Lindisfarne’s Geordie Genius: The Alan Hull Story 26 November 2021: Friday on BBC Four

Brit Award winner Sam Fender goes in search of a musical hero from another era – the late, great, Alan Hull of Lindisfarne. Sam is amazed how few people, outside of his native north east, know much about his hero’s work. He’s now on a mission to win back Hull’s place in music history.

In this film, he traces the career of the man whose words and music put Newcastle and supergroup Lindisfarne on the musical map in the 1970s. Alan continued to write classic songs until his early death in 1995. He spoke of love and life, championed the underdog and the misunderstood, and celebrated working-class people and his hometown – both of which he loved with a passion. Alan lived and wrote through turbulent times – writing eloquently about the troubles in Northern Ireland, the Falklands War and the miners’ strike.

Sam digs out great archive interviews, performances and unseen footage, and meets friends, family and bandmates who knew Alan Hull best. Sam also hears from top stars like Sting, Elvis Costello, Mark Knopfler, Dave Stewart and Peter Gabriel. All were huge fans of songs such as Lady Eleanor, Fog on the Tyne, Winter Song, Clear White Light and Run For Home. But he also finds that Alan inspired an entire new generation of musicians like Kay Greyson: a young rapper from Tyneside. To his surprise, Sam discovers ‘Hully’ also took the lead role in an acclaimed BBC TV primetime drama. He reveals a complex man – a political animal, a drinker and an agitator, beset by his own insecurities but someone who could break hearts and inspire minds with his lyrics and melodies.

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