Friday, 26 December 2014

I Have a Top of the Pops

A very merry thanks to Steve H for uploading the final edition of Top of the Pops of 1979, and indeed of the 70's. It won't be broadcast on BBC4 because it is co-hosted by DLT, but fingers crossed his shows will be reinstated next year.

Here's to 1980!

Top of the Pops 27-12-79: Presenters: Dave Lee Travis & Mike Read

   THE BOOMTOWN RATS – I Don’t Like Mondays (video)
(2) ABBA – I Have A Dream (video)
(3) THE POLICE – Walking On The Moon (video)
VILLAGE PEOPLE – In The Navy (video)
GLORIA GAYNOR – I Will Survive (danced to by Legs & Co ~ Patti gets her skates on!)
ART GARFUNKEL – Bright Eyes (video)
(26) QUEEN – Crazy Little Thing Called Love (video)
THE POLICE – Message In A Bottle (video)
VILLAGE PEOPLE – Y.M.C.A. (danced to by Legs & Co)
SQUEEZE – Up The Junction
BLONDIE – Heart Of Glass (video)
(1) PINK FLOYD – Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2) (video)

So that completes a whole year of Top of the Pops 1979 blogs ~ a huge thanks from me to everyone who takes time to contribute, your words and observations are always a pleasure to read, and of course a special thank you to Darnall42, Neil B and Steve H for uploading the missing episodes. Looking into 1980 it seems we'll get off to quite a good uninterrupted run until March, but the real problems will start in the summer, though nothing to do with presenters this time!

Best wishes for the rest of Xmas and the New Year and see you back here for the January 3rd 1980 edition hosted by Peter Powell.


  1. Angelo, a resounding success this year with your blog. Well done to you, Darnall42, Neil B and Steve H for keeping us entertained throughout the year.

    I liked this episode for the chemistry between DLT and Mike, as DLT only had to continue his fun attitude to the show, and not change anything, while Mike Read had to show us his fun side on this show in order to keep up with DLT, unlike his series demeanour when presenting shows no his own.

    I think BBC4 should rethink on the DLT bans, cos I do find him very entertaining on the show and he was perfect face on TV, where not all DJs on radio could make the successful transition like him, and perhaps the Beeb has gone too far to give him the same treatment as Jimmy Saville by banning his shows - for now let's hope.

  2. Village People - although they got two songs on this show, the In The Navy video was the better one, as the YMCA showing was Legs & Co doing masculine movements which for me just didn't cut with their usual very feminine style, but it was nice when they revealed which lady was in which YMCA costume.

    The only obvious ones were Gillian and Sue, and even I had to wait till the end to see who was in the black leathers and red indian costume, as the camera shots did not stay long enough on each of them but kept moving through the song.

    Gloria Gaynor - I loved this Legs & Co performance, right from the very first shot of a leg from heels upwards, to the last note. How fitting that it was Patti who was selected for the spotlight ice-skating part, as she must have been the one most confident in skating shoes, and to take to the skates like a duck to water. Even so, the rest of the girls looked exquisite in shiny green and high heels. Happy Christmas Legs & Co!

    Art Garfunkel - how nice to see UK Gold with a full video uncut as it was seen in the original 1979 transmission. Now of course in the new millennium the motion picture bosses want more money off the BBC to show videos from Grease, Saturday Night Fever and Watership Down, to the detriment of us TV licence-payers who are made to suffer with the BBC4 editing.

    Squeeze - the only studio performance on this show. I guess it was the only one left over from the others that would have gone over the allocated time of the first show on 25/12/79, to be put on this second show alongside the videos.

    Blondie - good choice by the Beeb to keep this as promo video for show 2, as Blondie looks picture perfect pretty, and to give her instead Sunday Girl and Dreaming to perform in the studio in show 1 on Christmas Day.

    Pink Floyd - how fitting to close the show, and indeed the end of a second decade for TOTP, as the curtain now closed on the 70s for good, with this chilling account of secondary school education in Britain.

    1. Dory, I have just uploaded the original unedited version of TOTP from 25/12/78.

      To be honest, the footage of Saturday Night Fever in particular does little to enhance the show. I much prefer looking at Legs & Co myself.

