Thursday, 2 July 2015

Can't Stop the Top of the Pops

So the new era enters its second week hosted by Tommy Vance and 'McVicar himself' - the Who's Roger Daltrey, who seems to have turned up hoping to see The Clash ~ he'd have a long wait........

Do you mind if I smoke?


14-8-80: Presenters: Tommy Vance & Roger Daltrey

(29) ULTRAVOX – Sleepwalk
Another major 80's legends debut here, this time Ultravox, featuring new lead singer Midge Ure, who we'd first seen back in 1976 when he was a foetus singing for Slik, with Sleepwalk already at its chart peak.

 (4) DAVID BOWIE – Ashes To Ashes (video)
Costing an astonishing (for the time) £40,000 to make, this marks the beginning of the video era which would set the 1980's apart, and helped pave the way for the New Romantics and MTV. Ashes to Ashes was the first single from Bowie's Scary Monsters and Super Creeps album, and would rise to number one in a week's time.

 (18)  LEGs & CO  –  wear mini-national costumes for their routine around a giant globe to ELO's All Over The World, the third single from the Xanadu movie.

 (22) MIKE BERRY – The Sunshine Of Your Smile
This became Mike's second and final top ten hit, though he had to wait a while after his first one, Don't You Think its Time, which reached number 6 in 1963.

 (24) GRACE JONES – Private Life
Another debut, this time of scary Grace Jones with her Pretenders cover, which she took to 17 in the charts.

 (27) VILLAGE PEOPLE – Can’t Stop The Music (video)
Roger Daltrey's somewhat dodgy 'watch your backs' comment was edited out here as he introduced the Village People's last real hit, other than remixes of YMCA.

 (30) SUE WILKINSON – You Gotta Be A Hustler If You Wanna Get On
Sue's one and only hit, which peaked at 25 in the charts, had a Flying Lizards feel to it, with a touch of Noel Coward thrown in too.

The Top Ten Rundown:

 (10) TOM BROWNE – Funkin’ For Jamaica (clip of Legs & Co TOTP 7-8-80)
Now at its peak.

 (9) ODYSSEY – Use It Up And Wear It Out (clip of Legs & Co TOTP 7-8-80)
Had spent two weeks at number one during the strike.

 (8) LEO SAYER – More Than I Can Say (video)
Had peaked at number 2 during the strike.

 (7) GEORGE BENSON – Give Me The Night (video)
His first of three top ten hits, now at its peak.

 (6) THE GAP BAND – Oops Upside Your Head (video)
Also now at its peak in the charts, the first of two top ten hits for the Gap Band.

 (5) ROXY MUSIC – Oh Yeah (On The Radio) (clip of TOTP 7-8-80)
The second of three singles from their huge number one album, Flesh and Blood.

 (4) DAVID BOWIE – Ashes To Ashes (video)
Straight into the charts at number 4, on its way to the very top.

 (3) SHEENA EASTON – 9 To 5 (clip of TOTP 7-8-80)
Now at its peak position and remains her biggest hit to date.

 (2) DIANA ROSS – Upside Down (video)
Now at its peak.

 (1) ABBA – The Winner Takes It All (video)
The first single from their number one album, Super Trouper, in its second and final week at the top of the pops.

 (2) DIANA ROSS – Upside Down (crowd dancing) (and credits)

Next week then we get to see the edition from August 21st 1980.


107 comments:

  1. Has anything been cut from this 7:30 episode

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    1. It was a 30 minute edition, so no need to cut anything ~ except for Roger's naughty comment about the Village People.

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    2. What exactly was it that Daltrey said about The Village People, and does anyone have the clip before it was edited out?

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    3. It was on the TOTP preview of 1980 last Christmas, so you'll have heard it. He says "Watch your backs!" as the clip begins.

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    4. It's also on you tube as 'Village People - Can't Stop The Music (Video, TOTP)'

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    6. Never quite understood the point of saying what he said. How could members of The Village People (gay or straight) be a danger to anyone's backs when they were on film and not in the studio?

      But perhaps this simply post McVicar Roger trying to re-invent himself as one of the lads at the age of 36.

      a) Wear a leather jacket
      b) Talk in a cockney accent
      c) Keep mentioning The Clash
      d) Warn the lads about gay singers on film

      Sorted.

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    7. He had a very high opinion of himself if he thought every one of the Village People lusted after him. OK, he was looking pretty ripped in McVicar. Maybe it went to his head.

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  2. The Legs & Co effort I thought was quite outstanding this week, due to the effort put in on the costumes, and deservedly so, as the first two releases from the Xanadu album in June & July had no TOTP involvement, and not even Legs & Co due to the BBC strike.

    Now that this third release from the movie was here, then All Over The World deserved its top 20 position this week, and all the way till the end of 1980 we would see more releases from the same Xanadu movie from the triangle of ELO, Olivia Newton John and Cliff Richard, who all contributed substantially to the movie soundtrack.

    I'm pleased to say I watched the whole Xanadu 1980 movie at the weekend, and it's just brilliant, including the Gene Kelly duet with Olivia Newton John. A must see movie for all our bloggers.

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  3. OK, Roger Daltrey, if you were so anti-gay with that Village People comment, how come your then-current single was named after John Inman's catchphrase from Are You Being Served? Eh? EH?! Explain that one away!

    Anyway, he wasn't quite as miserable as we'd been led to believe, but he did have a "can't be arsed" demeanour throughout. They didn't even play his record - wouldn't it be a better idea to have the guest host perform as well? He was the lead singer in one of the biggest rock bands ever, after all.

    Ultravox, that tache never suited you, Midge, you have to be Clark Gable or John Waters to get away with that. As for the tune, lesser heard hit from them, a bit by the numbers but OK. Bowties are very difficult to tie, huh?

    Poignant to see Steve Strange in the Ashes to Ashes video, but watching it in context you can understand how it shook up the music video business forever. Major Tom's a cheeky monkey, etc.

    ELO, a neat enough, inspirational pop ditty, and could you spot the countries Legs & Co represented? What was Rosie meant to be, basically? The big screen seemed to be on the blink during this.

    Mike Berry, talking of Are You Being Served, was he on it by this time? Actually remember this one, looked like he'd been parachuted in from an earlier era. Not as good as Everyone's a Wally.

