Skip to main content
BFI logo











Screenonline banner
Club X (1989)

Courtesy of Channel 4 Television

Main image of Club X (1989)
Screenwish-Griffin for Channel 4, 26/4-27/9/1989
23 x 90 min editions, colour
DirectorTrevor Hampton
Executive ProducerAdam Clapham
Series EditorCharlie Parsons

Presenters: Martina Attille, Murray Boland, Joel Colman, Fou Fou L. Hunter, Regina Fong, Victor Lewis-Smith

Show full cast and credits

Arts and popular culture series aimed at a young audience.

Show full synopsis

Club X was a 90-minute late-night magazine programme with a loose arts and cultural agenda, aimed at a youthful audience. Edited by former NME journalist Charlie Parsons, who brought with him much of the rough-and-ready feel and visual style of the topical youth magazine Network 7 (Channel 4, 1987-88), on which he had been a producer, it was very much in the tradition of the anarchic late-night offerings of Channel 4's earlier years, such as Whatever You Want (1982-84), a tradition which later coalesced in The Word (1990-95).

Deliberately courting controversy, it made headlines as much for its chaotic presentation as for its content. The first edition was a disaster: under rehearsed, badly lit and with faulty sound, it might have caused more of a stir if anybody had been able to tell what was going on. The introduction of more pre-recorded, independently produced segments to break up the live base of the programme helped it to settle down a little, and regular providers of Channel 4 arts programming, such as After Image, supplied much of the content.

Probably the most memorable of the separately supplied elements was the regular 'Buygones' segment, produced and narrated by idiosyncratic TV critic Victor Lewis-Smith, which took a comic look at products from the past, including old television logos, and was frequently in trouble on grounds of taste.

The live elements included discussions, bands, modern dance, live theatre and artistic "happenings". One of the most talked about in this last category was the recreation of Yves Klein's 1960 performance piece 'Anthropometry', featuring nude female models painting with their bodies to a musical accompaniment. This was part of a programme with body art as its theme; other themes included prison and British national identity.

The main presenters were Murray Boland, Martine Attille and the incomparable Fou Fou L. Hunter, who personified the show's generally outrageous character.

Steve Bryant

Click titles to see or read more

Video Clips
Network 7 (1987-88)
Viva Cabaret! (1993-94)
Word, The (1990-95)