Tuesday, 11 December 2012

11th December

1980: That starting with different music to any of that featured is off-putting, isn't it? That angle also shows you how little of the studio its weekly occupants actually inhabited, as in greater detail does a shot from the far side of the stage during Adam & The Ants. The roaming camera at the front is wobbling all over the place, it's like The Thick Of It Of The Pops. Jermaine Jackson, who's in Britain "meeting people", is given a birthday cake "with love from your record company", surely something they could have done in private, before Richard Skinner confirms with him that he's never heard of Madness, who are modelling their respective tartans tonight. A pensive Gary Numan then pops in to reveal his flying ambitions and consequent survival strategy before Matchbox's Graham Fenton does his Alvin Stardust. Aiming high! This was the first TOTP after John Lennon's death so Skinner had to stay behind and introduce a tribute live clip, and as it was 1980 Lennon's influence had to be expressed through the prism of Abba.

1986: You can understand Paul Heaton jigging around like that to the Housemartins' acapella excursion, that's what he always does, but what's the woman at the front's excuse? Alison Moyet positioned as rock chick seems wrong somehow, but not as wrong as Steve Wright's bright yellow cable-knit jumper.

1998: Bryan Adams and Melanie C sing each other down. There's a man by the drummer shaking a tambourine and nothing else. He's stealing a living.

2005: How did Nizlopi miss out on the Christmas number one? Well, the X Factor juggernaut, obviously, but the excursion into improv-skat might be a good reason.

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