Advanced Television

Tony Blackburn to launch That’s 60s channel

January 6, 2023

By Nik Roseveare

Legendary TV and radio personality Tony Blackburn – who was the first ever Radio 1 DJ back in 1967 – will become the first presenter on That’s 60s, a new TV channel dedicated to the 1960s.

Blackburn when present the first show on That’s 60s when it launches tonight (January 6th) at 6pm. Blackburn has chosen Flowers in the Rain by The Move as the first song to be played on That’s 60s in a nod to his historic first Radio 1 show, where the same track was the first single played on the station.

That’s 60s bills itself as the first ever TV channel in the UK focused on the music of the ‘swinging’ 60s and will broadcast round-the-clock with performances from the artists of the era and some special curated shows hosted by legends who lived through the decade. Whilst music videos were not always produced by recording artists until later decades, That’s 60s plans to show many live band performances made for TV shows around the world during the 60s.

That’s 60s Head of Programming, Kris Vaiksalu, commented: “We’re excited to be able to showcase some of the greatest bands in pop history. That’s 60s will tap into the 60s spirit with performances of the songs which we all grew up listening to. There was a real sense of hope and idealism in the 60s which is infectious when you watch the acts of the time. Many of these performances are of real historic interest, reflecting the 60s pop revolution. For those who were there, this is a chance to reminisce about their favourite acts and relive a time when love was in the air and flowers in the hair.”

Blackburn, who celebrates his 80th birthday later this month, added: “I loved the 60s because I was young and I was having a ball. I was a singer in a dance band in Bournemouth, then I went on to be a DJ on Radio Caroline, Big L Radio London and Radio Luxembourg and I opened up Radio 1. On That’s 60s I’ll be playing some of the wonderful music we had and talking all about it. I mean it’s the 60s – what more could you ask! It’s the best decade ever.”

That’s 60s will broadcast across the UK on Freeview channel 75, Sky channel 366 and Freesat channel 506. The new channel is taking over the national Freeview capacity previously allocated to Smithsonian, the documentary channel, which ended broadcasts this week. That’s 60s will be funded by commercial advertising with all of its breaks already fully sold at launch.

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