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DOCUMENTARY: Peter Kay: Raider of The Pop Charts
On: Channel 4 (104)
Date: Sunday 15th March 2009 (0 minutes left :P)
Time: 21:00 to 22:00 (1 hour long)
For Comic Relief - Documentary which reveals the untold story of how award-winning comedian Peter Kay became an unlikely pop idol, notching up an amazing five top 40 hits, including three top-ten singles and two number ones; and over a million recorded sales.
Kay's star-studded Comic Relief video Is This the Way to Amarillo? became a national phenomenon in 2005, staying at the top of the charts for an incredible seven weeks, making it not only the biggest selling song of that year but also raising over 1.5 million pounds for the charity. In this documentary, producer Richard Curtis says this was a remarkable amount for one man to achieve, and Sir Michael Parkinson, Gary Barlow, Tony Christie (who sang the original song) and Peter Kay all discuss the phenomenal success of Amarillo.
The documentary offers a rare glimpse into the making of the video and also reveals how the idea came about and why it was almost abandoned midway through the shoot due to a lack of celebrities.
The re-release of Amarillo also resurrected the career of the Yorkshire-born singer Tony Christie, who was semi-retired and living in Spain. Its success put him back in spotlight and also in The Guinness Book of Records as the artist with the longest time spent between the release of a track and it eventually reaching number one: a staggering 33 years, three months and 27 days. He was also the first British artist to score a hat-trick by securing the number-one download, album and single simultaneously across all three charts.
But it was the surreal mix of British celebrities that catapulted the video into the hearts of the British public, with appearances from icons such as Sir Jimmy Savile, Shakin' Stevens, Orville, Bungle and Mr Blobby, as well as an unforgettable disappearance from Ronnie Corbett that created one of the TV's most memorable moments. The public responded by creating their own copycat versions of Amarillo, which took the internet by storm, including an unforgettable version made by British soldiers stationed in Iraq that was so successful it crashed the computer system at British Ministry of Defence.
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