Spotlight On… Mike Read

Mike Read is a well known broadcaster and song writer, his latest brain-child is television programme Tin Pan Alley. This show will give song writers a chance to shine, and the show is looking for unpublished songs to put to the vote. I spoke to Mike to find out more.

Hi Mike, thanks for talking to Break A Leg ReviewTin Pan Alley sounds like a great new show, what gave you the ideas and inspiration for it?

We’ve heard the country sing, but our songwriters have always been the engine room and greatly contributed to the UK economy. Many of the most durable singers such as Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra and Cliff Richard have always credited the writers, insisting that without them they simply wouldn’t have had a career. I’ve had the idea for a few years, but the time now seems to be right.

Have you any ideas about the sort of songwriters you hope to attract? eg are you looking for people already trying to make a success of song writing or hoping this competition appeals to people who need a ‘push’ to get out there? 

It really doesn’t matter. There are songwriters right across the demographic spectrum who write songs in many different genres. They are all welcome to enter. The only information the judges see is a number and a song title. Hopefully the series will be an inspiration to those wanting to write, a boost for those who are successful and an eye opener for those wanting experience in the field.

What do you think the judges will bring to the show?

We have some 70 judges from across the industry listening and voting on line. The on screen judges we will be referring to as ‘Execs’ as they won’t be ‘judging’ as such but giving their opinions, being harsh where necessary, being inspirational and giving the writers the benefit of their experience. That said they will decide which song drops out each week. A tough decision as the quality is very high.

As a songwriter yourself, who and what inspired that area of your career and o you still pursue this now?

I love songwriting and have been fortunate enough to have had many of my songs recorded by major artists. There are no raw materials. Where songs come from and how they take shape is thankfully one of the earth’s last great mysteries!

What is your advice for potential song writers?

Listen, learn, craft and collaborate where necessary. Not every song has to be a hit song. You can write with someone in mind or with no-one in mind. It’s also great therapy and very relaxing. Try it. You don’t even have to play an instrument.

Finally, what would you say to encourage our readers to tune into your new show?

It will be innovative, creative and fun, with not only new songs but also a look back at many classics and the stories behind them.


More information can be found by following this link:

And here’s some information on the programme!

Tin Pan Alley TV is a 10 week innovative series that will run on Showbiz TV (Sky 266) and other platforms early in 2016. There will be a set-up programme and a final programme with the eight-week series running in between. The series will be presented by broadcaster and songwriter Mike Read, produced by Scott Millaney and directed by multi-award winning director Brian Grant.

From January 1st 2016 UK songwriters will be invited to submit no more than one unpublished song on MP3 via the email address. Entries will be uploaded onto a secure area of the web site. Over a 5/6 week period these will be judged by several dozen people from all areas of the music industry. The 12 songs with the most votes will go forward to the TV series where each of the songs, and their writers, will be assigned a top record producer, who between them have been responsible for over 250 million record sales. All will be revealed…….



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