1977: The Jam open, notable for at least three reasons: the name and address on a label on Paul Weller's guitar head, debut presenter Peter Powell's hyperexcited reaction and that when the band the Grumbleweeds could have been, The Barron Knights, turn in later their singer does a knowing, possibly improvised little jump and air guitar in the supposed style of Weller's. The Barron Knights taking the piss out of the Jam. Whoever thought that would one day happen. As for the song TOTP edited out the Angelo bit everyone remembers and everyone corpses at a comedy Irish accent and a comedy gay accent. Ah, 1970s humour.
1983: Not that Michael Hurll can be faulted much, but the idea to put explosions behind Elton John must have gone through his office at some point. No wonder Elton's bought a hat behind which he can hide his eyes.
1988: Puffball skirt with cycling shorts underneath, sideways baseball cap, denim jacket with patches. Should it ever be unearthed by a future generation, this Yazz performance could be dated almost to the minute before even the 303 has been considered. Someone should tell the backing singers if they take a big sideways step like that they'll be nowhere near the microphone.
1994: Eleven years on Elton John has developed a lovely head of a younger man's hair and there's nobody and nothing filling the space behind him. Unfortunately there's plenty between him and the camera, meaning the chorus is greeted by a distracting forest of arms. Sheryl Crow made her debut, getting the first line wrong, and the props department dig out those neon signs they made for a Russ Abbott sketch about a gumshoe.
2000: Indoors as they may be, Bono still feels the need for a big winter coat. A normal U2 performance is then enlivened as he chooses to feast on new human flesh. The Spice Girls' last appearance demonstrates the problem with the end of their original run - for a band originally with such dynamic visual style they could have been anyone there.