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Page last updated at 09:52 GMT, Saturday, 16 October 2010 10:52 UK
Music show The Beat celebrates 20 years on air
Emma Clifford and Dean Jackson
Emma Clifford and Dean Jackson have worked together for 20 years

BBC music show The Beat is celebrating 20 years on air.

Both its current presenters, Dean Jackson and Emma Clifford, have been with the programme from the start.

Dean said: "Looking back at the guests we've had on the show and the events with which we've been involved, it has been fantastically exciting."

The show is mix of new music, local newcomers and international superstars, broadcast across the East Midlands every Saturday from 6.00pm to 10.00pm.

The Beat's first ever programme was broadcast on Saturday, 13 October 1990.

"It only feels like five minutes since we started," added Dean.

Within the first few weeks on air guests had included The Prodigy, Radiohead and Nirvana.

The Nirvana interview is believed to be the only one Kurt Cobain did on UK radio.

Before they were famous

International superstars Coldplay, The Stereophonics and Glasvegas are just three of the hundreds of artists who have played on The Beat before they were famous.

The XX and The Beat
This year's Mercury Award winning band, The XX, turned up at my house with a truck load of equipment - by mistake. They were meant to be at the radio station several hours later with a few acoustic guitars but a glitch at the record company resulted in the crossed wires
Presenter Dean Jackson

All three presented the programme with gold discs as a 'thank you' when they became successful.

The Beat also supported Take That well before they were signed.

The boys agreed to play on The Beat's stage at The Riverside Festival in 1991.

Between being booked and the date arriving, they had gathered an enormous following.

They plugged the event on a national TV programme on the morning before the show and it was decided the BBC stage would have to be moved from 11 feet from the River Trent to its own field.

Dean remembered: "A good job as thousands of screaming fans turned up."

One of Dean's most memorable interviews was with REM's Michael Stipe in 2005.

Dean said: "They played [Nottingham Forest's] City Ground as part of a 200-plus date world tour.

"Despite initially saying that they would do no interviews on that tour, the band asked the record company to sort one out with The Beat.

"During the course of the interview Michael Stipe impressed Emma and I with his knowledge of The Beat. Turns out he listened online!"

Local bands on stage

The Beat has supported the local music scene from the outset.

In 1991 they staged their first concert for local bands at Nottingham's YMCA and have organised many more since.

Richard Bacon and The Beat
BBC Radio 5Live's Richard Bacon used to be a member of The Beat. In homage to East 17, Richard and fellow Beat team member Paul Randall formed a rap duo - initially called NG6 but later "The Bulwell Blasters" and performed their only song "Checkmate" (about the delights of chess!) to hundreds of screaming girls (and Peter Andre watching in the wings) at a Beat roadshow in Wollaton Park in 1996.
Presenter Dean Jackson

More than 20,000 people turned up to see a selection of bands when The Beat teamed up with Nottingham City Council to stage a concert to reopen the Market Square in 2007.

This summer the music show put local bands on stage at more than a dozen festivals.

The Beat's next local showcase is at Nottingham Contemporary as part of Hockley Hustle on Sunday, 24 October.

Four years ago the programme became part of the new "BBC Introducing" family.

Through this they have sent local bands, including Dog Is Dead and Fists, to play at Glastonbury and other major music festivals as well as getting local bands, such as We Show Up on Radar and Yunioshi sessions at the BBC's legendary Madia Vale studios in London.

Latest edition

You can listen to BBC Radio Nottingham's The Beat with Dean Jackson every Saturday night from 6.00pm - 10.00pm (103.8, 95.5FM, 1584AM and DAB).

Listen to the latest edition of The Beat on the BBC iPlayer.




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