1973: Anyone concerned about the rundown at the start of this first clip, in the dancing-between-the-stills era, should be reassured to learn Ringo Starr had not just died. Elsewhere half of the Who have been blasted off into space, Wink Martindale's oversized head has been taken into church to confess, someone's being overliteral with Elton and they might have been taking whatever Bowie was doing at that time as well. Once that's done and Princess Anne's wedding has been marked it's a celebrated debut as someone points a camera at a monitor and Alvin Stardust floats about in the middle. His band seem to adore him already. Clip two and Mike Batt has appeared in character, and Tony clearly doesn't have a clue who he is. Then he gets the title of Mott The Hoople's single wrong, only slightly, but definitely. Mott's backing singers Thunderthighs apparently deserve their own credit and Hunter plays up to them a treat. There's some extravagant moves from David Essex and girls at the front alike, and note Tony in the background dancing until he spots himself on the monitor. After that he just stands there and lets everyone carry on around him. Pan's People's routine to Barry Blue is a prime example of how nostalgic image overpowers actuality, as despite some making a token effort to jig along even among the small number of kids watching them from side of stage most aren't bothered and a few are making plans to wander off early. Even the special guest is looking away from them before long.
1979: Blimey, Cliff Richard's up for it tonight, despite looking like he's wrapped himself in 1970s cliche wallpaper. In her wing collared leathers The Tourists-era Annie Lennox looks every inch the go-getter, already short haired and vaguely approaching the androgyny of later fame, if via Suzi Quatro's wardrobe. The Moody Blues had put Nights In White Satin back out again, couched in unflattering blue filters and Justin Hayward overstridency. For Donna Summer and Barbra Streisand Legs & Co come up with a fairly odd routine even by their standards as Sue and Patti play yin and yang before everyone else piles in and ruins it.
1984: Mike and Bruno have dressed up for some reason, the former trying vainly to make himself out to be the cosmopolitan one. We know you too well, Mike. Matt Bianco aim for Left Bank chic through the prism of Essex wine bar. Slade had a job lot of scarves to get rid of, and it was Dave's turn with the extravagant headgear. Note Jim Lea as a country squire.
2002: Given a live set, some R&B/rap acts just get it while some go through the motions and get out. Missy Elliott, frustratingly, does neither, energetic but reducing an out-there production to bellowing, not a great approach when your opposition is Dannii Minogue pole dancing without much of the actual dancing. Queens Of The Stone Age add the thunderous guitars and flashing lights. The big edit is nicely done but, well, it's a great big edit that cuts from second verse straight to the end.