    Grace Jones, who'll be first to mention Russell Harty? Oh, it's me. Ice cool, not sure about the ciggy, it's bad enough when you get performers chewing. This sounds so 80s I could have sworn it was from the middle of the decade.

    Village People, when I was a kid and this was new I thought it was fantastic and couldn't understand how it wasn't a huge hit. There was a promo for the movie on BBC 1 one Saturday evening that made me think it was a must see. Didn't actually catch it for another three decades. It wasn't worth the wait. I assume this clip was truncated because it's a clip from the film?

    SueWilkinsonsingingveryquickly. It's amazing she never runs out of breath. That drum kit didn't get a lot of work, did it? And Edgar Winter on keyboards. Sounds like a celebration of the sort of woman who sells her kiss and tell to the tabloids.

    Lot's of ironic laughing scenes in the sad ABBA videos, weren't there?

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    1. Agreed only somewhat that the Ashes To Ashes video shook the music video business forever. The use of special effects in this manner was already in place before Bowie earlier in the year, cos Blondie's video for Atomic was the first to raise the bar with such a video style at this level, and Bowie may have copied the effects idea from Blondie, so let's give credit to others before Bowie, who may have himself (or his video team) taken inspiration from Blondie's idea a few months earlier in 1980.

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    2. Apart from the solarisation, I'm not seeing the Atomic connection, that was more of a concert video with occasional fancy bits. If Debs had been in front of a bulldozer, then you might have a point!

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    3. I think it wasn't just the effects, but the size of the budget - it cost 10x the amount of most videos made then - this marked the change from videos being something you just cobbled together to being much more serious with huge effort put in and almost as important as the song itself.

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    4. The video was directed by David Mallett who had filmed Bowie's updated version Space Oddity on ITV's Kenny Everett show on News Years Eve 1979 with the same padded cell set. Also the same beach locations for Ashes To Ashes were used in a Hot Gossip dance sequence for Cerrone's Supernature in 1978.

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    5. We've already seen a handful of pre-AtA videos indicating they were being taken increasingly seriously like The Buggles' number one and Peter Gabriel's Games Without Frontiers, but when Bowie did it, people really sat up and took notice. For example, Ultravox were on the same show as AtA's debut on TOTP, were they taking notes?

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  4. Mike Berry joined AYBS in 81 I think.Quite disappointed with tonight's show which I do remember watching when originally broadcast.I thought TV and RD were quite cringe worthy. Bowie and Sue W were my highlights.

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  5. shaky shakerson3 July 2015 at 01:58

    First up tonight the newly Midge-Ured Ultravox, and a proper slice of 80s electropop. Far poppier than the band's previous output and surprising that it never got higher than this. Interesting fact (or not) Midge's real first name is Jim but when he joined his first band there was already someone called Jim in it - someone who was very possessive about the moniker. So he simply turned Jim around to get Mij - or Midge!!

    Bowie on vid for Ashes To Ashes. This didn't really do anything for me either then or now.

    The Leggers dancing to ELO in a variety of National dresses - sort of. Interesting to get a shot from behind the girls showing the audience joining in.

    Mike Berry - fast forward.

    The chart rundown 30-11 littered with mistakes from TV, stumbling over his words.

    Grace Jones. Awful song, awful performance, Godawful woman. Sue Wilkinson. I half-expected this to be the theme tune to some tv programme or other and then it started and I am convinced I have never heard of this. That's some amount of hair atop her head by the way.

    Abba get a deserved second week at number 1 and we play out with La Ross.

    So, the scores. Mmm, lets be honest the music in this week's show was a notch below poor with Ultravox and Abba being the only tunes of any note. The crowd noises were irksome too. It all just looks like the production team are making things up as they go along, throwing new things at the screen in the hope that some of it will stick. If I'm being honest I'm not looking forward to the next few weeks and can only hope things settle down soon. Therefore this edition scores an all-time low of 2.

    As for Tommy Vance..... he scores 4. I think he might have been responsible for inviting Daltrey onto the show so drops points for that. (Daltrey came across as uncomfortable and, frankly, odious). Plus there was garbled links and uncomfortable portions of the show.

    Oh well, fingers crossed for next week.

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  6. Something I'd totally forgotten about re: Can't Stop the Music, Bruce Jenner was one of the stars, only famously he's not called that anymore. I looked up that promo piece on the Genome and it says the movie was a British production from EMI. The blurb wants it to be the next Grease. Good luck with that.

    As an aside, The Martian Chronicles was showing at the same time. Scared the life out of me when I was a kid, that did.

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    1. I think The Martian Chronicles scored because of what you didn't see (i.e. too much of the Martians and the distruction of earth). Agree with you, a truly disturbing piece of TV at the time.

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    2. The bit where the old couple kept looking outside in the storm to see their long-dead son standing staring at their house was nightmare fuel for little me.

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  7. THX - Roger Daltrey CBE's then-current single was actually 'Free Me' from the film "McVicar". 'I'm Free', taken from the orchestral version of "Tommy", had been a hit for him in '73.

    ELO may not be the critics' favourites, but Jeff Lynne remains one of the world's leading tunesmiths, having earned a co-writing credit on a worldwide hit only last year. (Won't you stay with me? No, I won't back down!) 'All Over The World' always makes me feel good, even if Legs' routine was based on a mixture of Miss World and Coppelia, with Flick's Six dressed up as souvenir dolls from various countries. Blonde Rosie was miscast as a Spaniard, while Burmese native Pauline was presumably meant to hail from Samoa, Tahiti or the Cook Islands - not Hawaii, I suspect, as that belongs to the USA, which Gill represented. Lulu was meant to be Scottish and Patti Japanese (although she's half-Chinese), while Sue's German Lederhosen outfit reminded me of the Bavarian routine in the film "There's No Business Like Show Business", in which Ethel Merman and Dan Dailey sang "Kommen Sie Hier Alexander's Ragtime Band". That huge revolving globe was last seen on TOTP at the start of Quo's 'Rocking All Over The World'.

    Mike Berry's record - produced by Chas Hodges of Chas & Dave - was unashamed MOR, but I very much enjoyed it. I saw Bert Spooner (as he was known at Grace Bros) in concert in Southport in December '12, when he was part of Marty Wilde's Rock & Roll Party along with Eden Kane and Roxanne Wilde, who sings just as well as her green-fingered big sister.

