On September 20th, 1978, Joy Division made their television debut on by performing “Shadowplay” on “What’s On”, a segment that was part of the regional Manchester television program Granada Reports.
Prior to this, Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis has previously sat down to host Tony Wilson, calling him a cunt for not having the band on the short lived program So It Goes, who had featured many legendary punk acts, including the Sex Pistols, and Siouxsie and the Banshees.
Wilson who remembered Curtis’ foul-mouthed cheek not only decided to bring the band on the show, but would take the band under his wing, and along with Rob Gretton and Martin Hannett, built the revolutionary independent record label Factory to release the band’s music.
Here is the transcript of the program courtesy of Joy Division Central:
“… called Joy Division, they were called Warsaw once, but Joy Division, I think, has a nicer ring to it and we hope that we’re launching them on a real joy ride as we have before with many others, haven’t we Tony, yes”
“Seeing as how this is the programme which previously brought you first television appearances from everything from the Beatles to the Buzzcocks we do like to keep our hand in and keep you informed of the most interesting new sounds in the north west.This,Joy Division, is the most interesting new sound we’ve come across in the last six months.
They’re a Manchester band, with the exception of the guitarist who comes from Salford, very important difference, they’re called Joy Division, and this number is “Shadowplay”.
JOY DIVISION perform “Shadowplay” live in the studio.
“Shadowplay” by Joy Division, I’d say you’ll hear more of them but I’ve heard that line so often.
Joy Division’s performance on Granada Reports was reproduced by Director Anton Corbijn for the 2007 Ian Curtis Biopic Control, however instead of Shadowplay, the song featured in the film was changed to “Transmission”.