Ian Curtis remembered

An interview with the Joy Division singer on the anniversary of his death.

Today is the 30th anniversary of the suicide of the Joy Division singer Ian Curtis. To mark the occasion, we have unearthed this 1980 recording from a Radio 1 interview with Curtis and a fellow band member, Stephen Morris.

 

In it, the presenter Richard Skinner asks the young Curtis what the band gained from emerging in isolation from the majority of London-based new wave acts, and who -- if anyone -- they were influenced by.

To the second question, Curtis responds: "I don't agree with occupying anything, or shoving things into little boxes. What we do is what we do. It's four people playing the sort of music they want to play."

And, for especially keen readers, here is the band's first appearance on television, introduced by the man who discovered them, the TV man and head of Factory Records, Tony Wilson.

 

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Cabinet audit: what does the appointment of Karen Bradley as Culture Secretary mean for policy?

The political and policy-based implications of the new Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.

The most politically charged of the culture minister's responsibilities is overseeing the BBC, and to anyone who works for - or simply loves - the national broadcaster, Karen Bradley has one big point in her favour. She is not John Whittingdale. Her predecessor as culture secretary was notorious for his belief that the BBC was a wasteful, over-mighty organisation which needed to be curbed. And he would have had ample opportunity to do this: the BBC's Charter is due for renewal next year, and the licence fee is only fixed until 2017. 

In her previous job at the Home Office, Karen Bradley gained a reputation as a calm, low-key minister. It now seems likely that the charter renewal will be accomplished with fewer frothing editorials about "BBC bias" and more attention to the challenges facing the organisation as viewing patterns fragment and increasing numbers of viewers move online.

Of the rest of the job, the tourism part just got easier: with the pound so weak, it will be easier to attract visitors to Britain from abroad. And as for press regulation, there is no word strong enough to describe how long the grass is into which it has been kicked.

Helen Lewis is deputy editor of the New Statesman. She has presented BBC Radio 4’s Week in Westminster and is a regular panellist on BBC1’s Sunday Politics.