1969: You can kind of see how Stuart Henry didn't become a Pops presenting legend, and how much he's trying to channel Jimmy at times. Particularly noteworthy in these still early days of rock'n'roll is how he commends Cliff Richard for a full ten years in the business. If only he knew. Cliff's trying to exude in his suit at least and doesn't have to have the distraction of modernist paintings flashing up behind her like Cilla Black. One kid gainfully attempts to strut his stuff while in full cricket whites. Men didn't really resemble Jason King in 1969 but Peter Sarstedt must have decided at some point that was the look he was aiming for. For a laugh. A-ha-ha-ha.
1986: Now imagine going from those examples of the straighter edge of 1960s pop straight to Sigue Sigue Sputnik without prior warning. Sometimes that cyberpunk look gets brought up as an example of the ridiculousness of 80s fashion, but it pretty much was only adopted by members of Sigue Sigue Sputnik, as was that mess of effects and samples over basic rockabilly, because it sounded like a mess even then that no amount of visual effects or smoke bombs could really override. Steve Wright must have really liked the Bangles given he names them twice in his intro link.
1992: How much of your budget should go into an Inspiral Carpets performance? By this stage they could apparently be afforded a big sparks explosion backdrop and lots of big balloons at the back of the stage on loan from The Prisoner's Village. By contrast U2 seem quite casual recorded at soundcheck in Florida, and for a band soon enough known for their multimedia extravaganzas the screen at the back can barely be seen for Larry Mullen's kit.
1998: Cleopatra! Comin' atcha! The search for a big new girl band took some unusual detours. If they were being directed straight to the pop heart Cornershop had no designs on playing along, number one or not (this is the same performance from a later show). Being unable to recreate the Fatboy Slim remix people had bought, it was decided somewhere along the line that the kids should be given the original anyway. Of course the false ending, coming at the point where the remix ends, catches the lot of them out.
2006: As if this week's show hadn't thrown logic to the four winds, being presented by Fearne Cotton, Jocelyn Brown and that avatar of pop music vitality Matt Allwright - that's THE HOST OF ROGUE TRADERS PRESENTING TOP OF THE POPS, and still people go "why did the BBC axe it?" - they shot themselves in the foot with their addition to Pink's routine. It's a song about celebutants of the Paris/Nicole school, so if Pink suggests she start her piece by apparently reading the sort of magazines they appear in... why give hr a copy of the show's own magazine? You're doing your own product down there. As I say, within five months the show was down the dumper.