Chips Showband on Spectrum

Chips Showband on Spectrum

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Northern Ireland




Production 20/08/1971


25min 27sec


mute, sound



black and white


Digitised as part of the UTV Archive Partnership Project (ITV, Northern Ireland Screen and PRONI)


Department for Communities, ITV, Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, UTV Archive

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Spectrum was an arts show which ran on Ulster Television from 1971 until the end of the 80s. In this edition presenter Derek Kinnen follows Chips, a Northern Irish showband, on the road. Unusually for the time, Chips performed with two female singers rather than the more familiar all-male line-ups. And the normal convention of matching suits was also ditched in favour of a much more recognisable rock look of the late 60s/early 70s.

Although the actual broadcast edition of the programme is missing from the archives, these extensive filmed inserts show the band heading out in their tour van, setting up, rehearsing and sound-checking, eating meals and playing before packed dancehalls. Before packing up and moving onto the next venue.

All six members of the band - Robin Irvine (bass), Paul Lyttle (guitar), Linda Martin (vocals), Annie Ferguson (vocals), Adrian Mullen (keyboards) and Robin Lavery (drums) - are interviewed for the programme about the strains of being in a touring band. Meanwhile, Derek Kinnen sets aside his interviewer role to fully let his hair down and is caught on camera fairly grooving away while Chips perform at night.

Chips would go onto perform well into the 1980s through many different line-up changes. However, singer Linda Martin transcended the small-time fame with the band when she became a household name through the Eurovision Song Contest. Having failed to win the Irish heat four times with Chips, Linda found success in 1984 as a solo artist and went on to finish second in Eurovision itself. However, in 1992 she became the first person to come back from runner-up disappointment and win the contest when she sang a song written by Johnny Logan, Why Me?


An Ulster Television Production.

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