1985: TOTP around the mid-80s could cope with most things, but a solo singer-songwriter who wants to sing *and* play live? That's quite the challenge. Billy Bragg forces Steve Wright into an attempt at sincerity, but the audience usually in full party mode ensure you could hear a pin drop. Back in the arms of safety Nik Kershaw exhibits his band's range of jackets with rolled up sleeves, not to mention a keyboardist exhibiting the long lost art of playing two keyboards at once.
1996: It still beggars belief that someone saw Steve Lamacq and Pops presentation as natural bedfellows, however briefly. At least some of the show - maybe not Kaliphz Featuring Prince Naseem Hamed, but some of it - was weighted in his and Jo Whiley's favour, such as Garbage with Shirley Manson in full kohl-eyed ice menace mode and a mid-song move involving walking round in circles, and Menswear, all showing support to some cause, including the dragged in from Radio 3 string section.
1997: Kylie Minogue with odd hair introducing INXS. That's only really leading one way. Michael's got his driving gloves on too. Rather more controllable were the Spice Girls and their lifelike ventriloquist dummies.
2003: This is actually Jennifer Lopez's record, but if she will invite LL Cool J to join her and he will insist on going to the edge of the stage at most opportunity. Does she need that much padding on her mike?