For other people with the same name, see Anthony Wilson.
|Born||Anthony Howard Wilson|
|Died||10 August 2007(2007-08-10) (aged 57)|
|Resting place||Southern Cemetery, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester|
|Education||BA in English|
|Alma mater||Jesus College, Cambridge|
|Occupation||Journalist, TV presenter|
|Employer||Granada Television, BBC North West|
|Known for||Factory Records, Madchester impresario, Haçienda nightclub|
Anthony Howard Wilson (20 February 1950 – 10 August 2007) was a British record label owner, radio and television presenter, nightclub manager, impresario and a journalist for Granada Television and the BBC.
Wilson was known as "Mr Manchester", dubbed as such for his work in promoting the culture of Manchester throughout his career.
Depending on what he was working on, he would switch between alternate versions of his name.
For example, when he was being a serious formal and respectable persona, such as certain TV presenting appearances, he would use "Anthony H Wilson", or for example when reporting for Granada Reports he was referred to as "Anthony Wilson", otherwise he would go by "Tony Wilson" most commonly while on Factory Records business.
Wilson was born 20 February 1950 in Hope Hospital in the Hope area of Pendleton, Salford, Lancashire, to Sydney Wilson and Doris Knupfer, and moved to Marple, near Stockport in Cheshire, at the age of five.
His maternal grandfather was a Jewish German immigrant.
He presented Granada's culture, music and events programme, So It Goes.
He continued in this line of work even at the height of his success in the music industry.
He reported for ITV's current affairs series, World in Action in the early 1980s and hosted some editions of After Dark, the UK's first open-ended, late night chat show, in which he chaired live discussions in a darkened studio, first on Channel 4 and later BBC Four.
In 1988, Wilson hosted The Other Side of Midnight, another Granada weekly regional culture slot, covering music, literature and the arts in general.
He hosted the short-lived TV quiz shows Topranko!
In October he joined Blur bassist Alex James, Blue Peter presenter Konnie Huq and previously unknown presenter Emily Rose to host the 21st century version of the 1980s music programme, The Tube, for Channel 4 Radio which ran until 2 March 2007.
His final music TV show was filmed in December 2006 for Manchester's Channel M.
Only one episode, entitled "The New Friday", was recorded before Wilson became ill.
Wilson's involvement in popular music stemmed from hosting Granada's culture and music programme So It Goes.
Wilson, who intensely disliked the music scene of the mid-1970s which was dominated by such genres as progressive rock and arena rock, saw the Sex Pistols at Manchester's Lesser Free Trade Hall, in June 1976, an experience which he described as "nothing short of an epiphany".
He booked them for the last episode of the first series, probably the first television showing of their revolutionary British strand of punk rock.
He was the manager of many bands, including A Certain Ratio and the Durutti Column, and was part owner and manager of Factory Records, home of Happy Mondays, Joy Division and New Order – the band managed by friend and business partner Rob Gretton.
He also founded and managed the Haçienda nightclub and Dry Bar, together forming a central part of the music and cultural scene of Manchester.
The scene was termed "Madchester" in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
He made little money from Factory Records or the Haçienda, despite the enormous popularity and cultural significance of both endeavours.
Both Factory Records and the Haçienda came to an abrupt end in the late 1990s.
In 2000, Wilson and his business partners launched an early online music store, Music33.
After the film was produced, Wilson wrote a novelisation based on the screenplay.
He played a minor role (playing himself) in the film, A Cock and Bull Story (2005), in which his character interviews Steve Coogan.
He died a few months before its release.
Wilson was a partner in the annual 'In the City' and 'Interactive City' music festivals and industry conferences, and also F4 Records, the fourth version of Factory Records, which was set up to be an online distributor for Wilson's long term protégé Vini Reilly, of the Durutti Column.
Wilson identified himself as a socialist and refused to pay for private healthcare on principle.
Wilson was also an outspoken supporter of regionalism.
Along with others including Ruth Turner, he started a campaign for North West England to be allowed a referendum on the creation of a regional assembly, called the "Necessary Group" after a line in the United States Declaration of Independence.
Although his campaign was successful, with the British government announcing that a vote would take place, this was later abandoned when North East England voted against the introduction of a regional tier of government.
Wilson later spoke at several political events on this subject.
He was also known for using Situationist ideas.
Wilson's goal of a strong regional political settlement was eventually achieved in 2017, ten years after his death, with the election of a "Metro Mayor" for Greater Manchester and an equivalent for Merseyside.
Wilson was married twice, first to Lindsay Reade and then to Hilary, with whom he had a son, Oliver, and a daughter, Isabel.
Livesey has since co-operated with a biography of Wilson's life, called You're Entitled to an Opinion ..., written by David Nolan and published in 2009.
Manchester Primary Care NHS Trust refused to fund the £3,500 per month cost of providing the drug, while patients being treated alongside him at the Christie Hospital and living just a few miles away in Cheshire did receive funding for the medication.
A number of Wilson's music industry friends, including former Happy Mondays manager Nathan McGough, their current manager Elliot Rashman and TV stars Richard Madeley and Judy Finnegan, formed a fund to help pay for Wilson's medical treatment.
Wilson said: "This [Sutent] is my only real option.
It is not a cure but can hold the cancer back, so I will probably be on it until I die.
When they said I would have to pay £3,500 for the drugs each month, I thought where am I going to find the money?
I'm the one person in this industry who famously has never made any money.
I used to say 'some people make money and some make history', which is very funny until you find you can't afford to keep yourself alive.
I've never paid for private healthcare because I'm a socialist.
Now I find you can get tummy tucks and cosmetic surgery on the NHS but not the drugs I need to stay alive.
It is a scandal."
Death and legacy
In early 2007, emergency surgery was performed to remove one of his kidneys.
This forced the postponement of plans to create a Southern Hemisphere version of the In the City festival.
Despite the surgery, the cancer progressed and a course of chemotherapy was ineffective.
Wilson died of a heart attack in Manchester's Christie Hospital on 10 August 2007 aged 57.
Probate documents reveal his estate was valued at £484,747 after tax.
That figure includes the value of his city centre flat on Little Peter Street.
The will, signed by Wilson on 4 July 2007, gave Yvette Livesey, 39, his girlfriend of 17 years, the proceeds from their home.
He also left her his share of six businesses.
His son Oliver and daughter Isabel shared the rest of his estate.
His funeral was at St Mary's RC Church, Mulberry Street, Manchester (The Hidden Gem) on 20 August 2007.
Among the music Wilson chose Happy Mondays’ "Bob’s Yer Uncle".
As with everything else in the Factory empire, Tony Wilson's coffin was also given a Factory catalogue number: FAC 501.
His black granite headstone, erected in October 2010, was designed by Peter Saville and Ben Kelly and features a quotation, chosen by Wilson's family, from Mrs G Linnaeus Banks's 1876 novel The Manchester Man, set in Rotis serif font.
The quotation reads: "Mutability is the epitaph of worlds/ Change alone is changeless/ People drop out of the history of a life as of a land though their work or their influence remains."
The main square of the HOME/First Street development in Manchester, which opened in 2015, is named Tony Wilson Place.
Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tony Wilson.