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The Stranglers, the BBC & Punk Britannia

The final episode of ‘Punk Britannia’, BBC4’s indepth three part series documenting the history of the UK punk explosion,  was broadcast last night. Disappointingly, The Stranglers didn’t feature on any of the programmes apart from a brief interview clip of Hugh in the second episode.

Andy Dunn, the director of the first episode, wrote a blog about the series and, following many critical replies about the Stranglers’ omission, provided this response:

Now to what seem like the two main criticisms of the programmes so far transmitted…

For the record, I actually love The Stranglers’ music. I can assure you that there is no BBC-wide conscious effort to ignore the band. I can only speak for this series and offer an explanation of why they didn’t feature in Punk Britannia.

This had nothing to do with whether The Stranglers were ‘punk’ or not, many of the bands included were not pure punk in this sense – it was simply down to the fact that in the course of editing down hundreds of hours of raw material, they just didn’t ‘fit’ the story at the various points they could have been featured.

I think this is testament to the unique nature of the band, their origins and their music. There were other artists and bands we had filmed interviews with who also didn’t make the cut. It happens every time we make these series unfortunately, we can never include everything and the natural selection of making a coherent argument sometimes has this result.

I can only apologise to viewers who were disappointed to not see their favourite band in the programmes…

Hopefully the BBC will, in some way,  make amends for overlooking the band who were widely considered as one of the most important of the whole punk/new wave explosion.

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