    It is a testament to Great Pretender Chrissie Hynde's considerable songwriting talent that she attracted a hit cover at this relatively early stage in her career, in the form of 'Private Life'. Bright futures rightly beckoned for both Chrissie and Grace.

    Village People were in decline by this time along with the disco movement in general, but my dear Mum and I went to the local fleapit to see the film, and both loved it.

    Victoria Wood prototype Sue Wilkinson - who had been in the duo Pure Gold with chief Blockhead Chaz Jankel - did gabble a bit, I agree, though she did remember to gasp in place of an offensive word. I don't know who her keyboardist was, but the percussionist was Don Powell of Slade, who shared Sue's management and label. He was on cabasa, flexitone, hi-hat and muted crash cymbal for the duration of the speech-song, but presumably set up his entire kit to prove that he was a proper drummer. Thanks to the HM revival, he would be back on TOTP as a member of Slade before long.

    The Top 5 consisted entirely of classics apart from Sheena's pedestrian offering, but she would redeem herself within a half a decade by relocating to Minneapolis and joining the Purple Set.

    Overall score: 8/10.

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    1. I read somewhere it was Edgar Winter on keyboards with Sue Wilkinson but that may have been an urban myth. The single was originally performed as and titled "You've Got To Be A Scrubber If You Want To Get On" but got changed pronto for airplay reasons. Never mind Victoria Wood and The Flying Lizards, for some reason this song brought back the essence of Joy Sarney!

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    2. Ah, of course, I sit corrected, I was getting my Roger Daltrey Frees mixed up. Nevertheless I believe it was an excellent point and I will bring it up with Rog if I ever meet him. OK, maybe not, as a punch on the nose is best avoided.

      Anyway, they perhaps should have booked Rog's co-star Adam Faith who may have been more genial.

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    3. As the only gay in the vinyl village your "I'm Free" comment made me laugh, someone should have pointed that out to Mr Trout Trousers at the time.

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    4. Forgot to say, thanks Julie for identifying the nations. I wouldn't have guessed Spain for Rosie, I wondered if she was supposed to be Welsh.

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    5. Agreed Julie that ELO always gave that feel-good effect, which I think began in 1979 with the Discovery album, and then was still in effect by the time they completed the Xanadu movie soundtrack in 1980 with this final release by them called All Over The World, and then beyond in 1981 for the Time album. The period from 1979 to 1981 for ELO was a feel-good time for them that lasted about 3 years since their successful world tour in 1978 fro Out of The Blue that finally gave them the accolade of best rock group in the world by Tony Curtis in that famous Wembley stadium covert in 1978 with the giant spaceship.

      If I could say who was my favourite of Legs & Co this week on All Over The World, it would have to be Pauline, as the only time in the song that the camera focussed on her was on that lovely belly that we last saw close up on Egyptain Reggae on TOTP in 1978.

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    6. I stand corrected - there was one more ELO release from Xanadu to follow up this August 1980 single, and it was called Don't Walk Away, in which later in the year in 1980, TOTP again called on Legs & CO for it.

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    7. Reading this thread, I was just about to chip in with what about 'Don't walk away' which was actually my favourite song from the Xanadu album. It featured a great B side from Out of the Blue (Across the Border) which, if anyone knows the song Nina Pretty Ballerina by Abba, features the same faded in steam train at the start!

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  8. Wasn't too keen on this show, it was even worse than last weeks with too many dull bits and not enough good songs. As a duo Tommy Vance and Mr Daltry were decidedly awkward and uninspiring and in Roger's case childishly homophobic.

    Although Roger might be interested to know that he was (partly) instrumental in my coming out as I did so on the same day as seeing Quadrophenia at the cinema.

    And ironically it was quite a gay-friendly show with Grace Jones, ABBA, Village People, Diana Ross, Bowie, Steve Strange and Mike Berry who's brother is drag star/actor (Peter) Bette Bourne.

    I quite liked this Ultravox track at the time although I always did hate the way Billy "Look At Me" Currie keeps staring at the camera. Stop it you twerp.

    Ashes to Ashes is a classic and one of my fave Bowie songs. The video was directed by David Mallett who had filmed Bowie's updated version Space Oddity on ITV's Kenny Everett show on News Years Eve 1979 (with the same padded cell set), also the same beach locations for Ashes To Ashes were used in a Hot Gossip dance sequence for Cerrone's Supernature in 1978. So the video wasn't 100% new.

    All Over The World is ELO by numbers but very good numbers even if the middle bit is like the intro to Don't Go Breaking My Heart. Legs have done that sexy-costumes -of-the-world before, I forget where now.

    Mike Berry has gone a long way from the Joe Meek -produced Tribute To Buddy Holly but he was still mates with Chas Hodges who produced this as Julie says above. As an actor he was also in Worzel Gummidge around this time and did a rather annoying advert for Blue Riband chocolate bars.

    Superb restrained performance from Grace Jones but they wouldn't allow the cigarette now. I thought she was on fire at one point.

    I wasn't too keen of this Village People song but somewhere I have an invitation to the UK film premier in Leicester Square which was in the form of a playable picture disc.

    The Sue Wilkinson song is Silly but fun and I can see why some men would go weak at the knees when looking at her. And I love the way she's sitting on the chair the wrong way round. Is that really Edgar winter?

    The Top Ten and then ABBA again. More awkward dancing at the end but not as bad as last week.

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    1. quite ironically the apparently-homophobic mr daltrey was actually making a living singing lyrics written by a man who later came out as bisexual. i did actually see bette bourne perform in a revue about 10 years ago, but i had no idea (s)he and mike berry were siblings. i also didn't know that blue riband chocolate bars had been around for so long - they were on offer at tesco recently so i bought a cupboards-worth of them (i hope they haven't been melted in the heatwave!)

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    2. One silly "childish" comment does not make someone homophobic. I agree with the poster who suggested Mr Daltrey was merely trying to be one of the lads.
      Shame on him if he really is though.

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    3. shaky shakerson3 July 2015 at 14:01

      Yeah, you have to remember that Daltrey grew up in the 50s/60s and comments such as the one that was edited out of the programme were de rigeur for working class kids of that time.Obviously by 1980 that sort of thing was starting to be frowned upon, but not enough for the Beeb to edit it out of the original screening. It's just another example of how massively our standards/morals have changed for the better. Another example occurs in The Beatles first film A Hard Days Night. At the start of the film when the band are on the train George Harrison says 'Look at the talent' pointing out two young girls in school uniform! And that was one of those nice clean-cut Beatles dontchaknow.

