1983: Only their second show together and already Peel and Jensen are working their singular oracle - note the T-shirts and how long they keep their fingerclicking going at the start of the first half of the show. John makes sure to use the Scouse vernacular to introduce OMD, after which the pair officially name themselves. As for the song, even the man wearing a farmer's hat right at the start can't disguise the record's oblique strangeness, in which the kids go wild for a minimalist vertical drumkit, Kraftwerkian keyboard patterns and a megaphone that apparently produces computer voices. Which country is that man at the front a general of, do you think? Meanwhile the lesser regarded Tracy sister struts her stuff to Bananarama, all belts and braces and 'ethnic jeweller' T-shirt designs.
1988: Someone needs to look at the ratio of that picture layering effect. Coldcut and Yazz strut their stuff to a crowd whooping even more than usual, though what that bloke did wrong to not get any sort of credit we can only speculate. By this point The Sisters Of Mercy were down to Andrew Eldritch, here as a demonic Dave Stewart, and the implausibly icy Patricia Morrison, goth's equivalent of a postcard of a punk girl with an orange mohican. She's married to Dave Vanian of the Damned, you know.
1994: Missed the first appearance of this 2 Unlimited hit a couple of weeks ago, which is worth seeing for everything from the showy intro revealing they take their memorabilia everywhere with them to Ray's chain mail top. Two weeks later Mayo's back and so are they, accompanied by dancers exhibiting the 'glowstick Roswell' style. How far such frippery must seem in Morrissey's world of smart-casual suits. As Simon says he "hasn't been on TOTP for many years". 22 months, actually. But bigger things than even Moz's slight return were afoot, as this was the day of the only Pops showing of the Manchester curmudgeon other Manchester curmudgeons surely bend the knee to, Mark E Smith. The full story and fallout of his Inspiral Carpets cameo has been dealt with on t'other blog, where you'll also find coverage of the Andi Peters-led fallout, but also notice that perhaps as a family warning there's not a close-up of him until nearly halfway through.