Saturday, 22 December 2012

22nd December

1977: Newly sprung from 10cc, Godley & Creme go their own way by... well, by Jimmy getting their name wrong, and then by atmospheric stock footage and Kevin playing it up for all he's worth at the end. Some frenzied guitar playing from Gordon Giltrap matched by an overelaborate backdrop. No such worries for Legs & Co, whose interpretation of Donna Summer doubled as the official international launch of Tetris.

1983: No expense spared here - an addendum to the titles just for Christmas, what seems like twice as many punters as usual and Rhythm Pals in place, the party started by the biggest Christmas party band of them all, Slade. Yes, Slade were only on the show the previous week, in fact My Oh My was the Christmas number two, but in the spirit of both the season and waste not want not they put this back out as well. Some heavy intrusion by dancers behind Noddy there. At nearly the other end of the memorable Christmas hit scale, Dennis Waterman and George Cole with live lapel mikes, as demonstrated when someone doesn't turn Cole's up in time. Ad libbing, half forgotten lines and, reputedly, Cole and Peel having a falling-out in the green room afterwards follow. This week's number one is on the back of everyone's jacket, The Flying Pickets, Red Stripe and his freakishly immoveable face arm in arm and forming a counterpoint to the Squeeze T-shirted Brian Hibbard. Chorus line swaying was only ever a matter of time.

1988: It's Tyson McVey's TV debut - not that anyone knew who she'd (yes, she) be yet, because her mother Neneh Cherry was six months pregnant with her. Due to a combination of massive medallion, high waisted skirt and camera angles you can't always tell but it's not as if she's willingly hiding it much unless you count the substantial distraction of manic fancy dressed dancers, whose presence is surely a story in itself. It's not entirely clear whether The Four Tops were supposed to be choreographed but it takes a good half of the song to break into any sort of conjoined hot stepping. Chap to Nicky Campbell's left looks very keen anyway. Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan indulge in some symbolism of the cheapest stripe, starting right across the stage from each other and offering coy crosses and glances so their eventual meeting in the middle can be met by a big old cheer like they didn't know it was coming. Then the audience just wolf whistle for the rest of the song. They're not going to do much else, you know.

1994: Alright, Gary, give it a rest. Zig & Zag were great on their day but nobody seems to recall it as such because of... well, because of conceits like this. In contrast to that expansive show from a focal central point, The Human League formed a bus queue of electro.

2000: Imagine going to the dancer casting for Kylie Minogue's performance here, you'd be promised lots of screen time but not in quite the way you'd hoped. When they do get going there's a move based entirely on how short she is, which might give a lesser star a complex. Surely nobody there really believed Robbie Williams was injured? He's not even wearing a cast. By the end there's one of those very orderly stage invasions TOTP specialised in, in the midst of which you just hear Robbie shout something really quite dubious.


Anonymous said...

Not pleased that the Kylie Minogue clip from '00's looking to be blocked from U.S. viewership. If there's anything you can do about that, much appreciated.

Simon said...

This is the only alternate version on YouTube, but it's on DailyMotion too.