1985: Another one kept in full, and a debut for Paul Jordan, clearly not destined to be one of the broadcasting greats - five further TOTPs, in fact. Not just a great show, a wonderful show too. Part one sees Colonel Abrams in the round showing off his shoulder shaking abilities and some live Iron Maiden; part two features the "first television debut" of Cameo with Larry Blackmon wearing clothes that could really have done with an offsetting codpiece and the band only remembering to bring a bass between them; part three has Rene & Angela, Rene clearly unsure whether to be Prince or Liberace; the new number one and Five Star on the credits plays out.
1991: Run for your lives, it's the start of the infamous 'new look' under veteran LE producer Stanley Appel that signalled the beginning of a slow decline, admittedly quite a sudden dropoff at first - the show moved to Elstree studios, performers were required to sing live where in any way possible, the charts became less of a binding factor. The big event was an exclusive Stevie Wonder video that went on to crash in at 63. Erasure were first on, bringing Spanish gypsy dancer chic but still not the big glamorous intro you'd want. Maybe that was the problem. Also admire Tony Dortie's top, presumably from his special Chart Rundown line. Pigtails and huge feather boa? Voice Of The Beehive were evidently on to provide the flightiness. Being a big Pops occasion of the 90s, of course Status Quo were on hand with a non-single cover from a number ten album. Towards the bright new pop future together! No, come back, please.
1997: Oasis performances from around this year - yes, even given Be Here Now, in fact because of it if you consider those early sales figures - do resemble shows of popularity and strength, getting comfortably more than five minutes of TOTP to themselves. Your guess as to what Liam does at 2:26 is really as good as mine. Tommy Cooper? Louise has her fans too, though by the look of the set by commandeering the screens from 1984. From dressing down to dressing up, Bjork in a voluminous outfit as per with strings, electrics and a cheer for her little running man jig.
2003: Even with the competition of Metallica in the direct area, stones left unturned were never going to be on the agenda at The Darkness' height. Justin does refer to the show by its initials, which while fine in print never works out well in spoken word. The Emma Bunton vibe is supposed to be either Bond or The Matrix, but those men in those suits is more Middle Management.