31 December 2019 10:32
Clearly, those were more innocent times, but Jools earned some measure of notoriety as "that fella who swore on the telly". The funny thing about it, is that he comes across as one of the most genial and least offensive people in an industry, and medium, that's positively straining at the seams with obnoxious assholes. Since 1992, he's hosted the freewheeling, eclectic, groundbreaking, and generally most excellent, music show, Later… with Jools Holland on BBC. And since 1993, he's brought us the spin-off show, Jools' Annual Hootenanny, to ring in the New Year in a suitably, well, groovy way. Later…, and the Hootenanny, are the kind of programmes which you just know were put together with care and attention by people who know television, and absolutely love music.
The viewer is never sure quite what to expect as he pairs unlikely artists together, draws surprising performances from people you didn't know had it in them, and chats in an easy, breezy way with musical superstars, as if they were nothing more than old acquaintances who'd bumped into each other queuing for the bar. The only certainty is that Jools, an accomplished piano player himself, and his rhythm and blues orchestra, will bang out a few tunes, either by themselves or, often, accompanying a guest. It's enormously good fun. You just can't help getting swept along by the main man's infectious cheerfulness, enthusiasm and joie de vivre. And that goes for double during Hootenanny.
Just check out some of the highlights from previous iterations of the New Year's Eve show. Comic Adrian Edmondson covering the Sex Pistols' Anarchy in the UK with Jools and band. Amy Winehouse doing I Heard it Through the Grapevine with Paul Weller. Paul McCartney and Kylie Minogue performing together. Dizzee Rascal teaming up with Calvin Harris. The Ting Tings blasting out That's Not My Name (for my money, the greatest single of the millennium so far). Ruby Turner and Adele and Jools… plus Martha and the bleedin' Vandellas! Tom Jones with Kelly Jones. Florence + the Machine with Boy George. Irish acts such as Imelda May and The Dubliners have played the Hootenanny. Honorary Irish duo Rodrigo y Gabriela likewise. The second-generation Irish Dexys Midnight Runners delivered a storming set. We've heard The Hives, Adam Ant, Petula Clark, Emeli Sandé, Lisa Stansfield, The Proclaimers, Melanie C, Christine and the Queens, José Feliciano, Michael Bublé, George Ezra, Nile Rodgers & Chic… and some guy called Ed Sheeran. Wonder what ever happened to him? And this year's Hootenanny has a typically impressive line-up: rap megastar Stormzy, synth-poppers La Roux, Welsh rock veterans Stereophonics, Alabama Shakes singer Brittany Howard, Eighties icon Rick Astley — who's now cool again after coming full circle through a solid three decades of being uncool — Eddi Reader, Pauline Black and Arthur 'Gaps' Hendrickson from The Selecter, Joseph, soul legend Ruby Turner… the list goes on, and "eclectic" hardly begins to cover it. They'll ring in the New Year, as usual, with Auld Lang Syne, courtesy of the pipes and drums of the 1st Battalion Scots Guards. Meanwhile, a myriad of famous faces from film and TV will be on hand for a chat with Jools. The BBC likes to describe this show as "an idealised New Year's Eve party" — a mite stilted, maybe, but it works. Be there or be square, you groovy f*ckers. Jools' Annual Hootenanny 2019, BBC 2 11.15pm Jools Holland's Hootenanny is a New Year's tradition for many across the country and it'll be returning this year with an impressive line-up. Jools and his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra will be joined by the likes of Stormzy, La Rouz and Rick Astley to see in 2020. This year the show, which is pre-recorded earlier in the year in front of a studio audience, will air tonight (December 31) on BBC Two from 11.15pm until 1.15am. This means the show will be half an hour less compared to last year. While the show isn't actually live, it is timed to line up with the real-time countdown to the New Year. Other artists who will be taking part in the celebrations include Brittany Howard, Tom Walker, Eddi Reader and Ruby Turner. The stars will be performing with Jools, as well as reflecting on 2019 and sharing their resolutions for the year. For the latest news in and around Bristol, visit and bookmark Bristol Live's homepage. You can follow us on Twitter here and on Facebook here and here. You can also join our traffic and travel, crime and parenting Facebook groups.