax Coombes for the BBC

BBC Radio 6 Music Publicity