Before XTV, Guy Gadney (founder) and Thom Yorke (of Radiohead fame) proposed the creation of a student TV station, the ‘Banana Network’ but unfortunately the proposal got turned down by the Guild.
Gadney, having returned from his year abroad had little interest in returning to Exeposé or The Third Degree (a magazine produced at the time) and decided to set up a TV station. XTV started in the small corner room of the basement floor of Cornwall House at the beginning of 1992.
“I put out ads and leaflets to gather interest and pulled together a small team to help out. We had no money, no cameras, no edit suite, no TVs, no broadcast mechanisms. I was keen to push for a live TV station, but this was going to be impossible to begin with…so we faked it.”
Equipment was wrangled and TVs were installed in The Ram, Cornwall House, St Lukes and the College of Art and Technology. “Each week we would produce 1/2 hour of edited TV, including news, interviews, ads and features. Our first broadcast had news shot at the studio in St Lukes, a couple of ads and an exclusive student interview with Lenny Henry who was brilliant and very funny – taking the piss out of small student TV stations.”
Unfortunately, money and approval from the Guild was needed for editing equipment so a meeting with Emma B (finance officer at the time), Exeposé, The Third Degree and URE (now Xpression FM) was set up.
“We were on a losing wicket and someone had said that it was not in the Guild’s mandate to set up a TV station. I replied that I had read the constitution and that we were entitled to the cash. Everyone went rather quiet and Emma approved the birth of XTV. A few years later she and I ended up sharing a flat in London and were talking about that meeting. She said it was my having read the constitution which had got us the cash ‘cos no-one else had. ‘But of course I had never actually read it!’, I said, ‘I just guessed that no-one else had either’.”
The launch of XTV was driven by Gadney and Rick Leary who rigged up the Art College with wires trailing across corridors to produce XTV’s idents, stings and intro sequences.
“So that’s as much as I know about XTV. It probably seems like an age away from things now, but I can honestly say that many years on, setting up XTV is one of the things I am most proud of. Apart from getting good student TV to the screen, XTV’s aim was to be a launchpad to get you lot into TV. It’s great that it continues to achieve this and it’s all down to the yearly crew who run it to make it better than it was the year before. Good luck with the next chapter.”
Since its birth, XTV has gone from strength to strength. Winning many NaSTA (National Student Television Association) awards over the years and becoming a station which can provide members with support, knowledge and the opportunity to make films and TV in their spare time.
In April 2013 XTV hosted the 40th NaSTA Conference and Awards which was deemed a great success.
Over the following years, many of those involved with XTV have become very successful in all areas of the media.
Founder of XTV, and later The Project Factory, working on projects like Made In Chelsea, Downtown Abbey and The Spirit of ’45.
Co-founder of XTV, now Visual Effects Artist for productions like Sherlock Holmes, 10,000 BC or Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
Presenter for XTV, now writer and producer for productions like Iron Man 3 and No Heroics.
Presenter at BBC Radio, Heart 106.2 and now Smooth Radio.
Senior Producer at BBC News
BBC Light Entertainment Producer and CEO of Eyeworks UK
Visual Effects Artist/Title Sequences. He has worked on productions like Seven Psychopaths, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen and Contraband and was in the Emmy award winning team, that made the title sequence for Great Expectations.
Producer of Ginx TV’s flagship show The Blurp
In the history of XTV and through the many committees, the station has undergone a number of rebrands. Here a recent history of the development of our logo: