CULTURE RE-VIEW: The Sex Pistols Vs Bill Grundy

Headlines the next day
Headlines the next day   -  Copyright  Daily Mirror
By David Mouriquand

1 December 1976: The Sex Pistols Vs Bill Grundy

It’s one of the most notorious band interviews of all time: a two-and-a half-minute TV segment that signaled the advent of the punk movement and had disastrous consequences for the interviewer…

On 1 December 1976, the Sex Pistols were guests on the Today with Bill Grundy programme, the nationally televised prime time show in the UK.

The band Queen had cancelled at the eleventh hour, so the Pistols were somehow brought in as a last-minute replacement.

And they must have regretted that one.

Johnny Rotten and John Lydon responded to Grundy’s naff questions with sarcasm and disdain, revealing Grundy to be a smug and slimy character - especially towards the end of the interview when Steve Jones called him a “dirty old man”, “dirty f**ker” and “f**king rotter”, in response to Grundy’s offer directed at Siouxsie Sioux to “meet up later”.

It was the first time that the Sex Pistols were exposed to a broader audience and the next day’s “Filth and the Fury” headlines made quite the national scandal – specifically because swearing was not common on live TV and more than frowned upon. 

Daily Mirror
Headlines the next dayDaily Mirror

Grundy was suspended for two weeks for a “gross error of judgement” and “inexcusably sloppy journalism”, and his show was cancelled only two months later.

Punk was here to stay… and clearly not to be trifled with.

Also on this day:

One of two pages used by James Naismith to write the first basketball rulesBEBETO MATTHEWS/AP2010

James Naismith, a Canadian-American gym teacher, invents Basketball in 1891.