The Banned (EastEnders)

The Banned were a fictional band in the popular BBC soap opera "EastEnders". The storyline aired in 1986 and although it was considered to be a failure on-screen, it nevertheless became a successful part of the serial's extensive merchandising industry that year, as it spawned two hit singles in the UK music chart.

toryline development and impact

In 1986, the creators of "EastEnders", scriptwriter Tony Holland and producer Julia Smith, decided to tackle "an important and complicated story about the ups and downs of a pop group."cite book |last=Smith|first= Julia|authorlink= Julia Smith|coauthors=Holland, Tony|title= EastEnders - The Inside Story |year=1987|publisher=Book Club Associates|id=ISBN 0-563-20601-2] The idea was considered to be an "interesting and major undertaking" in the serial. It featured the majority of teenage characters in the soap at the time. Prominent characters such as Sharon Watts, Ian Beale, Simon Wicks and Kelvin Carpenter, were joined by several new characters, introduced especially for the storyline, including "lefty-student stereotype" Harry Reynolds.cite news|url= http://arts.guardian.co.uk/features/story/0,,1157886,00.html|title=Soundtrack of their lives|publisher="The Guardian"|accessdate=2007-10-21] cite book |last=Brake|first= Colin|authorlink= Colin Brake|title= |year=1995|publisher=BBC Books|id=ISBN 0-563-37057-2] Actors such as Paul Medford, Letitia Dean and Nick Berry (Kelvin, Sharon and Simon) were musically trained, having attended London stage schools. [cite news|url= http://www.sylviayoungtheatreschool.co.uk/pages/satsch.html|title=Sylvia Young Theatre School|publisher="www.sylviayoungtheatreschool.co.uk"|accessdate=2007-10-21] They were chosen as the group's singers, naming thelmselves "The Banned" after they were kicked out of the Queen Victoria pub. [cite news|url= http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_pictures/4244197.stm|title=In pictures: EastEnders' 20 years (pic no.2)|publisher="BBC"|accessdate=2007-10-21]

The storyline proved to be a successful merchandising tool for the serial, as it spawned two hit singles in the "real world". Actor Nick Berry released a ballad entitled "Every Loser Wins" in October 1986, having previously sung the song in character on-screen (accompanied by a piano). [cite news|url= http://www.guardian.co.uk/netnotes/article/0,,606462,00.html|title=Singing thespians)|publisher="The Guardian"|accessdate=2007-10-21] The song was written and produced by Simon May, who famously composed the "EastEnders" theme tune. "Every Loser Wins" was a smash hit, reaching number 1 in the UK singles chart, where it stayed for three weeks, knocking Madonna's "True Blue" off the top spot. [cite news|url= http://www.btinternet.com/~nadine.heartbeat/popstars.htm|title=HEARTBEAT'S POP STARS|accessdate=2007-10-21] It was the second biggest-selling single in the UK that year after "Don't Leave Me This Way" by The Communards, and held the record as the highest climbing chart single ever until 2001, when it was eclipsed by "It's the Way You Make Me Feel" by Steps (which climbed from 72-2). [cite news|url= http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4158/is_20010112/ai_n9665472|title=Pop: UK Charts|publisher="The Independent"|accessdate=2007-10-21] "Every Loser Wins" sold over a million copies and earned composer Simon May an Ivor Novello award. [cite news|url= http://64.233.183.104/search?q=cache:gMTF3B4MTN4J:www.cityspeakersinternational.co.uk/speakers/speaker_simon_may.php+eastenders+every+loser+wins&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=7&gl=uk|title=Simon May|publisher="www.cityspeakersinternational.co.uk"|accessdate=2007-10-21] The song "also provided levity" on-screen, when it was used as Lofty Holloway's break-up song after Michelle Fowler had jilted him at the altar. One critic has commented " [Lofty] played it to death. He played it so much it caused Dirty Den to ask whether he had any other records". The second song "Something Outa Nothing" (also performed in the on-screen serial) was released by Leitia Dean and Paul Medford. The song was a modest success, making number 12 in the UK singles chart in November 1986. [cite news|url= http://news.bbc.co.uk/cbbcnews/hi/music/newsid_2840000/2840293.stm|title=Soap stars turned pop stars |publisher="CBBC Newsround"|accessdate=2007-10-21]

