Thursday, 4 August 2016

Have You Ever Been in Top of the Pops

We've got that classix 1980's combination of two DJs hosting the show tonight. It was the 18th March 1982, and the beginning of the Falklands conflict was just one day away.

18-3-82: Presenters: Richard Skinner & Steve Wright


I'm too sexy for the 80's..



(36) CLASSIX NOUVEAUX – Is It A Dream
Getting the show underway with what would be their only top 30 hit when it peaked at 11.

(6) ABC – Poison Arrow (video)
Now at its peak.

(35) LEO SAYER – Have You Ever Been In Love
His final top ten hit peaking at 10. But edited out of tonight's 7.30pm slot.

(8) IMAGINATION – Just An Illusion (video)
This haunted house video would have been just perfect for Halloween! On its way to number 2.

(16) DEREK & THE DOMINOES – Layla
Originally a number 7 hit in 1972, this reissue made it to number 4. And Maureen's interpretation of this as a solo Zoo performance was also edited out tonight.

(2) GOOMBAY DANCE BAND – Seven Tears ®
About to take over at number one. Also a victim of the 7.30 editor.

(42) JAPAN – Ghosts
Another Halloween classic here and the first of two top ten hits for Japan, This one peaking at number 5.

(21) GARY NUMAN – Music For Chameleons
Went up two more places.

(23) VISAGE – The Damned Don’t Cry (video)
Continuing with the Halloween theme, a ghostly train this time, and it peaked at number 11.

(1) TIGHT FIT – The Lion Sleeps Tonight
It seems the group had now made enough money to splash out on a new outfit for Steve Grant, which I'm sure would have made even Tarzan blush! Third and final week at number 1.

(30) KOOL & THE GANG – Take My Heart (You Can Have It If You Want It) (crowd dancing) (and credits)
Went up just one more place.


The re-runs will take a little rest for a couple of weeks now whilst the Rio Olympics takes place. Next up is March 25th 1982.



92 comments:

  1. Looks like Dickie has been raiding Gyles Brandreth's jumper collection this episode.

    "Will you start the fans, please?!" Off we go with another Crystal Maze - oh, wait a minute, it's Sal Solo doing his vocal gymnastics. Dynamic beginning, but is that Jonathan Ross dancing down the front?

    ABC, ooh, the video, must have cost a packet for all those extras alone. Wanting to appeal to a wide age range, judging by them. Swooningly cinematic or raging camp? You be the judge.

    There's someone in the audience here who has the same hairdo as Leo Sayer, and he looks to be very proud of that fact. Anyway, nice enough song but a bit over-earnest.

    This is your Ghostbusters reboot right here, get Leee and the boys on the phone, nobody could object to them. Like the synchronised running at the beginning.

    Any idea why we couldn't get away from Layla in the 80s? All over the radio, on a car advert, rereleased back into the charts... Anyway, heard it so many times it has no effect anymore, but all credit to Maureen for gyrating through a nightmare of video and laser light effects, what a trouper.

    Look out, mate, your marshmallows are on fire. Any idea what Bent from the Goombay Dance Band was actually singing about? Sounds like a pledge of love, but the details are baffling. Lost in translation?

    Japan, well done audience for not even trying to dance to this. Terrific, weird, spooky pop, probably the best thing they ever did.

    Someone was taking the mickey with the scheduling when Gaz showed up straight after, trying to beat Japan at their own game. This tune's growing on me. Had Bugsy Malone been on TV recently?

    Visage, video inspired by a trip to the funfair, perhaps? I'd like to think the title came from Eugene O'Neill, but I suspect someone was a Joan Crawford fan. Mommy Dearest must have been out at the pictures at the time. A not quite tune, not quite tuneful that is.

    Hey, Tight Fit have new outfits! Or what's left of the old ones, maybe, after a pruning in the costume department. No gorilla or lion suits, but at least the puppet was back for a swan song. Lion song?

    Didn't think Fairbrass was in this one until I saw him grooving to Kool and the Gang, in fact I thought he had a deep tan until I realised he has an Asian double.

    Who's staying up to watch the Olympics, then? No, me neither...

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    1. I really liked the ABC video - first showing here at a peak of No.6 already - particularly the lead lady in the video, and certainly cinematic as you say, while being one of ABC's very best songs.

      The Imagination video for Just An Illusion certainly had elements of the Ghostbuters video two years later by Ray Parker Jr in 1984, especially approaching the haunted house at the beginning of the video, so I wonder if Ray took inspiration from Imagination here. Can anyone think of any other haunted house videos?

      I must admit that I was expecting the lion and/or the gorilla to pop up onto the stage during the new Tight Fit studio performance, so perhaps they realised it was time to get real for what was to be the final week at No.1 for the jungle outfits. Did anyone notice that Steve Wright referred to the title as Wimoweh, instead of The Lion Sleeps Tonight?


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    2. I can't say I'm particularly looking forward to the Olympics, especially after the failure to throw Russia out of the Games, but after the glut of TOTPs we have had so far this year, it's actually quite nice to have a bit of a break!

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    3. fairbrass was right behind dickie as he introduced japan. and the new asian-looking guy is looking equally obnoxious with his posing and gurning to the camera!

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    4. Well, I'm a total hypocrite, I said I wouldn't bother with the Olympics this year, but got sucked into watching the tennis last night regardless. I shall now stand for the national anthem...

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    5. I don't suppose you were watching Del Potro defeating Djlokovic by any chance? Or was it Andy Murray cruising to victory against Troicki?

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    6. Both! Suffering for it now, though - must get some sleep!

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  2. Probably the only time two Eurovision flops in their respective national finals were UK chart hits at the same time. Tight Fit's chart topper had originally finished 5th in the Dutch final, and Leo Sayer's hit finished joint 4th in the 1981 Song For Europe, when Liquid Gold finished a very distant 2nd to Bucks Fizz.

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    1. It was actually Tight Fit's follow-up hit 'Fantasy Island' that featured in the Dutch national final. 'The Lion Sleeps Tonight' - an adaptation of a song originally penned by a South African Zulu - had been a US No.1 for doo-wop outfit The Tokens.

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    2. Oops! Sorry for the mix-up. I hadn't woken up properly. Thanks, Julie!

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    3. No problem, Arthur. It was almost certainly the only calendar year in which two unsuccessful songs from national Eurovision finals made the British Top 10. To the best of my knowledge, the only other charting Eurovision song not to make the international final was Gary Benson's 'Don't Throw It All Away' in '75; this was originally sung by The Shadows in the British heat, but was beaten by 'Let Me Be The One'.

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    4. The Lion sleep Tonight was written and recorded in the 1930s by Soloman Luna, who was a cleaner who worked at a record company in South Africa.

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    5. A bit further down the line admittedly, but Deuce's 'I Need You' (which should have won rather than the execrable Love City Groove) was a Top 10 hit in 1995.

      That was a weird year in that A Song For Europe (or whatever it was called that time) was given a huge amount of publicity and shown in weekday primetime so almost all the songs in it charted, albeit the majority outside the Top 40.

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  3. To think Classix Nouveaux included former X Ray Spex member BP Hurding, following Rezillo's Jo Callis in the transition from punk to synth pop.

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  4. With the weekly show now in early 1982, it was starting to focus more on videos than studio performances, with a show this week laden with halloween-style music and video.

    However, I still found the best part of the show to be the end-credits/playout. The studio dancing on this was tip-top and a relaxing way to end the show. Nice to see even more of this playout on the late-night repeat, even though I don't recall this hit by Kool & The Gang.

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  5. This show looks like a dry run for the two-presenter format that would become the norm in 1983, though I wonder if Michael Hurll was partly motivated by a conviction that Wrighty wasn't up to hosting by himself? Certainly Skinner comes across as by far the more assured and professional of the two here, and Wrighty would not be seen again for the rest of the year. It was also very kind of Richard to show off his jumper collection during the course of the programme...

    There was plenty of evidence here to demonstrate how videos were now advancing in sophistication and ambition. The ABC effort had a pleasingly epic feel, and looked very expensive, but I preferred the spooky feel of the Imagination and Visage promos, and I thought that musically this was probably the strongest, most atmospheric Visage offering since Fade to Grey. There is a version of the Just an Illusion video on YouTube that features a topless woman - no surprise that particular scene did not feature on TOTP!

