The Television Personalities is an English group with a varying line-up. The only constant member is singer–songwriter Dan Treacy, who uses the band as a vehicle for his music. The band's first release (January 1978) was the single "14th Floor / Oxford Street W1". Its second release, the EP Where's Bill Grundy Now? features one of its best-known songs, "Part Time Punks".
The Television Personalities' first album And Don't the Kids Just Love It was released in 1981. It set the template for their subsequent career: neo-psychedelia, an obsession with youth culture of the 1960s, a fey, slightly camp lyrical attitude, and the occasional classic pop song. Their second album Mummy Your Not Watching Me demonstrated increased psychedelic influences. Their third album, entitled They Could Have Been Bigger Than The Beatles showed Treacy's sense of humor: the TVPs were never to have any major commercial success in the UK - although their albums sold respectably in Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands. The first three albums featured Treacy and schoolmate Ed Ball; Ball left the band to found The Times, but rejoined in 2004.
The 1985 album The Painted Word was unexpectedly dark in content, reflecting Treacy's despair at Thatcherite Britain and his personal circumstances.
Various line up changes prevented their next album (Privilege) from appearing until 1990. Their subsequent album Closer to God was a combination of fey sixties style pop and darker material, similar in tone to The Painted Word.
The album Don't Cry Baby, It's Only a Movie was released in 1998. In February 2006 a new TVPs album My Dark Places was released. Despite their relatively small independent sales the TVPs were very influential on British music in the 1980s, especially the so-called C86 generation and many of the bands on Creation Records.
In an article in The Guardian on April 24, 2006, it was implied that Dan Treacy is in some way behind the Arctic Monkeys, although this is based on little more than a perceived similarity between their lyrical style and that of Treacy, and the fact that the lead singer of Arctic Monkeys, Alex Turner is mysteriously not credited with their songwriting.