Paul King (VJ)

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Paul King
Paul King in San Francisco – 1986
Paul King in San Francisco – 1986
Background information
Birth namePaul King
Born (1960-11-20) 20 November 1960 (age 60)
Galway, County Galway, Republic of Ireland
OriginCoventry, England
GenresNew wave, pop rock, soul, 2-tone
Occupation(s)Singer, musician, VJ, television presenter
InstrumentsVocals, piano, synthesizer
Years active1979–1981
(as The Reluctant Stereotypes' singer)
(as King's lead singer)
(as soloist)
(as VJ and TV presenter)
Associated actsKing
Richard James Burgess
Dan Hartman
The Reluctant Stereotypes
The Raw Screens

Paul King (born 20 November 1960) is a British-Irish singer, musician, VJ and TV presenter.


Paul King was born in Galway, County Galway, Ireland and moved to Coventry, England, with his parents at a young age. After graduating from Coventry Drama School, King considered joining the West Midlands Police, but joined rock-ska band the Reluctant Stereotypes. King's line up of the band – which also contained record producer Paul Sampson – released an album The Label and three singles Confused Action, Plans For Today and Nightmares[1] in the early 1980s on the back of Coventry's vibrant 2 Tone ska scene.[2]

After the demise of the Reluctant Stereotypes, King formed the Raw Screens who perfected their act and style to what King and his manager Perry Haines called 'multi-tone', and then in 1983 relaunched the group as self-named 1980s band King.[3] As lead singer, King was famed for his cockatoo haircut and spray painted Doc Marten's Boots – a look described "like the Child Catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. But, hell, the girls loved him,"[4] while Richard James Burgess produced and drummed on most of the band's songs.

The band lasted just a couple of years, though both of their albums, Steps in Time and Bitter Sweet, went Gold, and they had two Top 10 singles with "Love & Pride" and "Alone Without You". Paul King then went solo with a 1987 album entitled Joy, produced by American musician Dan Hartman.[2] It produced a minor hit single on the UK Singles Chart, "I Know".[2]

After an unsuccessful solo career, King became a VJ on MTV in 1989, before moving over to VH1 in 1994, and then became known for his infomercials on 1980s collection albums. He is mostly remembered for the programmes MTV's Greatest Hits, 120 Minutes and XPO, later renamed First Look. First Look, programmed by Richard Godfrey, Peter Good, Peter Ruppert,[5] showed new singles and album releases and it was presented by VJ Paul King until 30 July 1994.[6] In 1998, a joint King & Paul King 18-track collection, entitled The Best of King – Love & Pride, was eventually released, with hit singles, stand-out tracks, B-sides and remixes. Paul King still works for MTV Networks Europe where he has produced shows for VH1 and MTV.



  • 1980 - The Label (Reluctant Stereotypes album)[1]
  • Feb 1985 – Steps in Time (King's debut album – UK No. 6)
  • Nov 1985 – Bitter Sweet (King's second album – UK No. 16)
  • 1987 – Joy (Paul King's solo album)
  • 1998 – The Best of King – Love & Pride (King and Paul King's joint collection)


Except where otherwise stated, all are releases by the band King.

  • 1980 - "Confused Action" (first Reluctant Stereotypes single featuring King)[1]
  • 1980 - "Plans for Today" (second Reluctant Stereotypes single featuring King)[1]
  • 1980 - "Nightmares" (third Reluctant Stereotypes single featuring King)[1]
  • 1984 – "Love & Pride" (UK No. 84)
  • 8 October 1984 – "Won't You Hold My Hand Now"
  • Jan 1985 – "Love & Pride" (re-release – UK No. 2, US No. 55)
  • Mar 1985 – "Won't You Hold My Hand Now" (re-release – UK No. 24)
  • Aug 1985 – "Alone Without You" (UK No. 8)
  • Oct 1985 – "The Taste of Your Tears" (UK No. 11)
  • Jan 1986 – "Torture" (UK No. 23)
  • May 1987 – "I Know" (Paul King solo – UK No. 59)
  • 1987 – "Follow My Heart" (Paul King solo – N.C.)


  1. ^ a b c d e Stirland, Jane (1 October 2014). "Look: Backbeat: Reluctant Stereotypes 'the nearly men' of Coventry's Ska scene".
  2. ^ a b c "Paul King". Retrieved 7 January 2007. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ "BBC - Coventry and Warwickshire - Entertainment - Pop into the Past".
  4. ^ "Coventry Telegraph: Coventry news, sport, lifestyle and events". Coventry Telegraph.
  5. ^ "Paul King Fansite – XPO / First Look". Archived from the original on 2 January 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ "Paul King Fansite – MTV Europe 1993–1994". Archived from the original on 24 July 2011. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External links[edit]