15 September 2012 4:10 PM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Launched in 1992, the BBC's flagship music show is still going strong after 284 episodes. On the eve of series 41, we trawl through its rich archives and ask the presenter, the programme makers and veteran guests what makes Later Britain's greatest live music show ever

A few episodes into the new series of Later… with Jools Holland, which starts on BBC2 next week, the music programme will celebrate its 20th year of broadcast. A slighter anniversary will have passed unnoticed – the casual inquiry that started it all, one producer to another at Television Centre: "What's Jools up to at the minute?"

Holland was then a touring musician and band leader who'd done presenting work for Channel 4 in the 80s, and later a stint on American television. The BBC producers hoped he might front a new show they were planning. Something modest, late night, to go in among the weather bulletins and »

- Tom Lamont

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