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Tony Wilson

From Academic Kids

Anthony (Tony) Wilson (born February 20, 1950) is a British record label and nightclub manager and journalist for Granada Television, who made him anchor of the rock programme So It Goes. Wilson saw the Sex Pistols and The Clash at the Manchester Lesser Free Trade Hall, in June, 1976, an experience which he has described as "nothing short of an epiphany" [1] (http://film.guardian.co.uk/interview/interviewpages/0,6737,661059,00.html). He booked them for the second series, probably the first television showing of the then-revolutionary British strand of Punk rock. He later founded the record label Factory Records and the Hacienda nightclub in Manchester.

Seeing a production of Hamlet extinguished Wilson's ambition to be a nuclear physicist. He graduated with a 2:2 in English from Jesus College, Cambridge.

He was the manager of the Happy Mondays (amongst many others) and part owner and manager of Factory Records and the Hacienda nightclub which formed a central part of the music and cultural scene of Manchester (and, indeed, the whole of the NW of England).

Wilson originally sought a career as a television journalist on Manchester's local station, Granada TV, where he worked as reporter and anchorman. He eventually returned to the career and the channel in the late 1990s, where he still works. He never made a fortune from Factory Records or the Hacienda, despite the enormous popularity and cultural significance of both endeavours. Both came to an abrupt although not necessarily premature end in the late 1990s, the Hacienda being forced to close because of an out of control drug problem.

A semi-fictionalized version of his life and of the surrounding era was made into a 2002 film, 24 Hour Party People, which stars the comedian Steve Coogan as Wilson. After the movie was produced, Wilson wrote a novelization based on the screenplay, despite being described on the movie poster as a "twat".

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