Friday, 19 October 2012

19th October

1967: Only Jimmy (whose intro here isn't actually from this show as will become clear, though note he starts "this morning") ended up fronting more TOTPs than Tony Blackburn. This was Tony's debut show and knowing him he was doubtless a fan of The Foundations and thus was set on edge as much as everyone else by the waywardness of the start of Clem Curtis' vocal.

1978: Showaddywaddy's Buddy Gask is clearly not a man who goes physically along with the title of the song. Putting the backing singers in the centre and Dave Bartram off to one side seems an odd move, but then Colorado did the same for the most part with their cover of California Dreaming, surely made even more leaden by that orchestral arrangement. The Spanish guitarist probably didn't come with the singers. Wonder if The Jam insisted on that two-level stage? If they did Bruce Foxton, stuck on the base level, wasn't going to be overlooked, given how he starts miming off-mike right down the lens at 1:34. In a year of overwork for Legs & Co given the popularity of Grease, Patti and "her friend Martin" - Floyd not good enough for you any more? - try to get something out of John Travolta in appropriate costumes, and that's important given there are no appropriate costumes for Donna Summer's cover of Macarthur Park. There's nobody dressed as a cake, but there are people dressed as a tree.

1989: D-Mob introduced us all to Cathy Dennis, who taking up the majority of vocal time leaves Danny D artlessly thumping a keytar until he has to start singing and forgets to keep the pretence going. Deborah Harry returned to a stage she once made her own with a keyboard player who insists on making a clenched fist with one hand during her first closeup. Still, as long as there's a beret close by to whirl around.

1995: "You thought Smokie were the biggest stars on tonight's show!" Lee & Herring hosting for the second and, understandably, last time. Stewart kind of gives up during the top ten rundown. In full: Wildchild and Smokie, the former throwing dancers at the problem and seeing what sticks as the latter turn up in their hard rock German TV clothes; East 17 stick Tony out by the side and become a league of bald-headed men; and Cher "in disguise" indeed, and with a tube top on show at her age.

2001: An hour long special hosted by four people - Zoe, Jamie, Dermot and Jimmy - to mark the show returning to Television Centre after ten years. Really? An hour long, Savile-fronted special for that? How desperate were BBC1 that week? There's not even an explanatory open link, instead straight into Cher, who's clearly kept the hair well groomed but seems to have a frog in her throat. Even Westlife in leather jackets doing moves looks less convincing. The Ones apparently need dancers for their dancers - performance artists, really, but in this context that's splitting hairs - and removing costumes to crowd whistles doesn't work when they're dressed as close to normally as the format allows underneath. U2 never previously required an extra guitarist, but Dave Stewart... you know what's he's like, he'll worm his way into anything. Natalie Imbruglia, who'd been on the same show, sneaks into the backing singers.

1 comment:

Steve Williams said...

I had all the links from Lee and Herring's first presenting stint on video for ever, but my recorder was broken for this second one and I was devastated I wouldn't have a permanent record of it, because I was obsessed with the pair.

The presenting line-up in 2001 was supposed to be the new permanent team (apart from Jim, natch), but Dermot only did one more show, six months later, and Zoe never again. And for all the excitement over their new home, that U2 performance was filmed at Elstree. Also on that show was a Liquid News-branded news section they never did again.