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    4. Legs had performed a similar routine to The Carpenters' 'Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft' in '77, but in costumes representing various American stock characters: Patti as a schoolgirl complete with (field) hockey stick, Sue as a baseball player, Gill as a cowgirl, Lulu as a waitress, Rosie as a beauty queen and Pauline as a Hawaiian.

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    5. Shaky is spot on regarding the times they were not quite a changin' yet for the BBC, and working class was still the majority in Britain.

      One of the learning curves through watching these shows 35 years after, is not only for reminiscing on the music that we still love to this day, but also the public's and television's acceptance of things that would be a no-go area later on through the Thatcher years and beyond into the next century.

      As the distance between people was now beginning to get wider through an improving affluence of society, and a move away from the classic working class upbringing of many musicians and television appearances at the time like this one by Daltrey, life was about to change forever toward political correctness, and people soon would have to think before saying things that people had traditionally not even batted an eyelid to, but as can see here still in 1980, it hadn't quite kicked in yet.

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    6. I remember an advert for Blue Riband back in the 80s, featuring someone singing the brand name accompanied by an acoustic guitar - I have no idea if that was Mike Berry, but I guess it might have been...

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    7. It was indeed Mike Berry, shortly before he joined the cast of 'Are You Being Served?' The jingle went:

      [Mike strikes single E-major chord on guitar to get in tune, and then sings a capella]
      "I got those Can't-Get-Enough-Of-Those-Blue-Riband-Blues/Blue Riband's the wafer biscuit I always choose..."
      [Dog howls and picture comes loose on wall] "...When my woman treats me right/She buys me Blue Riband wafer biscuits crisp and light..."
      [Daughter leaves lounge, enters kitchen and comes back with plate full of Blue Ribands]
      "I got those Can't-Get-Enough-Of-Those-Bluuuueee..."
      [Daughter offers him plate of Blue Ribands]
      "...Oh, thank you!"

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    8. Voiceover: "Blue Riband, the biscuit to beat the blues!"

      I know the piano shifting chimps hold the record for most shown advert in the UK, but Mike and his chocolate biscuits must be top ten at least.

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    9. i looked at the blue riband ad on youtube and the dog howling at his song does bring back some sort of recollection.had i been in the studio audience when mike sang "the sunshine of your smile" i would have been howling my disapproval!

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    10. I've looked the advert up on Youtube, and I definitely remember the guy with the guitar, but I seem to recall him singing a different, more tuneful song. Could just be my memory playing tricks...

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    12. You may have been thinking of an ad for McCain Oven Chips, in which Mike Berry plays one of two painters/decorators who sing along with Carol 'Play School' Leader:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GRPuAGVs94s

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    13. Thanks Julie - I definitely remember that McCain's one, but an alternative Blue Riband ad is still lurking in the back of my mind...

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    14. Changing tack a bit, how about an advert that sold more chips than the product it was meant to push? Exhibit A - the BirdsEye Steakhouse Grill advert, with that van load of builders singing "Hope it's chips, it's chips" to the tune of "Que Sera Sera".

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    15. Arthur, it was a very clever ad for its time when it was released by BirdsEye. I remember it was around 1980 funnily enough, and being in secondary school at the time, our PE teacher was of Greek origin called Mr Chichios, and the boys at school would chant "hope it's Chich it's Chich, we hope it's Chich it's Chich.....", so I owe a lot to that Birds Eye ad for making my schooldays so much fun.

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    16. Yes, I'm now remembering the ad now from the around 1980.
      "Will it be mushrooms, fried onion rings, you'll have to wait and see. Hope it's chips it's chips, we hope it's chips it's chips....."

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  9. hosts: considering roger daltrey was actually making some kind of living as an actor at the time, you think he would at least be able to do a few intros without hesitating or stumbling over every other word. as for tommy vance, it seems being in the presence of rock royalty causes him to lose his usual cool and thus make nearly as bad a pig's ear of things as daltrey. the whole thing reminds me of watching the "film" review programme where barry norman would take no prisoners with his pithy critique of films, for which he gained my admiration. and then when he got to interview the actual stars he turned into a simpering sycophant! another good reason not to allow pop stars to present the show...

    ultravox: although i was familiar with the john foxx-era ultravox (then known as "ultravox!") via the music weeklies, i had never heard anything of theirs before. i really loved this when i heard it on the radio (especially the distinct drum break that regularly occurs throughout), and was really disappointed when it failed to make any more chart progress. but like most of the "vienna" album it seems a bit cack and rather dated now

    bowie: in the unlikely event anyone hasn't done so already, then i recommend listening to the full-length album version, wherein the dame does a bit of wordless vocal gymnastics in the instrumental break. i would also advise readers to check out the heebeegeebees' "david bowwow" skit "quite ahead of my time" that superbly parodies both this track and "fashion"

    ELO: i had no recollection of this whatsoever before they played this, and all i can remember about it now is that it lifts the same augmented chord progression as used in "crying" (and that lennon also ripped off on one of hos last efforts, the name of which escapes me)

    mike berry: it was all going so well in a glorious welcome-to-the-sound-of-the-80's way with the likes of ultravox and bowie, and then we get this shite that sounds like it could have been recorded anytime. that is any time between 1935 and 1975!

    grace jones: this is more like it with regard to the sound of things to come. not her best effort by any means, but a promising pointer to the great things to come. unlike other covers she did around this time, surprisingly this isn't that much different to the (cod-reggae?) pretenders original. i'm surprised she didn't get her hand burnt by that fag, but even if she had i don't suppose she'd have let it show!

    village people: i wish the beeb had kept mr daltrey's homophobic remark in the show, not only to demonstrate the prevailing ignorance and prejudice of the times, but also if nothing else to show him up for his myopic stereotyping. if he had spent any time in a real prison rather than the pretend one of "mcvicar" then he would have realised that not all gays were mincing queens and/or out to shag anything male that moved! at this time i was actually working in a prison as the inmates' paymaster, and several of them were "detailed" to me to act as clerks. one was gay and made no bones about it, but other than that he was no different to the others who worked with me (we were all into football and pop music), and i certainly never felt i had to "watch my back". anyway, at least tommy's spot on with the pronounciation of the act's name (so they won't get confused with the village idiot). as for the music, well it's just "YMCA" part II isn't it? no, actually, "in the navy" was "YMCA" part II so this must be at least part III!