      However, if you would like to see it, go to and search for manorak under 'people' and that should get you there.

    2. Great stuff Manorak. It's interesting that BBC4 showed a clean unedited version of this Xmas 1978 show WITH the Saturday Night Fever and Grease clips, and not substituting the clips with Legs & Co as with current policy to tinker with the original shows, but perhaps this was a few years ago before they began the regular repeats from TOTP 1976 onwards.

      I wonder if anyone knows when BBC4 showed this clean unedited version that you have uploaded, because I don't remember it shown, as I only started following from the 1976 repeats, and by the time they reached Xmas 1978 last year, the tinkering and editing by BBC4 was already in full flow, and this particular Xmas show had the changes made it in 2013 during the current runs.

    3. A further thought on this 1978 Xmas show is that while I can never get enough of seeing Legs & Co in their see-through nighties doing Night Fever, and their very tasty outfits doing You're The One That I want, there's nothing like watching the show in its original unedited and form with the original movie footage, so thanks again to you for uploading it on your Vimeo site.

    4. Dory, I remember watching the 1978 Xmas show the first time it was broadcast by BBC4, which must have been around 2008 or 2009 - clearly the Beeb could afford to show the film clips then. BBC4 also repeated the shows from Boxing Day 1967 and 15 February 1968 around that time, which are almost the only editions from the 60s which still survive mostly intact. Sadly they will never get shown in full again, as JS co-hosted both.

    5. I have both of those 60's episodes in full from BBC4 and I will upload them asap.

    6. John, so if BBC4 showed the original including the movies footage at around the time you mention, then the new policy of editing out movie clips must have come into effect at some point from 2011 onwards, because 2011 was the year that they began the weekly repeats from 1976 onwards as a 35-year anniversary of every show.

      This new editing-out policy of movie clips is in itself a piece of history within the TOTP evolution, which was followed by the second new policy in 2012 to ban editions with JS and DLT.

      For this reason, it's important that we have people on this blog that can furnish us with original unedited shows, of which in this case with the BBC4 unedited Xmas 1978 show, Manorak has kindly stepped forward to help out. Thanks again!

    7. The BBC has suffered significant budget cuts in the last 5 years, and that perhaps helps to explain why they now edit the film clips.

      Incidentally, thanks to Manorak for uploading the 60s shows.

    8. So according to this, it appears that it is not the film companies that have raised their fees to the BBC, but rather that the fees have remained the same, but the BBC cannot pay what they used to be able to pay easily to show the movie clips, so its a sad sign of the times that budget cuts have forced the movie clips to be cut out of the show, and this coupled with the the Yewtree problem for JS and DLT shows, means that was what enjoyed by the BBC over 35 years, has only in the last three years had FOUR reasons to edit the repeats:

      1.Jimmy Saville
      2. Dave Lee Travis
      3. Budget cuts since the economic downturn/credit crunch, causing editing-out of movie clips from the show, like Grease, Saturday Night Fever and Watership Down, not to mention all Elvis footage on TOTP!
      4. Political correctness gone out of control, causing some acts to be removed, like Barron Knights, etc, and the wish to rewrite history, and not let us see the shows how they were shown in a less complicated world in the 70s.

      I hope there does not come a time where the whole TOTP shows are thrown away by the BBC, and that we depend totally on internet uploads.

      I do hope (and it is possible) that at some point in the future, all 4 parameters for editing are reversed by the BBC since all 4 came in only in the last three years, and I hope someone can advise the BBC to see sense and give us the full shows.

    9. Both 60's episodes are up now. I also uploaded 28/12/72 if anyone would like to see it.

      Go to and either search for '28121972', or look for manorak under 'people'.

    10. Many thanks for all of these brilliant uploads. With my slow connection, it will take me a while to download them, so I hope that they'll stick around for a while! Appreciated so much.

    11. I second your comments Withering.

      Sadly Manorak's videos were all suddenly taken down beyond his control on 12 January :(, but I'm hopeful that he and/or other owners of the same and/or different editions can upload these and others that haven't yet been uploaded at some point.

      Editions from many years have been uploaded to date including 14/01/71 while others remain elusive but may surface in due course, fingers crossed.

