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The Old Grey Whistle Test

The Old Grey Whistle Test was a long-running BBC popular music show of the 1970s and 1980s, which concentrated on "serious" rock music rather than chart hits. This was emphasised by the lack of showbiz glitter; bands would often perform their songs in front of plain wooden boards (actually the backs of set walls from other programmes). The show's presenter for much of its run was "Whispering" Bob Harris, whose hippy-style beard and laid-back presentation made him a favourite target for parody, most notably by Eric Idle on Rutland Weekend Television[?].

The title came from a story about a grey-haired old janitor at a theatre; if the janitor was heard whistling a tune he had heard performed on stage, it was deemed memorable enough to be a hit



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