Although the plot produced two hit singles in the real world, the actual storyline was not a great success with viewers. "EastEnders" creators Julia Smith and Tony Holland both felt it lacked credibility and branded it an experiment that failed. The plot has since been described as "an horrific scenario where fact and soap merged in messy fashion to give the fictional band a real-life hit with the appalling Something Out Of Nothing." The songs, which "were recorded when the show was riding high on huge ratings success", have not aged well in critical opinion.cite news|url= http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,,1417905,00.html|title=After 20 years, is EastEnders going south?|publisher="The Guardian"|accessdate=2007-10-21] A critic for "The Guardian" newspaper has commented that "The Banned" was "EastEnders"' "Eighties bid to add a pop angle to their socially conscious template", which "went down like the proverbial ton of bricks". The critic goes on to say: "Worse was the record; an acne-scarred 'song' of no merit whatsoever, called 'Something Out of Nothing'. You said it, kid." In 2004, "Something Outa Nothing" was voted the 9th worst single ever released by a soap star. [cite news|url= http://observer.guardian.co.uk/omm/the10/story/0,,1349871,00.html|title=The 10 worst soap singers|publisher="The Guardian"|accessdate=2007-10-21] Though extremely popular at the time, "Every Loser Wins" has since been branded "a tuneless ode".

Plot

The band started life off-screen, where Simon Wicks and Eddie Hunter were members. Before Simon came to Walford, he had borrowed money from loan sharks and was left owing them huge amounts of money that he couldn't pay back. Eddie was happy to leave Simon with the debt and disappeared to work as a redcoat in Clacton, so the band dissolved. However, when the debts were finally repaid, Simon decided to regroup and he contacted Eddie to rejoin the band.

The reformed group consisted of Simon, Eddie, Kelvin Carpenter, Sharon Watts, Ian Beale and Harry Reynolds. They initially called themselves Dog Market, after dismissing Sharon's "So So Reverso" and Simon's "Bottled Up", "Left Of Arthur" (a reference to Arthur Scargill), "Congical Rights" and Lofty's "The Harry Reynolds Quartet". Eddie was the lead guitarist. Kelvin's girlfriend, Tessa Parker, also wanted to join, but she had no musical talent and was refused membership.

They were due to have their debut in The Queen Vic in August 1986, but after their enormous amplifier fused the electrics in The Vic, publican Den Watts threw them out and shouted after them "You're banned!", after which the group changed their name to The Banned.

Simon and Harry began to disagree with the direction the band was taking. Harry had lost his argument to make the band a vehicle for communist propaganda and blamed Wicksy for the band taking a more practical attitude. They all decided to enter a competition for young musicians, and both Harry and Simon vowed to outdo each other by writing the best song to perform. The rest of the band all preferred Simon's song, "Something Outa Nothing", which infuriated Harry and he started bad-mouthing him to the rest of the band, saying he was superflous and a closet BBC Radio 2 listener. Simon then declared that the band had to choose between him and Harry, but as Harry owned all the instruments and equipment, they sided with him and Simon quit. Simon wrote his own solo song called "Every Loser Wins". He didn't get very far however, and by the end of the year he'd given up his dream of becoming a musician.

Simon allowed the band to continue using his song, "Something Outa Nothing", for the competition. The day of the competition came and for some reason Harry, who was a political activist, decided to sabotage their performance by switching the cartridge in the synthesizer, wrecking any hopes the group had of getting anywhere. They were humiliated, and the rest of the band were furious when Harry confessed that he sabotaged their performance to show them up.

pecially introduced characters

As well as the regular characters featured in the storyline (Sharon, Simon, Ian and Kelvin), a number of new characters were introduced specifically for the duration of the storyline.

Harry Reynolds

Infobox EastEnders character


character_name=Harry Reynolds
actor_name=Gareth Potter
years=1986
first=10 June 1986
last=30 October 1986
dob=
status=Single
occupation=Student
family=

Harry Reynolds was a college friend of Kelvin Carpenter who first appeared along with Tessa Parker in June 1986. Both Harry and Tessa had radical Marxist beliefs and it wasn't long before they managed to recruit Kelvin to the same way of thinking.

Soon after his arrival, Harry, Kelvin and several other Walford youths decided to form a band. Harry was the manager, Ian Beale played drums, Sharon Watts and Kelvin provided vocals, Simon Wicks played the keyboard and Eddie Hunter was the lead guitarist. Harry and Kelvin decided that the band's music should demonstrate "decay in the capitalistic society" and have a strong political message.

Simon and Harry began to disagree with the direction the band was taking. Harry had lost his argument to make the band a vehicle for communist propaganda and blamed Wicksy for the band taking a more practical attitude. They all decided to enter a competition for young musicians, and both Harry and Simon vowed to outdo each other by writing the best song to perform. The rest of the band all preferred Simon's song, which infuriated Harry and he started bad-mouthing him to the rest of the band, saying he was superfluous and a closet BBC Radio 2 listener. Simon then declared that the band had to choose between him and Harry, but as Harry owned all the instruments and equipment, they sided with him and Simon quit. On the day of the competition, Harry decided to sabotage the band's performance by switching the cartridge in the synthesizer, wrecking any hopes the group had of getting anywhere. The rest of the band were furious, particularly when Harry confessed that he did it to show them up. Harry was shunned after this and was not seen in Walford again. His last appearance was in October 1986.