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    1. Roger Daltrey was indeed a bag of nerves when introducing the songs with no Tommy Vance beside him. Vance himself did not do much to elevate the popularity of TOTP just coming back after a 2-month strike, and I find it bizarre that Vance was chosen as early as this, as it would have been better to follow Peter Powell with Jensen, Read, DLT or even Saville who all notoriously had a more upbeat nature for presenting the show.

      Vance and Daltrey I felt made the show very dreary this week, and their similar styles I could see were the right combination for the BBC to put them together this week, but they would have been better put on the show together in Nov or Dec after the show was well back firmly on its feet after the show's new format.

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  10. ...talking of which, here's another part II:

    sue wilkinson: is this meant to be taken seriously or what? even if thought of as a novelty record it's seriously lacking in every department. and why would anybody want to listen to such a musically-valueless thing more than once, if at all! i suppose only on TOTP could such utter tripe appear on the same show as icons like bowie and grace jones! and why does don powell bother with the drumkit when all he's doing is shaking a few bits of percussion? i'm not sure which was more excruciating: the performance, or tommy's "interview" afterwards. she's got lovely hair though...

    diana ross: was it me or did this seemed slowed down so it dragged even more than normal? at least when it came to the dancing audience they bothered with more than one stationary camera this week...

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  11. i forgot to mention: around this time, our host mr daltrey had (in an early example of sleb endorsement) begun to appear on telly in an advert for "american express", where he started off saying "when you've got a famous face like mine...". a friend told me that he once watched said ad with his mother, who at the time would have been in her fiftes. afterwards she turned to him and said in complete bafflement and ignorance "who is that man?"

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    1. Was that ad the one with the salmon farm? I wonder if he still owns that establishment? Rog isn't all bad, he does a lot of work for teenage cancer victims, we shouldn't forget.

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    2. i thought it was a trout farm, but yes we're probably thinking of the same thing. i don't think what he said about the village people would have been seen as that outrageous at the time, just a cheap shot at gays in the same way it was equally likely certain types would make similar jokes about black people. it's interesting that this was happening right about the time when the comedy store venue (the breeding ground of many soon-to-be-famous comics such as paul merton, alexei sayle and jo brand) had just started up as an "alternative" backlash to the old sexist and racist comics that had reigned supreme for the previous 10 years or so...

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  12. I was just looking back at my ELO CD collection, and their 2005 compilation album was indeed called All Over The World: The Very Best of Electric Light Orchestra, and interestingly enough on the 25-year anniversary of the song which was of course on this compilation album, Jeff Lynne also threw in a 25-year anniversary of the No.1 hit Xanadu, but with his own vocals replacing Olivia Newton John's vocals in the original release.

    It was only fitting that Lynne would eventually release the song in this solo way, considering he had written the song for Olivia to perform it in 1980 and take it to No1, which I do not think ELO could have done on their own at the time.

    There was to be only one more release for ELO from the Xanadu album in 1980 to follow All over The World, and yes it required Legs & Co to help out once again on TOTP for Don't Walk Away, coming up soon in our 1980 repeats.

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  13. In some respects, this was a really pedestrian show, both in terms of some acts and all the presenting. Couldn’t Tommy be arsed to stand up to do more links? His “when the big hand’s on the twelve” explanation of the chart graphics was excruciating, though he forgot to tell us new entries were also denoted by a star and the number one record got given two of them (and, according to her caption, there was a chart star called Olivia Newton-Johi!

    As for Roger Daltrey, he was painful to watch. At least he was polite enough to ‘big up’ David Bowie, though his compliments for Legs & Co and Sue Wilkinson were very much of the time. It was almost like having DLT on the show.

    That looked weird, having a terrace of seated people behind Ultravox’s drummer. Billy Currie was infuriating, constantly staring at the camera and trying to shag his keyboard.

    I wonder why Mike Berry mouthed the word “Romantic” to an audience member near the start of the song? Had they asked “What’s this rubbish meant to be?” Maybe they’d have preferred him to sing “I’ve got those Bluuuuuuuuuue – oh, thank you” instead of this Foster and Allen-styled syrup.

    Grace Jones’s song and performance bored me. I hankered for some Junior Mervin stage shapes to liven this up. For what it’s worth, my favourite song of this genre is Scritti Politti’s “The Sweetest Girl”.

    I wonder what answer you’d have got if you asked Village People what they thought of the music of The Who? As ascertained earlier some time back on this forum, there were actually only two gays in Village People, the cowboy and the red Indian. Funny how, earlier in the show, Tommy interviewed Roger to the accompaniment of George Benson. A bit of a culture Clash if you ask me! See what I did there?

    Strangely, the highlight of the show for me was the woman with so much voluptuous hair, she should have been called Sue Silvikrin. Believe it or not, the record company adopted the “throw enough mud at the wall and it will stick” principle and allowed Sue three flop follow-ups. Sadly, she passed away about ten years ago, but at least she managed something Richard Stilgoe never did and got on TOTP.

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  14. This was certainly one of the strangest shows that we have seen during the rerun. Daltrey spent most of the show looking like he was about to deck somebody, but contrary to most people here I thought Tommy Vance held things together very well, handling Daltrey and the audience interviewees smoothly and professionally. It's a shame though that the BBC felt it necessary to edit out "watch your backs" - are we so oversensitive these days that we need to airbrush anything we now find offensive from the historical record? Whether we like it or not, such comments were commonplace at the time and I don't see that it helps anyone to pretend otherwise now - if anything, it should serve as a salutary reminder today of how acceptable casual homophobia was back then. I'm just surprised BBC4 didn't digitally remove that cigarette from Grace Jones' hand...

    Anyway, the new format was still very much at the bedding in stage this week, and getting the audience to sit down was not a terribly smart idea - it was also still too obvious from the editing that some performances had been pre-recorded. Still, Ultravox kicked off proceedings with a pleasant slice of electropop, even if it gave no real indication of the epic quality of their next single but one - nice to see that Midge already had his moustache and sculpted sideburns in place by this point. Next up, probably the last true classic single that Bowie has ever released. While the song is superb (particularly the ending, sadly cut off here), I have always thought the video looked clunky and amateurish. One of the great things about these repeats, however, is the ability it gives us to see and hear familiar songs, videos and performances in context, and it does therefore make it easier to appreciate how ground-breaking this video was at the time.

