Tuesday, 18 September 2012

18th September

1980: Simon Bates refers at the start to "a slightly new look", almost certainly related to "small problems here at the BBC". That'll be another strike, then, this time scene-shifters (the same day's Blue Peter came from an entirely empty studio), hence a completely undressed set, background ambient noise, obviously dubbed on applause and a playlist comprising repeats and videos. We do here get to examine Bates - "keep your eyes, ears, nose and throats open, and keep your Radio Times open as well" indeed - and all his friends in their natural environment. Who's this walking down the road? Why, it's Jonathan King (after Nick Straker Band), and he's brought the newly popular Rubik's Cube with him, though why King had to bring one back from New York given they were also big in London toy fairs isn't answered. Bates and King go on about "an irritating noise", proving it takes one to know one. Meanwhile, on her way to "the screens at your local Roxy" with Xanadu, as shown by the clip played in over the middle of a sentence, Olivia Newton-John. Clearly she isn't in that much of a rush as she returns later to discuss horses, after Lynda Carter ("I like this boy!") Can you tell they're struggling to fill out the 35 minutes?

1986: Braces, hats and yellow T-shirts were big with Timex Social Club, as well as two one-handed keyboardists. Mind you, you want satorial elegance? Cameo, Larry Blackmon in his codpieced, Points Of View-exercising finery

1998: Slightly confusing visual effect here with Pulp playing in front of a screen showing the video, meaning Jarvis is doing all his actions in front of himself doing much the same. Where do the dancers come from, some sort of concealed trap door? Meanwhile the audience participate in television's least efficient balloon release. Meanwhile, Claire from Steps has forgotten to get fully dressed again.

2005: Status Quo officially claim 110 TOTP appearances. I don't know if they're counting rundown mentions or something as the actual studio appearance tally is just 41, of which this is the last. The audience do seem notably less keen the less like Rockin' All Over The World it sounds. Mariah Carey demanded her personal door-openers arrived with her, so just for that the confetti cannon was delayed for as long as possible.

1 comment:

Steve Williams said...

I like how Lynda Carter acknowledges the taped applause when she walks on. That must be the most bizarre episode of Top of the Pops ever broadcast, which is going some given the rather odd items we got on this show during the second half of 1980.

This is also during the brief period when there must have been some sort of row as Bates' show was chopped in half so he did the Golden Hour in the morning as usual and then buggered off, coming back at half past two for another Golden Hour. It only lasted three months though.

I do love that Nick Straker song and well done to Nick for coping with not only having to crouch down because the keyboard is too low, but then also having to crane his neck to find the camera.