1964: Hard to imagine there'd be much call for doing a regular TOTP on 31st December days after the big round-up Christmas show. Pop is ever evolving, I appreciate, but you'd imagine in the days long before 24 hour shopping that with the industry having done its business well by the time the Christmas chart rolls round and with a new year's worth of promotion ahead, when the top 40 goes to sleep all its friends go to sleep. Yet there's been three, of which this is the first and the Moody Blues the surviving fragment.
1970: Technically this day's rundown should have included 1969's Pop Goes The Sixties, but as a co-production and not under the TOTP banner per se despite Johnnie Stewart production and Savile co-hosting it misses out on a "have you seen how long we've spent on this day already?" technicality. Instead to the following year's regular show, without any sort of host it says here, and Elton John in a jacket that's neither one thing (tasteful) nor the other (OTT).
1987: One can only assume the show had a retro radio microphone lying around unused, you can't imagine Krush requesting one. The visuals are pretty much in sync with the soundtrack, despite the lipsync at 0:52. "I'm glad they're on the New Year's Eve show" says Peter Powell of Morris Minor & The Majors. Why? Because it gets fewer viewers?
1988: If you've ever seen archive clips of any of its major components you may have seen footage of Jimmy Savile introducing the first Top Of The Pops. Except it isn't, that show was so long ago wiped that nobody involved can/could agree on who the first act on was, and what you're seeing is a recreation from TOTP's 25th anniversary special. Basically everybody malleable they could think of with a TOTP or Radio 1 connection appears in some form along with a band guest list which shows the state of pop nostalgia at the end of 1988: The Swinging Blue Jeans, the Tremeloes, very definitely not the original lineup of Mud, Lulu (Shout, which she seemed to do on every magazine show on a regular basis at the time), Engelbert, David Essex, the Four Tops, Cliff in massive glasses, Shaky and, inevitably, Status Quo, who are first shown pictures of them when they looked slightly different. Bar a couple of glitches, one of which loses a chat with Mike Love, the whole thing is on that link, packed out with clips from across the years plus cameos from Moira Stewart, Errol Brown, Les McKeown, Petula Clark, two Gibbs, half of Queen, Tom Jones in the street and, this being 1988, Eddie Edwards. Johnnie Stewart gets dragged to the front at the end, though obviously he doesn't get a word in edgeways.
2008: Having never done so before TOTP decided to become a New Year's Eve regular as well as a Christmas fixture, but abandoned that idea after two years. Chiefly showcasing clips from the year's other BBC output - festivals, award ceremonies, special events, so forth - it also existed as a depository for extra songs by those who appeared six days earlier, such as Coldplay - what do you suppose Chris is telling his bandmates at the start? They've already started the song - and Duffy, who was so popular at the time she had to hire doubles to throw people off the scent. Meanwhile Reggie tries to impress Fearne into liking Gabriella Cilmi, the rest of us making do with admiring how shiny her trousers are.
2009: Again here, with return visits for Robbie Williams and his catwalk, JLS and Sugababes while also finding room for Calvin Harris unable to decide whether to sing or operate a synth when clearly he should be doing both and - after 366 days and far, far too many links and compilation man-hours this isn't the ending to On This TOTP Day I'd hoped for but beggars can't be choosers, thanks for reading and all that - Joe McElderry.