    As far as the studio performances are concerned, when Classix Nouveaux came on I did wonder for a moment if Sal Solo was Richard O'Brien, especially as the set had a slightly Crystal Mazey feel to it! Not a bad song, but like Music For Chameleons hampered by the lack of a decent chorus. Strange to think that Sal would go on to become a leading light in the world of Christian music...

    Little Leo was nearing the end of his hitmaking career by 1982, but this is a strong ballad and the live vocal is impressive. I was less impressed by the Layla routine - Maureen's moves were pretty pedestrian, and the fancy video effects could not disguise the fact. Something with more oomph was needed to accompany that famous riff, which apparently was the work of Duane Allman rather than of Slowhand. Unsurprisingly, we don't get the instrumental part.

    Ghosts (what was it with all these spooky songs and videos on this edition?) was undoubtedly the musical highlight of the show, and the still, sombre staging was spot on - is this perhaps the only time a Hurll era audience ever stood stock still? It's amazing a song as weird as this ever became a Top 10 hit, but the sparse arrangement, and Sylvian's strong vocals, give it a compelling, magical quality. Tight Fit must have been running out of ideas by this point, as they have now been reduced to stripping off to sell their increasingly tiresome record. I did like the girls' leopardskin boots, but black mark to Wrighty for getting the title wrong at the end. We close with some appropriately slinky dancing to this standard-issue slice of Kool and the Gang, and you can tell that Fairbrass is revelling in being up on that elevated stage...

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  6. Sorry to be pedantic Angelo, but we were still two weeks and a day away from the start of the Falklands crisis at this point!

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  7. Shakey Shakerson5 August 2016 at 09:38

    Having tried the two-presenters option last year, Michael Hurll gives it another try now, albeit for just two editions. Our co-anchors this week are Steve Wright and Richard Skinner.I thought maybe Hurll was pairing them up in a good presenter/bad presenter way. And then I saw next week's hosts and that idea went right out the window.

    First up tonight, Classix Nouveaux, with Sal Solo doing his best Richard O'Brien impersonation. This is a decent enough tune, but Solo isn't the best of frontmen - an annoying and affected performance.

    Leo Sayer. He's a bit of an underrated singer/songwriter is old Leo. His earlier stuff (especially the Just A Boy album) was quality. This isn't bad at all, its just simply a few years out of date. Effortless live singing though, so a tip of the hat for that.

    A solo Zoo person dances to Layla. It might be me, but that's a damn hard song to dance to- more so if you're doing it on your jack.

    Next up - the highlight of the show - the really quite brilliant Ghosts. Very minimalist, and yet there was still quite clearly a hypnotic hooky tune in there with Sylian's Bowiesque vocals over the top. A really good restrained performance from the band and good staging as well. Good stuff.

    In the playout song, Kool & The Gang eschew their recent poppy sound and go all funky on us. For me, one of their best. Lots of awful wedge haircuts in the studio audience while this was on, and lots of 'look at me' dancing from the assorted cheerleaders.

    This week's 'fun fact'. Richard Skinner is married to a women who was part of Steve Wright's Radio 1 Posse during the early 80s.

    All in all, this wasn't a bad edition, although the edited version made for a better - and more up to date- show. 7.

    Skinner. As usual, a virtually faultless performance, but he still lacks a certain something for me. I did like the multiple changes of jumpers he made, especially as he made no mention of it.

    Wright. He's still not comfortable is he? He's still glancing to screen right for his cuecards, and the pointing to another part of the studio as he introduces a video is odd, too. And what was the 'something special after this' bit all about just before he read the top ten? - 5

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    1. I agree that Leo Sayer has been underrated, though he really hasn't helped himself with the naff public persona and his ludicrous egotism on Celebrity Big Brother a few years ago. However, many of his early songs (co-written with Dave Courtney), still hold up well today, and his debut album Silverbird is still worth a listen. Roger Daltrey's debut solo album, which consists almost exclusively of Sayer/Courtney songs and gave Leo his first break, is superb.

