David Hepworth

Liam Lonegran 22/07/2009

GIITTV's Liam Lonegran caught up with David Hepworth (media figurehead...writes for The Word magazine ( and used to present The Old Grey Whistle Test)

Out of today's rag-tag assortment of artists, who will have a lasting legacy? Here's Kayne Wests summation: ''I look at our current superstars like legends in the making … Like Justin is the new Mike, Beyoncé's the new Tina Turner, [Lady] Gaga's Madonna, Jay is Sinatra … Wayne is Hendrix, [Radiohead's] Thom Yorke is [Pink Floyd's] Roger Waters, these are the champions and should be documented as such.'' Agree?

I think it's difficult to imagine them having the same resonance in the future because the landscape is so crowded nowadays. The giants of yesteryear appear even more gigantic because they put their stamp on their genres at the outset.

Did Glastonbury's headliners deliver?

I wasn't there but from what I gather Neil Young judged the requirements of the occasion perfectly whereas Bruce Springsteen didn't, which is pretty disappointing when you consider how good he is at this kind of thing usually. From what I gather he thought he was playing for his fans, which is not really the point at festivals. I'm the world's worst festival and outdoor gig goer but I do know it's all about giving the crowd some part in the spectacle, not about playing your new album.

What fledgling festivals deserve our attention?

No idea.

Other than The Word, what entertainment publications are worthy of our pocket money ?

The New Yorker.

Who are the leading lights of the year of our lord, 2009? (pick one artist, musician, comedian, actor, writer and sex pot)

I honestly find it impossible to think in terms of years but recently I've loved Edie Falco in "Nurse Jackie", Patrick Hennessey's "The Junior Officer's Reading Club" and the record by Mulatu Astatke and the Heliocentrics. I think we could all do to take a rest from comedians for a year or so. There are too many of them and they're all jamming the same frequency.

Do you think British comedy has invested too much effort in 'dangerous gag making''?

The people who run TV and radio are obsessed with "edginess" and that has a cost. The really interesting thing about the Russell Brand/Jonathan Ross business is that it was the inevitable consequence of two blokes who'd been encouraged to believe that they were hilarious when they were actually just mouthy.

Name 4 people (living) who are truly revolutionary (any area of interest)

I refer you to the words of Chou En-Lai. When asked what were the main outcomes of the French Revolution he said "too soon to tell".

A word that makes you wince and a word that makes you spill? (see examples @:

The word that makes me wince is "aspirational". Magazine people use it all the time to give them an excuse to do pieces that the readers aren't interested in. My favourite word is "profanity". Seems to put vulgarity in its place.