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ÒWE WERE MAKING IT UP AS WE WENT ALONG Ð THERE WERE NO RULES IN THE 60S.Ó hurriedly given a religious angle. “On one show, I was doing this item about how unhappy drugs made people when someone rushed over with a card that said, ‘Mention God!’” she recalls. Sunday Break got Bakewell noticed and she joined the roster of presenters on BBC Two’s live arts show, Late Night Line-Up. “Television at the time was open for young people – I hit the right moment,” she recalls. “We were making it up as we went along – there were no rules in the 60s.” Bakewell became one of the defining television figures of the decade; “intelligent and the epitome of 60s chic – a  Mary Quant  for the chattering classes”, according to the British Film Institute. Late Night Line-Up had its fingers on the cultural pulse, with items on everything from Hollywood movies to avant-garde composer Karlheinz Stockhausen, via counter-culture writer Allen Ginsberg. “It was quite lively – and drink had often been taken, too,” laughs Bakewell. The show was known for its trenchant criticism of artists. “We were pushing the barriers all the time – pushing our luck actually. We always said, ‘If we’re

offending people, we’re doing something right,’” notes Bakewell. It also had a sense of fun: moral campaigner Mary Whitehouse was dispatched to review the nude revue show Oh! Calcutta!. Years before ‘fake news’, one Late Night Line-Up prank showed how news could be fabricated. Bakewell takes up the story: “We paid an actress, dressed her in frumpy clothes and gave her an umbrella. [Director] Ken Russell and the Evening Standard’s [critic] Alexander Walker were discussing a film when she broke into the studio and started beating them up with her umbrella. It was front page news the next day – and then we revealed we'd fixed it. Of course, we got into terrible trouble.”

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Profile for BAFTA

Virgin Media British Academy Television Awards in 2019 programme  

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