1968: no clips of this one, it's long wiped, but there is something notable about this show. At the outset of 1968 the show tried pairing Jimmy Savile and occasional stand-in Pete Murray up with various co-hosts, sometimes special guests (Lulu and two of the Monkees had a go) but mostly a grab-bag of Radio 1 jocks, which means the likes of Stuart Henry, Tom Edwards and Chris Denning have Pops hosting records. On this show, the call went out to one of the hosts of the Sunday afternoon "rock and progressive music" magazine Top Gear, and that is how John Peel made his TV debut. "Half mad with terror, I forgot the name of Amen Corner and was banished into the outer darkness for 14 years" he later confided to Radio Times readers. That last bit is worth remembering for a few days.
1973: Noel Edmonds had only been on the Pops presenting roster for six months or so - apart from the 1972 Christmas show, this is his oldest surviving appearance - but he's still very much getting the hang of the 'light hearted but officious' character we'd come to know and... know. Mind you, just look in these clips at this outfit he chose, the tank top and Burberry pattern frilly bow tie look completely at odds with everything. Thin Lizzy are first up with one woman dancing oddly close to the drumkit and the staging doing Eric Bell about as many favours as his mane gives him. The more traditional Tony Christie knows the value of a big coat, though his strutting during the instrumental bits is that of a man not challenged to do this sort of thing before in front of a big TV crowd. Meanwhile Electric Light Orchestra brought their bust and Jeff Lynne half-inched the aluminium foil and milk bottle top collection from that year's Blue Peter appeal.
1979: How did Generation X ever get caught up in punk? Well, because they played at the Roxy and had riots at their gigs and that, but by the time they were having hits it was just Billy Idol's hair and sneer keeping the punk spirit alive in the face of the increasing general influence of original rock and roll. Note the one bloke bravely keeping his pogoing up.
1996: Lee Evans' turn at the hosting mike this week, and he wasn't going to let up the act whatever the surroundings, whether that be the three different dance routines and industrial gloves of Technohead's hired hands or, well, Radiohead. Penny for your thoughts on that intro, Thom. And that outro.