Friday, 28 December 2012

28th December

1972: This is a remarkable special in so many ways, especially with Tony Blackburn thinking he's Robin Hood or something. He's only in keeping with Lieutenant Pigeon, the English civil war's pub piano mental asylum wing. They're playing it live, as demonstrated by the penny whistle solo bum note at the end. Quite the emotional swing to go from there to a tastefully lit Roberta Flack. Maybe she's using the same piano. After exposing some latent drag factor in the sound department Slade, a year before their more timely effort, and The Hat must have just been minted if there were enough mirrors left over for Dave Hill's suit. Pan's People gather among us after that and Tony has a present for them. Unfortunately it's a present they've already seen, when Cherry came into the room where auditions for a new member were being held, but they seem delighted anyway, a whole lot more delighted then they look (and, it transpired, were) with the big dresses they were given to dance to Nilsson in. Another special guest follows, Rolf Harris, namedropping Johnnie Stewart and illustrating what Chuck Berry's hit plainly doesn't mean. Michael and Jackson 5 appeared on TOTP twice more when he'd grown up a bit but whenever the BBC pull out a clip of Jacko in his youth it's always this one, presumably to point at his youthfulness. The kids for their part seem far more excited by pin-ups of the year T-Rex, Marc at one stage nearly knocking himself over trying to knock the kids out.

1989: Review Of The 80s officially, with Mike Read and that devil may care party starter Paul Gambaccini. Mostly clips but a handful of new performances, chiefly Shakin' Stevens breaking out his best teddy boy drapes, a misty David Essex and Phil Collins, pensive, paint pot present.

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