1977: Eddie & The Hot Rods' Barrie Masters puts in a lot of effort, up to and including the splits, for little comeback. Not his fault, though, even when pressed into hastily erected grandstands the better to see Legs & Co's Stevie Wonder routine there's a complete lack of animation except for one notable, hosting exception. That much space used up, Deniece Williams ended up being put on some spare stairs.
1983: Not often you get a band who can synchronise guitar and bass neck waving *and* drum alternating, but Culture Club always thought a little outside the box. Roy Hay's dressing up box this time brings out an attention-all-shipping hat. An archetype of early synthpop was two static men behind Roland synths, a smartly dressed man and a female backing singer in night out finery. See: Heaven 17. Another archetype is visible at the front, that of someone in fingerless gloves.
1988: Once sampling-heavy club hits started happening something had to represent all those instruments. S-Express already have enough friends of friends not really making themselves useful for it to matter much, but the man who's got dressed up to mime a single trumpet note has gone above and beyond some form of call of duty.
1994: Another show available in full. "My name is Prince. I just said my name." Yes, he did - he'd just changed it to The Artist Formerly etc. but this was still promoted under his proper monicker. In fact he didn't even perform on the show, just stand around trying to look inconspicuous just before Tony di Bart, unlike among others CJ Lewis sending the kids mad, The Pretenders in front of some projected gothic windows, Crystal Waters dressed as Tasmin Archer and Deacon Blue's 'exclusive performance' of a seven year old song. So... had he just popped in on the offchance?
2000: According to Luke Haines, after Black Box Recorder had recorded this performance a youth came up to him to ask "aren't you a bit old for all this?" Rarely will you see the concept of a rose between two thorns be better expressed. The intra-band "we've just performed on Top Of The Pops! grins at the end tell their own tale. Someone really didn't think about the staging for Fragma's number one - instead of letting the people have a climactic dance, they've put singer Coco well out on a mini-stage out the back of everywhere so everyone has to spend three minutes looking at her back.