    The quality of the rest of the show varied wildly. Legs did a nice (if slightly static) routine to one of ELO's better efforts, and Grace was in full iconic pose with a rather average song. This must have been very near the time when she hit Russell Harty - I suspect she would also have been more than a match for Daltrey if his belligerent attitude had been directed towards her! The Village People were OK, but this did sound like a rather uninspired retread of past glories and I am not sad that it was cut early.

    The two remaining studio performances were rather bizarre, bearing in mind the musical trends of the time. Both Mike Berry and his song must have felt like relics from another age even in 1980 (though it is quite a nice tune), while Sue Wilkinson's effort is frankly inexplicable. Who on earth bought this, and why? Why would you record it in the first place? Poor old Don Powell must have been pretty desperate to agree to play on it, though happily a major revival in Slade's fortunes was just around the corner...

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    1. Sue Wilkinson was on Cheapskate, a label founded by the brother of Slade's Jimmy Lea, and Slade signed for the label and managed one top 10 hit and three minor chart placings in the next couple of years.

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    2. maybe don was one of those that sue "got on" with?

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  15. I'll stand up for the Sue Wilkinson song, I've known about it for over a decade and I was used to a different performance (her in a boiler suit I think). It's got an intimate lively sound to the music which reminds me of some French songs.

    I still think Odyssey are getting ripped off by not having any of the chorus shown in the clips, which the worse song by The Gap Band gets all their melody shown.

    A silly keyboardist replaced the silly drummer we normally get.

    And I agree that the ELO dance was a bit static for me. I thought the crowd would be around them and be more involved as well, after all the song features crowd noise.

    The crowd were annoying at the end though, trying to wave to the camera.

    ELO did great feel good disco. Several others like I'm Alive, Xanadu, Livin Thing, Last Train to London, Shine a Little Love were great too. In the US they liked the middle of the road song Magic which I think reflects badly on their charts.

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    1. 'Magic', sung by Olivia Newton-John and composed by John 'You're The One That I Want' Farrar, was an underrated gem of a song but probably better suited to a US audience than to British record buyers at that time, hence its relatively weak performance in this country (No.32). It reached No.1 in the US and Canada, and No.4 in both Australia and New Zealand.

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    2. Interesting you mention the 'Magic' release from Xanadu which made no impact here in the UK, but if you look at the same week's pop countdown in Australia in this link, we see that Olivia was in the top ten with Magic and performing it on the show.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Orba8UXRSZE

      In fact Olivia also has another cameo on this link, so we could see that she was promoting the Xanadu album releases in Australia and America in summer 1980, and did not appear to do a European tour to include the UK.

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    3. Found it! The whole clip here of Olivia's interview on this show, and her take on the Xanadu releases, including 'Magic' and its differing fortunes in Britain and America:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wwT0Z4Fvc8

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    4. People never mention what was for me,' Olivia's best song on the Xanadu album; 'Suspended in time', also written by John Farrar. Check out the vocals on the chorus in particular - "I get a feeling when I'm with you none of the rules apply....".

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  16. Worse song The Village People, like Boney M they look finished. At least Grace Jones created some kind of hypnotic mood.

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    1. The village people were far from finished Starry. In the same August week in Australia, they had just come down to No.2 after three weeks at No.1 with this very song Can't Stop The Music.

      In fact the three years from 1978 - 1980 were their big time across the world, and they performed this song in the Aussie Countdown studio, the equivalent to our TOTP studio, of which the Village People never bothered to visit between 1978 - 1980, and TOTP were only able to show them on video.

      The same goes for The Police, ONJ and ELO who ignored Britain in preference for performing abroad in these years, but just sent their promo videos across for the UK. The Police and ONJ did perform in the studio in Australia during these years, but Britain was never on the map for them, whether for BBC or ITV in fact!

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    2. You're right Dory a lot of bands seemed to avoid TOTPs ~ although the Police were there in 1979 with Roxanne and Can't Stand Losing You - ONJ I think was last saw in the studio in 1977 with Sam, whereas you have to go back to 1976 for the last time we saw ELO. But during this time we saw no Bee Gees or Wings very little Queen and no Abba after 1976. Maybe TOTPs was too much hassle to do, what with having to either re-record or use the orchestra. I don't know if the rules were relaxed once the strike was over and acts were allowed to mime to records, or if they still had to re-record for the show?

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    3. I think Angelo it was more a case of bigger money to stay in America or travel to Australia to perform in their pop show studios, rather than ours on TOTP.
      ELO were by now 4 years since they last played on TOTP, and a staggering 17 chart hits after, they were still getting played on TOTP through videos only, so you could say that their decision to concentrate on conquering the American audiences as No.1 priority, certainly paid off handsomely, as they could still make UK top 10 positions on a regular basis, 4 years since 1976 last appearance.

      The only known pop show appearance of The Police doing Walking on the Moon was on Australia's Countdown top 10, as I remember in the UK, we only got the video on both BBC & ITV shows.

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    4. I think it's worth remembering the big acts would make more money touring than appearing on one TV episode, and also as we've seen there's the issue of work permits for foreign hitmakers.

      More basically, they couldn't be everywhere at once. Not in person anyway, hence videos became very useful.

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    5. Angelo - I think some re-recording of songs was still going on after the strike. Despite the demise of the Orchestra, Johnny Pearson and Derek Warne both received a credit on this edition, suggesting that they were still involved in preparing re-recordings for the show - indeed, it appears that Pearson's last TOTP credit wouldn't come until late 1981.

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    6. Angelo, ONJ appeared in the TOTP studio for a closed shop (i.e. no audience) rendition of "A Little More Love" in December 1979. Mind you, it was a Jim'll hosted show which didn't get aired this time round.

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    7. Sorry, that should have said December 1978, though the appearance did get repeated in January '79.

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    8. I always thought that had been a video Arthur - hard to tell with some performances from those days :-)
      Another one though who never turned up during this time was Donna Summer...

      As for re-recording still going on, Mike Berry's song sounded like it might have been, in fact the drums almost sounded live.

