E4 Music (E4, 2005-2009)
When E4 launched in January 2001, it was one of the earliest spin-off digital channels from Channel 4. Although this had a 24-hour slot, they actually didn’t show programming all day, usually running trails for several hours, before starting in the afternoon. After a while, someone realised that this downtime could be used to feature live coverage from the Big Brother house to compliment the main show.
However, because the antics of the housemates were often so crazy for that time of day, they would have little choice but to show a shot of a chair accompanied by minimal sound most of the time, so little extra insight would end up being gained by viewers. In the time when this wasn’t running, in 2005, E4 decided that they would try something different in this slot.
E4 Music was a strand that would be notable for various reasons. These include a rather amusing trail for all this around the launch, which insisted that this idea had been around since 1886, accompanied by Patrick Allen and his lovely voice. But this would be an opportunity to show new music videos, along with live performances from the archive. And you could watch it all again on +1.
There would be various themed hours, such as videos of songs in the same genre, or even some that were picked by a guest pop star. There would be various hosts for this, and these included George Lamb, and Sarah Hendy, who had caused something of a stir on Price-Drop.TV of course, and looked destined for further hosting jobs (she was also on BBC3 around this time), before she just vanished from the screen one day.
There would also be the sort-of spin-off show Freshly Squeezed, featuring the best new music videos, which was usually shown very early on weekday mornings on Channel 4. I suppose that looking back now, this was the third generation of music channels on TV in this country. If the first was the likes of Sky Trax and Music Box in the 80s, and the second was MTV and UK Play in the 90s, then this along with TMF and The Hits was the 2000s.
The days when they would show videos by successful indie bands, it all seems to long ago now. E4 Music came to an end following the launch of the 4Music channel, which could show music videos all day, and was a great idea, and this allowed E4 to now fill their morning slot with repeats of The Big Bang Theory. The slight flaw though was that they barely showed any videos, and this channel closed rather recently.