1982: Tommy Vance actually introduces himself as 'TV on the radio' despite being on TV, and that's without mentioning his Bobby Ball tribute jumper. Fun Boy Three and Bananarama display some individual dynamics, as the Boys crowd the lip of the stage or Terry does that uncomfortable shifting, forgetting about the mike thing he always did while the 'Nanas remain mostly near the back resolutely behind the mike stands. Some exciting five-person hoofing at the end too. Bow Wow Wow's Annabella Lwin would never have gone for such exuberance no matter what her turn-and-squat moves suggest. She should have put that sheet on a higher spin cycle setting too. Depeche Mode have hired suits out for the evening to complement their semi-circle of Roland doom. There's something wrong about Dave's fresh faced grinning, he comes across a bit like Tony Hawks. At least their attire wasn't colour coded in lemon unlike Haircut 100. The bongo player seems a little bit of a spare part. And then we come to Modern Romance's attempt to fuse Latino pop, spirited accordion and the, er, queen of the rapping scene, who looks like Tracey Ullman, wears a broad Spanish hat and appears to be French, just to confuse matters. Not even queen consort, in truth. It's Bev Sage of the Techno Twins, whose number 70 smash from that January sounded like this. It was 1982, we knew no better.
1993: When the Australian comedy show The Money Or The Gun thought up its regular slot of guests covering Stairway To Heaven in various styles they can't possibly have believed one of them would end up a big hit three years after the show finished. That is of course to underestimate the pull of Rolf Harris, who'd apparently never heard the original before being asked but saw his ironic student cachet rocket in its wake. You never usually get a TOTP audience cheering an accordion solo. More knowing kitsch from Saint Etienne, Pete and Bob in Elvis gold lame suits, but note the messages written on their hands throughout their one-finger keyboard prodding.