      In terms of 1981, some of the following are already on the circuit, but hopefully the others currently not known about will become available in time.

    12. I agree with you Dory that unedited copies of editions are needed as per original broadcasts, as it's not quite the same having movie footage edited out and songs and DJ links being shortened or edited out out on a whim for the sake of it which causes a major distraction to the flow of the music when these unmissable edits are put into place. I enjoy Legs and Co (like their predecessors and successors), but prefer editions as they were originally shown without edits.

      I also agree that the BBC should rethink their policy of bans and edits, but sad to say, the BBC are a law unto themselves who ignore the many complaints viewers send to them to show editions or edit out the DJ links. Hopefully one day they will see reason.

    13. Kudos to you Manorak for your vast range of uploads of Top of the Pops editions and others for their uploads to date. :)

      Shame on the powers that be for forcing down your account and all your uploads which has prevented many of us from downloading all your uploads and potentially other editions that you might have uploaded.

      I don't know if you'll be uploading the editions you uploaded and additional ones via an alternative source (any editions including the elusive 12/02/76 and 25/03/76 would all be very welcome), but thanks for all your efforts, and hopefully the editions you uploaded and/or from other sources can be uploaded again in due course.

  3. Skipped through most of this having seen these videos umpteen times before, but I will note DLT's Starsky cardigan and the Legs & Co routines, was Patti the only one who could rollerskate? Top marks to Gill's sterling performance as the cop in the Village People, she was really enjoying herself, though Patti didn't look happy about her role as the Indian Chief.

    One thing I wonder about Heart of Glass, were Blondie big Werner Herzog fans? That title seems to allude to their artier roots.

    Ironically, the showing of Bright Eyes here also cut it very short!

    Anyway, I wonder if anyone can clear up a puzzle for me, I remember watching the tail end of a TOTP at Christmas and seeing the Another Brick in the Wall video which I could have done without on an otherwise cheery day, but the episode here wasn't on Christmas Day itself. So was it shown on the 1980 TOTP as well? Just trying to pinpoint a mild childhood trauma...

    1. Yes, Another Brick in the Wall was the penultimate song on the 1980 Christmas Day show, though you won't be able to relive your trauma on BBC4 next year as that show is Yewtreed!

  4. Many thanks to Steve H for making this show available so quickly. As expected, most of it was of limited interest thanks to the preponderance of videos, but I thought DLT and Mike Read had a good, fun chemistry. Mr Read's outfit was interesting, seemingly prefiguring his future UKIP leanings. Did anyone also notice his limp-wristed gesture when they were introducing YMCA? He certainly wouldn't have got away with that these days!

    Legs also made this edition worth watching, with their homages to the YMCA and I Will Survive videos - it was particularly fun to see them dressed up as the Village People! Although I find Up the Junction a bit irritating, Squeeze also turned in a fun performance with all the instrument swapping and general larking about. It's strange that the Beeb didn't get Blondie to do Heart of Glass as one of their studio performances, as it was their biggest hit of the year, but Debbie is so gorgeous in the video I certainly don't mind seeing it again!

    In any case, many thanks once again to Angelo and all those who have made the missing shows available to us during the year. Happy New Year, and look forward to reconvening in 2015/1980!

  5. Not much to say about this one.

    DLT & Mike Read made a good fist of presenting what in essence was a video compilation. Acceptable repartee and not too buttock-clenchingly awful 'gags'.

    One other thought - you could have made a fairly good single show by mixing the best of both Festive episodes although that would have meant Blondie appearing three times.
    Thanx to Steve H for the rapid download and to Angelo for helping me relive 1979.
    Happy New Year to one and all - see you in the 80s.

  6. Just discovered this forum it Is great. I do have the 27,09,79 08,11,79 chart rundowns. I Will Be putting them on youtube soon. better late than never. Lets hope 1980 Is as good as 79

  7. many thanks to angelo for being our host this year - hopefully that will continue into "1980"?

