1973: The only one of Kenny Everett's seven hosting gigs to survive, and here it is in full. After some heavy duty audience jockeying for position on camera, Electric Light Orchestra ignore the old wives' take about not opening umbrellas inside, or the newer one about not having a frontman who's quite that hirsute. None of that with Status Quo, at least not by this heads down no-nonsense boogie stage. Some of their crowd clearly don't quite know the way round rock and roll dancing. 'Country landowner at neighbourhood watch meeting having stolen Sly Stone's hat' was Noddy's look for the latest future Slade number one. Dave meanwhile was ready for the wrestling ring. Oh, and here's fun - Meet Kenny Everett, an impromptu tour and Q&A filmed after the show and unshown in full until 2012.
1974: As usual, no sign of Queen demeaning themselves as far as appearing in front of a studio audience. Unfortunately later that night Freddie tripped over and was mistaken for a doormat.
1979: With ITV in the midst of a two month strike TOTP, as with all BBC1 prime-time shows, racked up huge audiences, and this one set a show record of 19.7 million. And what were that great number presented with? Andy Peebles, making a presenting debut clearly so striking they didn't ask him back for more than two years afterwards, and advertising slogan-based chancers Cats UK. Cheers for that, Britain must have thought as one. Given its popularity not much of it is around, bar Legs & Co in a white studio for Michael Jackson. Sue wisely gives ample warning of what's ahead.
1984: In 1984, it was the height of fashion to wear clothes based on the light-up Simon game. Ask Kim Wilde. And while you're there, ask her drummer what sort of kit that's supposed to be. The director hasn't planned for Wham!'s performance, given he's almost right underneath George and pointing at the lights, threatening to scar the image onto the nation's retinas. The Late Late Breakfast Show had lots of fun with the keyboard player's resemblance to Noel. Is it possible to emotionally slow dance in a plastic party hat? Alison Moyet is the subject of the interesting sociological question.
1990: The Sisters Of Mercy seem to have reacted to the coming of Guns'n'Roses by making the bassist wear a Slash-style hat. Lots of hair metal posing ensues, not to mention the meaningful disguises of the backing singers.
2002: It's been said on here before that Girls Aloud used to start routines in an intriguing prop/set-laden way and then abandon it for the usual dance routine. The big sister of all that is surely this Holly Valance routine, which starts at a very cheap approximation of a cafe table and then decides as soon as the first few lines are out of the way it's not worth examining that angle any further. The alpha male version was Justin Timberlake, who gets a lot of screaming when he hasn't actually done much yet. And then both returned to their respective dressing rooms and wondered what the hell was going on, something they pretty much had in common with everyone else, as John Otway returned to show and charts alike twenty-five years after his last appearance. It's difficult not to concur with his sheer joy at the end.