Tessa Parker

Infobox EastEnders character


character_name=Tessa Parker
actor_name=Josephine Melville
years=1986
first=10 June 1986
last=10 July 1986
dob=
status=Single
occupation=Student
family=

Tessa Parker was a college friend of Kelvin Carpenter and Harry Reynolds who first appeared in June 1986. Both Harry and Tessa had radical Marxist beliefs and it wasn't long before they managed to recruit Kelvin to the same way of thinking. Tessa soon discovered that she and Kelvin had more in common than their beliefs. She found him attractive and they started dating.

Their romance quickly faded when Kelvin became more interested in pop music than overthrowing the Thatcher government. He sang with a group known as Dog Market and its successor, The Banned. Tessa secretly wanted to be in the group but she had no musical talent and was refused membership. She quietly left Albert Square when Kelvin told her it was time for them to "pack it in". Her last appearance was in July 1986.

Eddie Hunter

Infobox EastEnders character


character_name=Eddie Hunter
actor_name=Simon Henderson
years=1986–1987
first=19 June 1986
last=15 January 1987
dob=
status= Single
occupation=Musician
family=

Eddie Hunter was a flamboyantly dressed friend of Simon Wicks and he was first seen in Albert Square in June 1986. Eddie and Simon were part of a band, and before Simon came to Walford, he had borrowed money from loan sharks and was left owing them huge amounts of money that he couldn't pay back. Eddie was happy to leave Simon with the debt and disappeared to work as a redcoat in Clacton, so the band dissolved. However, when the debts were finally repaid, Simon decided to regroup and he contacted Eddie to rejoin the band. The reformed group, known as "The Banned", consisted of Simon, Eddie, Kelvin Carpenter, Sharon Watts, Ian Beale and Harry Reynolds. Eddie was the lead guitarist.

The Banned took part in a competition for a music contract, but Harry, who was a political activist, sabotaged their performance and they ended up being booed off stage. The Banned split up after this and Eddie disappeared. His last appearance was in January 1987 when he attended Kelvin's eighteenth birthday party.

References


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • EastEnders — The current opening title sequence of EastEnders.[1] Genre Soap opera …   Wikipedia

  • EastEnders merchandise — refers to products relating to the popular BBC soap opera EastEnders that have been available for purchase.During the run up to the first episode of EastEnders in 1985, interest with the public was already high, something which continued… …   Wikipedia

  • EastEnders episodes in Ireland — In 1997, the BBC soap opera EastEnders broadcast three singular transmissions that were filmed on location in Dublin, Ireland. The episodes involved the Fowler and Beale family travelling from London to the Emerald Isle , to meet their long lost… …   Wikipedia

  • The Sun — Infobox Newspaper name = The Sun caption = The Sun in January 2005, featuring Prince Harry in nazi costume. type = Daily newspaper available Monday to Saturday except Christmas Day. format = Tabloid foundation = 1964 owners = News International… …   Wikipedia

  • List of EastEnders characters (1986) — The following is a list of characters that first appeared in the BBC soap opera EastEnders in 1986, by order of first appearance. Contents 1 John Fisher 2 Jan Hammond 3 Brad Williams …   Wikipedia

  • List of EastEnders characters (2010) — The following is a list of characters who first appeared or are due to appear in the BBC soap opera EastEnders in 2010, by order of first appearance. Executive producer Diederick Santer left EastEnders on 26 February 2010, handing over to Bryan… …   Wikipedia

  • List of EastEnders characters (2009) — EastEnders is a long running BBC soap opera from the United Kingdom. This is a list of characters who first appeared on the programme during 2009, listed in order of their first appearance. They were all introduced by the show s executive… …   Wikipedia

  • List of EastEnders characters (1985) — The following is a list of characters that first appeared in the BBC soap opera EastEnders in 1985, by order of first appearance. They were all introduced by executive producer Julia Smith. The first episode of EastEnders was broadcast on 19… …   Wikipedia

  • List of EastEnders characters (2008) — The following is a list of characters that first appeared in the BBC soap opera EastEnders in 2008, by order of first appearance. All characters were introduced by executive producer Diederick Santer. He introduced four characters in January: Mr… …   Wikipedia

  • List of EastEnders characters (2011) — The following is a list of characters who first appeared or are due to appear in the BBC soap opera EastEnders in 2011, by order of first appearance. All characters are introduced by the series executive producer, Bryan Kirkwood. The first main… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.