    1. Cheers Wilberforce ~ yes I wouldn't want to miss 1980 ~ back here for the 3rd January edition :-)

  8. Few more 70's treats in my 4shared folder for anyone who
    wants them, Thanks to Angelo, Neil & Darnall42 for 1979 and everyone who posts comments I love reading them

    1. Thanks Steve. I really liked the Xmas 1974 upload, and nice to see DLT dancing with Mud at the end of the show on Tiger Feet in that party atmosphere that was not repeated until the revamped early-80s TOTP shows with balloons on the show every week from around 1982 onwards.

      No matter what people say about DLT, he gave many us a great sense of fun in the 70s, and was pivotal in making TOTP a popular family show, and this particular show ending off 1974 is a pinnacle moment, where even the great Noel Edmunds as joint presenter, couldn't keep up with DLTs sense of fun and enjoyment.

  9. Not much more to add except my sincere thanks and best wishes to Angelo, Neil, Darnall and Steve.Thanks for all your uploads.I keep looking for the odd ones that I haven't seen from 76,77 and 78.Looking forward to 1980.Hope to see you there

    1. What episodes are you looking for Chris ? I may have some of them.

  10. Manorak from 77 theres quite a few, jan 13, feb 10, feb 17, all from 3 mar to 14 apr,12 may,23 jun,14 jul,4 aug,18 aug,8 sep,15 sep,13 oct,20 oct,10 nov,24 nov,8 Dec !
    From 78 I need 13 Apr, 14 sep.A long list I know.Any help appreciated !

    1. Chris, all I have in full are UK Gold copies of these 1977 shows : 17/2, 10/3, 17/3, 24/3, 14/4, 12/5, 23/6, 18/8, and 24/11.

      The editions from 10/2/77, 3/3/77, 4/8/77, and 8/9/77 were all wiped by the bbc, although many of the performances from the shows are still around.

      I did record all of the 1977 shows that were screened on BBC4, but I did not keep any full shows, just the songs and performers that I liked to watch and listen to myself.

      Let me know if you would like any of the UK Gold shows.

    2. Your UK Gold shows would be very welcome when you get the time. Cheers again.Chris

  11. Hi Angelo, I just looked back at your first blog of last year with the Christmas Day 1978 show, posted on 26 Dec 2013, and you can now put up the Manorak link which has the full unedited show from BBC4 shown pre-2011 budget cuts, which shows the Night Fever and Grease clips as they were on the show.

  12. It looks as if the November 1979 industrial dispute had severely impacted on the BBC's Christmas production schedules and TOTP had fallen off the bottom of the list. Still, Mike Read and DLT were entertaining.

    Just one artist performance - I can remember this, with the drummer singing, but the 'instrument swap' thing would have gone over my head. Looks like Glenn Tilbrook is quite proficient on the old skins.

    It's just as well that Legs & Co unmasked themselves towards the end of the YMCA routine because up until then I thought it was dire - the visual equivalent of those namesake LPs on which the hit singles were re-created by session musicians (which were still going at this time I believe).

    So that was 1979, for me it was quite possibly the best year for music in the entire history of recorded sound. I've been telling people about my following of these repeats from 35 years ago and that the JS and DLT shows are available to see on the Internet "if you know where to look". Many thanks to all those who have made this possible, and I look forward to doing it all again in 1980, er, I mean 2015.

    1. the glenn tilbrook on drums thing reminds me of the story of when keith moon was asked by some interviewer if he thought ringo starr was the best drummer in the world. his reply? "he's not even the best drummer in the beatles!"

    2. According to Beatles expert Mark Lewisohn, This was recently traced back to an earlty eighties Jasper Carrot routine.

      Anyone doubting Ringo's chops - have a listen to Day in the Life.

    3. What started it all off was that time when Ringo walked out of a recording session and Paul discovered he could play drums. Ringo returned of course but the die was cast...

  13. The cheery on the top of 1979 TOTP cake. Now i have seen all of the episodes for 1979. Happy New Year and a big big thank you

  14. I hope some of you managed to catch Julien Temple's Clash in New Year 1977 documentary last night on BBC Four. A follow up to his Sex Pistols at Christmas one from last year, it was almost as good, great clippage and terrific editing (TOTP footage too!). On iPlayer if you missed it.

  15. Thanks to Angelo for the blog, all you commenters for your never ending nuggets of interest. and those who provided the contraband shows.

    Roll on 1980.