1 9 8 5 – 1 9 8 7 (Australia)
Though ostensibly a music TV programme, this Saturday afternoon show from the Australian ABC network was the first Aussie show which really did go out and talk to kids about important things.
Launched in May 1985, Beatbox was put together by a cooperative of young unemployed people from Sydney’s western suburbs and ABC staff. Produced with funding from the Federal Government’s Community Employment Grant (CEP), the show courted controversy from the start.
The ABC supplied eight of its own people – camera crew, directors, producers, as well as editing and studio facilities. A $230,000 CEP grant paid for unskilled young people to become researchers, producers assistants and office staff.
Although the series tackled many relevant issues, such as vandalism, racism, sexism, and street gangs, it was primarily a music show. However, the programme’s music policy didn’t meet with much delight from the music industry because it wouldn’t play the latest singles or albums.
Beatbox was eventually replaced by The Factory, hosted by Andrew Daddo and Alex Papps.