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  17. I admit I was a bit harsh on Tommy Vance. He was his usual informative self, and you could see why he got the Sunday night chart rundown gig as a result.

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  18. Here we are in early August already, and looking at this new duo-presenter format for TOTP, it looks like they copied the Australia equivalent weekly pop show called Countdown, which had been running this format of duo presenting and counting down the top ten with digital graphics for quite some time now, including the up and down arrows for risers or fallers in the top ten, and it's evident to me that TOTP copied this idea for the new format of the show from August 1980.

    Take a look at this link for the equivalent week in Aug 1980 in the Australian chart. Can we call TOTP original, or copycats? I think whoever at the BBC was responsible for the new TOTP format, had obviously been to Australia or had their tapes, and thought hmmm......

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Orba8UXRSZE

    I'm not a fan of this new format of TOTP, because the time taken with the top ten countdown means one less studio performance on the show, which at the time could be make or break for an upcoming band.

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  19. see here for the UK Gold showing of this show

    https://vimeo.com/132606117

    Sean

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    1. Apart from the benefit of seeing the full unedited introduction by Vance and Daltrey of the Village People, this UK Gold copy seemed to be cut and pasted like glue, resulting in some snippets of the show missing, so perhaps we should take the BBC4 copy as the best one.

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    2. Yes, sadly the UK Gold showings usually lost links between songs replacing them with ads.

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  20. shaky shakerson5 July 2015 at 11:32

    Apropos Grace Jones smoking in the studio. It just seems so wrong these days seeing her do that. I have seen clips of Talk Shows and panel shows where some guests do this and it seems like it is from a completely different age and then you realise it was only in the 80s! Does anyone have any idea when such openly-smokist attitudes started to bite? I remember Fluff Freeman smoking on Juke Box Jury around this time.

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    1. Wizzard performed See My Baby Jive on what appears to be The Russell Harty show on ITV, where in the middle of the performance, the camera focuses on Harty and his guest, who looks like a man in his 70s or a Hughie Green lookalike, pushing out a huge plume of smoke with an inhale of his cigar during Wizzard's performance.

      The clip can be seen here on this link at around 2:30 into the song. It's also available on iTunes as the official video for See My Baby Jive, as promo videos were not made in those days, and performers could only go on TOTP or BBC or ITV chat shows:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5QTGAgZUOQ

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    2. With regard to answering your question, it was probably in the mid to late 1980s when the hammer fell on smoking on TV shows. I remember as late as 1984 in the Benson & Hedges Masters snooker final at Wembley Conference Centre between Jimmy White and Kirk Stevens, where I think both players smoked at their chair throughout the final while waiting to get back on the table, and this whole tournament was televised live on BBC1 & BBC2.

      Also World Darts at Frimley Green was and still is, televised every year in the first week of January, and Jockey Wilson in the early to mid-80s relied heavily on his cigarettes in order to play darts and win and television took all this in without batting an eyelid.

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    3. shaky shakerson5 July 2015 at 13:32

      Right then - the game is afoot. Who can find the most recent British TV clip showing someone smoking? Youtube ahoy!

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    4. (like bill clinton) grace didn't actually inhale, and just used that tab as a prop. but even that probably wouldn't be allowed now. i think there's some kind of code in place nowadays saying that a character can smoke in a drama if it's either crucial to the plot and/or they are losers, ne'er-do-wells or uncool in some way, with the underlying message being: kids - don't follow their bad example or you'll end up like them!

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    5. How about Dennis Potter's final interview? He was so ill a few ciggies weren't going to do him any more harm. This would have been mid-90s.

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    6. I have a vivid memory of Peter Cook smoking while being interviewed by Clive James on the "Saturday Night Clive" show circa 1990/91. It stayed in my mind because by that time smoking on a chat show was very unusual, with the anti-smoking lobby well on its way by then to making it unacceptable.

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    7. shaky shakerson6 July 2015 at 01:50

      Damn it all. The best I could do was June 1988 - that tedious late-at-night discusion show on C4 called After Hours featured many a 'witty' contributor puffing away. The Dennis Potter interview in 1994 definitely had him smoking, but not sure about Peter Cook. Think THX is gonna' nail this.

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    8. I go one better - 1989 in the last ever series of The Benny Hill Show, in a scene with his sidekick Bob Todd who regularly smoked cigars on the show in many sketches, and here in this link you can see him heavily smoking next to Benny Hill on a dinner table.

      The scene from Thames Television is in this sketch at 35:00 to 39:45.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yF22rRYt9bQ

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    9. I have found the Peter Cook interview in question on Youtube - it was November 16th, 1991.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-unfuEbVH50

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    10. shaky shakerson6 July 2015 at 06:08

      Apologies John G - I got my Clives muddled up - thinking of the six-character Cook tour-de-force on the Clive ANDERSON show. Cook does indeed smoke on TV in 1991. Sorry!

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    11. Wow, November 1991, but I suppose ITV being the non-Establishment channel would have continued after the BBC stopped people smoking on their broadcasts, but still I think 1991 must have been the final year of the cigarette on screen, because this Telegraph article article mentions 1991 as the year that all tobacco advertising on TV was banned as part of a EU directive:

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/10645228/Smoking-is-back-on-TV-for-first-time-in-20-years.html

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    12. David Jason would regularly have a cigar to hand in OFAH. Can certainly remember a sequence where Nicholas Lyndhurst was puffing on a fag until the holiday rep wlked in and he had to pretend he was yonger than he was. Did Derek Trotter keep smoking right up to the final episode though?

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    13. Dory - Saturday Night Clive was actually a BBC show. Although Clive James spent much of his TV career at ITV, he did have a few years at the Beeb during the early 90s.

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    14. I can recall seeing Cerys Matthews smoking whilst being interviewed (Jo Whiley??), which would have been late '90s.

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    15. If you're talking about TV characters then Dot Cotton on EastEnders and Steve McDonald on Corrie still smoke now but if you're talking about interviews/talk shows I think you have to go back to the early 1990s.

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  21. A "heads up" as they say that Pop Gold has started showing up again in some ITV regions that scrapped it a few weeks ago, maybe I can see the whole thing now. Worth it for the hilarious singalong clip of Eddie Grant on Razzmatazz. Not worth it for Andy Kershaw's too cool for school links.

