More TV Memories – Pop-Up Video UK.

Pop-Up Video UK (Channel 4, 1999ish?)

Around the late-90s/early-2000s, there were two late-night strands on Channel 4 which featured various shows. One of these was 4Later, and the other one was 4Music, before that was turned into a full channel (which actually features very little music content, but let’s not have that debate right now). This strand featured concerts, interviews, and so on, from up-and-coming bands in various genres (original programming on Channel 4 beyond midnight, who could believe it).

This show also featured. In the mid-90s, music channel VH1 launched Pop-Up Video. And after a while, a British version was made, and shown as part of the 4Music strand. The idea of this show was sort-of like the fact boxes that used to appear on The Chart Show, but taken to the extreme. In every edition of Pop-Up Video UK, about four or five music videos from the archive would be shown.

Sometimes these could be themed specials, such as the acts featured all coming from the same country, or all having a hit in the same decade, or just totally at random. This would begin with the basics like the name of the song, and the director of the video. And during the video, facts would suddenly appear on the screen in a box (which suitably made a “pop”-type noise).

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This could be some information about the song, how the video was put together, what the group are up to nowadays, just anything that could be interesting. This would be accompanied by a symbol showing what category the fact was in (they were all facts, weren’t they?), and concluded with one more box after the video ended. A lot of research clearly went into making this.

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And of course, as I am a fan of useless pop trivia, I was definitely interested in watching this one. Pop-Up Video did do well on VH1, and there were some spin-off series, along with a revival in more recent years. I never had access to this channel though, only ever seeing the British remake. I also remember that as part of the DVD box set of the third series of The Simpsons there is a rather good extra.

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For the “Colonel Homer” episode, facts appear on the screen in the Pop-Up Video style throughout. I thought that this was a rather good idea, but as far as I know, this was the only episode that received this treatment. I don’t think that the British version attracted too much interest, because it was shown in such a late-night slot, but I do feel that it was a worthwhile idea.