John Lennon’s 80th birthday to be marked by launch of pop-up TV channel

A mix of old footage and new content will air later this week

A new pop-up TV channel is being launched to mark what would have been John Lennon‘s 80th birthday this week.

Sky, Virgin and Freeview will broadcast LENNON80 in honour of the late Beatle‘s birthday this Friday (October 9), which will include a mix of old footage and new content.

Among the programmes airing on the channel will be the famous documentary Bed Peace, which follows Lennon and Yoko Ono‘s famous “Bed-In for Peace” protest in 1969, as well as appearances on Parkinson in 1971 and The Dick Cavett Show in 1971 and 1972.


The channel will also show three documentaries by Ono: her 2004 Tate Gallery Lecture, her Onochord performance piece and a show about the Imagine Peace Tower in Iceland.

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John Lennon and Yoko Ono (Picture: Getty)

Additionally, there will be three new programmes presented by BBC 6Music’s Matt Everitt including John Lennon’s 25 Greatest Songs, which will count down the greatest Beatles and solo songs penned by Lennon, with remastered music videos.

From The Lennon Archive will show some lesser-known music videos and rare gems from the Lennon family archive, while John’s Jukebox will showcase a number of songs from the 1970s and 1980s that influenced Lennon in his solo years, including songs by Sir Elton John, David Bowie and Bruce Springsteen.

LENNON80 will be available until October 15, and has been put together and co-ordinated by music TV director Simon Sadler and Lennon/Ono archivist Simon Hilton.

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John Lennon at a rally in Hyde Park in 1975 (Picture: Rowland Scherman/Getty Images)


“There are not many artists worthy of a channel dedicated to just one name – but John Lennon is certainly one of them,” Sadler said.

“To mark his 80th birthday we’re thrilled to have brought together many classic moments of John’s life – from his life at home, on the chat shows and the peace protests – as well bringing John’s solo music together with the songs he wrote for the Beatles for a rare outing on TV.”

Ahead of Lennon’s birthday this week, Paul McCartney has reflected on how he met Lennon, as well as looking back on their songwriting partnership, for a new programme on BBC Radio 2 hosted by Lennon’s son Sean.