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    1. Just watched episode 8 of "Pop Gold" (Fashion Week), which contained some superb footage and was my favourite show of the series, despite some even worse than usual Wrightisms from Andy Kershaw, who asked at the end to "join us next time". So, are there more than nine episodes to this series, have ITV commissioned a second series, or did they just forget to edit the comment before deciding enough was enough?

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  22. Back from my hols and lots of catching up to do - thankfully the shows are available on iPlayer for more than a week now, unlike previous years.

    Last week's show first, and I agree with others that it did seem rather hastily put together, even down to the 'basic' bright lighting which gave it a bit of a 'back to the '70s' feel. Highlights for me were the Piranhas, Bad Manners and Kelly Marie. Sheena Easton by that time must have been thanking her lucky stars that her previous single initially bombed and she would never from now on have to sing live with the TOTP Orchestra.

    Moving on to this show, at the time we had just commenced the family holiday on my parents' boat, which had previously meant missing TOTP but new for 1980 was a 5 inch black & white set. I can recollect seeing Mike Berry (never realised this was a live vocal) and Sue Wilkinson on the (very) small screen, but since they were both on again two weeks later (towards the end of the holiday), I can't really say that I can recollect this show.

    Ultravox with Midge Ure giving a taste of the 'sound of '81' as far back as August 1980. Mind you, when Island Records released Slow Motion / Quiet Men as a cash-in on the success of Vienna I thought it sounded every bit as contemporary despite being recorded three years earlier. Very much a band who sounded way ahead of their time.

    Re Roger Daltrey's comment, please bear in mind that this was 1980 and the word 'homophobic' had yet to be invented. As befitting my online moniker, I'm in no position to comment on the moral values of today, so I'll leave it at that.

    Sue Wilkinson - the great thing about the early '80s was that even the plainest woman could transform herself into a smouldering sex goddess with BIG HAIR! I like the comment on 45Cat which says "She looks like one of Terry McCann's girlfriends"! In fact, she was a delightfully quirky songwriter whose work appeared to be a combination of intelligent, cynical observation and bitter experience.

    As for the 'new look', I too don't like the clips at the beginning (it's like radio stations where they say "coming up after the news we've got x, y and z - if I want to know what's coming up next I'll listen to an album, thank you). After all, they don't give you a plot synopsis at the beginning of a movie or drama, do they? Showing clips for the Top 10 is a brave move (looking at Popscene they start to come unstuck in October!) but this will become less of a problem as the decade progesses and everything has its video. And as for guest presenters, well, it hasn't been entirely successful so far, has it?

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    1. The word 'homophobia' was coined in 1969 and was in use by 1980, but that's not the point. Roger's comment displayed a negative attitude and was unnecessary. But I think they should have left it in to show him up for the twerp he was.

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    2. i assumed from bama's comments above that the "homophobia" term was created as a result of the "legalisation" of homosexuality in this country and/or the american stonewall riots, both of which happened in the late 1960's. however according to wiki neither of those events were the reason. what is interesting is that the word is now exclusively used to denote a bigoted view of homosexual culture/lifestyle, but it was originally coined to describe the fear of "straight" men that others may think they are gay!

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  23. I'm way too late to this party to contribute much, apart from pointing out that a friend of mine absolutely loves both 'Xanadu' and 'Can't Stop The Music' (the films, that is) and I'm pretty sure that I saw them for the first time on the same weekend. Goodness knows how I survived that extreme campfest!

    As for Sue Wilkinson, for some reason I can't fathom, I became aware of the song when I was on student radio in the early 90s and it became a bit of a favourite so I have a soft spot for it.

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  24. as we're now in the "nervous nineties" again, is there any way we can chalk up another century in a non-contrived manner? i'd like to start the ball rolling by saying that with regard to sue wilkinson's "big hair", i personally much prefer that to the flattened, lifeless look that women seem to favour these days... although i'm well aware in this modern age of convenience that such easy-to-manage styles are likely to be preferred!

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    1. Sue probably had shoulder pads too, but we couldn't see them under her lustrous barnet. She's on again this week, I think.

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    2. was grace jones wearing shoulder pads? probably not...

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    3. I think she is wearing shoulder pads and I also think Joan Collins should thank Grace for pioneering that fashion choice.

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    4. thx i was just joking that someone as physically intimidating and fiercesome as grace should have need of such things! on the subect of shoulder pads: apparently british army officers used to have shoulder pads as part of their uniforms so that they looked a bit more well-built and therefore imposing to the squaddies...

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    5. That's exactly the same reason Grace and Joan had them (!).

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    6. We really are trying to 'pad' this thread out, aren't we? Boom boom tish!

      And a standing ovation from the pavilion as the century comes up.

      On a non-padding theme, I still think it's a shame we never got to see at least a decent amount of Legs & Co's routine to Odyssey's chart topper.

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  25. It's the first time I think I've heard anything from Grace Jones since the 80s, certainly not this track. However, if anyone's seen the Roman Polanski film starring Harrison Ford film 'Frantic' you'll know that near the end there's a sequence in a Disco where he gets dragged up to the dancefloor by his co-star Emanuelle Seigner (who indulges in some very sensual moves) to the Grace Jones song 'I've seen that face before'. For years I didn't know who sung the song until the advent of Youtube when I managed to locate it and was surprised to see that it was a Grace Jones song, released as a single in July 1981 but not hitting the charts at all. Hearing 'Private Life' again now reminds me of that song.

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    1. as a certain DJ and totp presenter might say: for a million points the correct title is "i've seen that face before (libertango)", as it was originally written and recorded under the bracketed title by argentine bandneon player astor piazzolla

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  26. Wow What a Show. Roger daltrey was a miserable pig.But I think that was staged. A lot of new songs
    But who cut Grace Jones Hair Qualcast or Flymo
    I say Qualcast. I wonder why Village People got truncated. Is it me or was you can't stop the Music played to fast or was it me. Back to the Grace Joans Song a Cracker
    I will Look on Youtube for the Pretenders version
    But the height of the show for me was Sue Wilkinson that funny noise going twang or something. The legs and co routine look like they couldnt B arsed just moving round a globe, good song tho ABBA still at Number 1 and we close with Diana Ross Tooooo Sloooooow. All in All a Good show. Stephen Murphy? Come and sort this Show Out

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