1 9 8 3 – 1 9 8 8 (USA)
50 x 30 minute episodes
It is hard to imagine today what an impact the music video had on televised music during the 1980s. The arrival of the latest video from one of the major artists was quite an event at the time – much like the premiere of a film – and with record companies now ploughing serious money into these promotional vehicles, many turned out to be little works of art.
Devised and presented by Jonathan King, the BBC2 series Entertainment USA made good use of them, unveiling the latest American releases alongside Hollywood gossip and features on American television, films, life and leisure.
Ostensibly an extension of the regular American reports he provided for Top Of The Pops, King presented the show from a different location each week as he travelled around the US.
He would review each town like a travelogue – King called himself “The Rock ‘n’ Roll Alan Whicker” – and speak with a few local “characters” and eccentrics.
The theme tune – I’ll Slap Your Face – was also composed by King.
In September 2001, King was convicted on a number of counts of indecent assault against five boys aged 14 and 15. He was sentenced to seven years in prison, placed on the Sex Offenders Register, and prohibited from working with children. He was released on parole in March 2005, strongly proclaiming his innocence.