Television Personalities

This article is about the band. For the concept, see Television personalities.
Television Personalities
Origin England
Genres Post-punk, punk, mod revival, psychedelia, new wave,[1][2] indie pop
Years active 1978 (1978)–1998, 2004-2011
Labels Little Teddy Recordings
Domino Records
Rocket Girl
Rough Trade Records
Fire Records (UK)
Associated acts
  • Dan Treacy
  • Texas Bob Juarez
  • Mike Stone
  • Arnau Obiols
Past members

Victoria Yeulet

The Television Personalities were an English post-punk band formed in 1978. The band was led by singer-songwriter Dan Treacy.


The band's first release was in January 1978 with the single "14th Floor"/"Oxford Street W1", while their second, the EP Where's Bill Grundy Now? features one of their best-known songs, "Part Time Punks".

In the middle of 1980, the Television Personalities made their live debut following the recruitment of Joe Foster on bass and Mark Sheppard (known as Empire) on drums. This line-up was short-lived, reportedly due to differences in opinion between Foster and Sheppard, resulting in Joe's departure. Prior to this, Dan and Mark helped out with Joe's solo project, the Missing Scientists, which also included Mute Records boss Daniel Miller. The Television Personalities' first album ...And Don't The Kids Just Love It was released in 1981. It set the template for their subsequent career: neo-psychedelia, an obsession with youth culture of the 1960s, a fey, slightly camp lyrical attitude, and the occasional classic pop song. Their second album Mummy Your Not Watching Me [sic] demonstrated increased psychedelic influences. Their third album, entitled They Could Have Been Bigger Than The Beatles showed Treacy's sense of humour; the TVPs were never to have any major commercial success in the UK – although their albums sold respectably in Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands. The first three albums featured Treacy and schoolmate Ed Ball; Ball left the band to found The Times, but rejoined in 2004.

The band were offered the support slot on Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour's 1984 UK solo dates, but were promptly dropped after reading out former Pink Floyd member Syd Barrett's home address.[3]

The 1984 album The Painted Word was unexpectedly dark in content, reflecting Treacy's despair at Thatcherite Britain and his personal circumstances.

Various lineup changes prevented their next album (Privilege) from appearing until 1990. Their subsequent album Closer to God was a combination of fey sixties style pop and darker material, similar in tone to The Painted Word.

The album Don't Cry Baby, It's Only a Movie was released in 1998.

From 1998 to June 2004, Dan Treacy was incarcerated for shoplifting to feed his drug habit. He spent time aboard HM Prison ship Weare in Portland Harbour, Dorset, England. He has referred to the Weare as "The Good Ship Lollipop". The experience helped him put his life and career back on track.[4][5][6]

In February 2006, a new TVPs album, My Dark Places was released. Despite their relatively small independent sales, the TVPs were very influential on British music in the 1980s, especially the so-called C86 generation and many of the bands on Creation Records.

In an article in The Guardian on 24 April 2006, it was implied that Dan Treacy was in some way behind the Arctic Monkeys, although this was based on little more than a perceived similarity between their lyrical style and that of Treacy, and the fact that the lead singer of Arctic Monkeys, Alex Turner is not credited with the band's songwriting.[7]

It was reported in October 2011 that Treacy was seriously ill after an operation to remove a blood clot from his brain.[8] Treacy regained consciousness in December, but remained hospitalized.[9] His whereabouts were unknown following his hospitalization until 2016, when it was revealed that he was recovering from his brain surgery in a nursing home and intends to eventually return to music.[10]








Treacy is notorious for the numerous popular culture references and in-jokes scattered throughout the TVPs' lyrics, album titles and record artwork. Most of the references are to (mostly British) cult films, 1960s culture and forgotten or underappreciated musicians and celebrities.


  1. Allmusic bio "Britain's Television Personalities enjoyed one of the new wave era's longest, most erratic, and most far-reaching careers"
  2. Allmusic review of Very Best Of album
  3. Miles, Barry; Andy Mabbett (1994). Pink Floyd the visual documentary ([Updated ed.] ed.). London :: Omnibus,. ISBN 0-7119-4109-2.
  4. "60 SECONDS: Dan Treacy". Metro. 1 Mar 2006.
  5. "Daniel Treacy news". TVPs. May 2004.
  6. "Daniel Treacy Update". TVPs. 5 July 2004.
  7. Julian Henry (23 April 2006). "I suspect some Arctic Monkey business | Media | The Guardian". London: Retrieved 5 February 2012.
  8. Sean Michaels (13 October 2011). "Television Personalities' Dan Treacy in coma following surgery". The Guardian. UK. Retrieved 5 February 2012.
  9. Hudson, Alex. "Update: Television Personalities' Dan Treacy Regains Consciousness Following Coma But Still Hospitalized". Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  10. Earp, Joseph. "The Missing Man Of Music: A Search For The Elusive Dan Treacy Of Television Personalities | Brag Magazine". The Brag. Retrieved 18 August 2016.
  11. Television Personalities on
  12. ""If I Could Write Poetry" review". Retrieved 5 February 2012.
  13. "Various – Harte Para Todos (Vinyl) at Discogs". 23 August 2011. Retrieved 5 February 2012.

2. Alan McGee article in The Guardian: 3. ARC magazine interview:

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