Professor of English and Cultural History, Joe Moran, has just released his latest book, ‘Armchair Nation: An Intimate History of Britain in Front of the TV’, which tells the story of television over the generations.
A follow-up to his critically-acclaimed book, ‘Queuing for Beginners’, Joe’s fascinating and perceptive observations on British life chart viewing habits and programme developments throughout the years, covering major milestones such as the Queen’s Coronation and the first televised FA Cup Final in 1953, the first moon landing, telly going colour, Ted Heath’s proposed 10.30pm TV curfew in 1973, the popularity of the Sopranos and US imports of the ‘naughties’ and the impact shows like the X Factor has had on the viewing public.
Read a full review of the book here from Saturday’s Observer
Commenting on the book, Joe said:
“It’s not so much a history of TV as a history of watching TV. The challenge for me was to write about something that is such an everyday feature of most of our lives but which has not always left behind much historical evidence because it’s such an ephemeral and supposedly trivial activity. And in many cases the programmes people watched aren’t available either, particularly before the 1960s when almost all broadcasts were live. So I’ve had to tell the story partly by drawing on archives like Mass Observation and the BBC Written Archives and on fragmentary accounts in diaries, letters, newspapers and magazines.”
Joe appeared on the BBC Radio 4 programme Loose Ends on Saturday 5 October to discuss his new book Armchair Nation. The programme is being repeated on Monday 7 October at 11.15am and 9.15pm and on Tuesday 8 October at 4.15pm on Radio 4 Extra. You can also listen to it on iPlayer.
On Monday 23 September, Joe also appeared on Lauren Laverne’s morning show on BBC Radio 6Music.