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  8. hosts: so now we have two guys who play records on the radio presenting the show rather than one. hopefully they had to split the same fee that only one got? i was expecting some snappy and witty interplay between the pair, but for the most part it was rather disappointing that they did their links seperately. i don't know if they had any say in what they introduced, but it seems wrighty gets the naffer acts (leo sayer, goombay dance band) whilst dickie bags the cooler ones (japan). wrighty also informs us at the end that the tight fit song is called "wim o wey" - this version isn't!

    classix nouveaux: even though the guitarist and bassist looked really cool with their floppy fringes, musically it was pretty evident to me at the time that they were new romantic bandwagon jumpers (rivalled only by a flock of seagulls in those particular stakes). and i certainly hated this at the time. but not having heard it for many years i was curious to see what it sounded like now, and in fact it's nowhere as near as bad as i remember it as far as synth-pop goes, although sal solo's scary-vocals-to-match-scary-nosferatu-look haven't improved over time. still, rather this than depeche mode any day

    abc: a sumptuous and highly-entertaining video to match the grandiose music, and one that probably cost no small amount to make. i actually remembered the actress they hired to play the diva was called lisa vanderpump! i like the nod to "land of the giants" (presumably the props were custom-made?), but what's the significance of the wrinklies booging on down in front of the band?

    leo sayer: oh dear, after a promising start to the show we're back to the worst of the 70's as his tune is as outdated as his haircut - fast-forward time!

    imagination: another quite-well made video (i almost laughed-out loud at the skeleton clapping its hands), but it's rather disturbing that they now seem to be taking the place of acts actually appearing in the studio

    derek & dominoes: what the hell is this hoary old rock dinosaur doing here? despite the modulation going on i've never understood the appeal of this, but rather distressingly in my view it's re-appearance in the charts suggests that others felt otherwise. not even the charms of the lovely maureen could prevent my trigger finger reaching for fast-forward button

    japan: not my favourite track of theirs by any means, but still head-and-shoulders above most else on this edition. their manager simon napier-bell claimed that this was the weirdest song that got in the top five on the uk charts in the early 80's - close but no cigar simon as that "honour" goes to "o superman". mr sylvian is looking more divine than ever with his fabulous hair and make-up (rather disappointingly when he ditched the slap after going solo, he looked a bit of a sourpuss without it!)

    gary numan: rather unfortunate that the numanoid follows those he tries and fails to imitate. those drums with the ends bending around to face the front were obviously the thing at the time as classix nouveux's drummer had such a kit too. but did they actually sound better as a result of their odd manufacture, or were they just a pose?

    visage: one that had slipped to the edge of my powers of recall. i quite liked the bubbling synthesisor pattern at the beginning, but it did get tiresome after a while. and a lack of discernable tune doesn't help either. it's certainly not deserving of what looks like another expensively-made video

    tight fit: "singer" steve clad in nothing but a loin-cloth is a bit too much for me i'm afraid. and disppointingly there's no sign of the lion and gorilla this week either - instead replaced with highly annoying extraneous whooping noises!

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    1. Thanks for the info on the lead girl in the ABC video to turn my curiosity. Hmm, seems that she was only 21 in this video and in the same year married 36-year old Ken Todd only 6 weeks after meeting him. Now that is confidence! Suffice to say she is now very rich at the age of 55, living in California and owner of two restaurants in Beverley Hills and West Hollywood. You wouldn't say the same for other girls in 80s pop videos, and Lisa seems to have a very happy family life to go with it.

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    2. presumably it was a case of "what attracted you to the millionaire ken todd?"?

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    3. His tickling stick?

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    4. Whatever, she still looks good nowadays

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    5. thanks thx for the doddy reference - i was going to make some comparison to the similarity of names, but (unlike doddy who amazingly is still doing shows at close to 90!) my wit failed me

      ps - dory, are you suggesting that lisa vanderpump is a "milf"?

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    6. Far from it. If you look at her pictures now in her fifties, she looks too young to be a milf.
      As for the ABC video for Poison Arrow, this was just the start of her upward leap in life and retention of good looks seemingly forever, and she looks a lot better than other 80s pop video females who look haggard now at age 55.

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    7. her pic on wiki suggests she's no stranger to plastic surgery. but as they say "each to their own" so i think i'll stick with the middle-aged tight fit ladies!

      does anyone else have a preference?

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  9. i always wondered why richard skinner kept changing his top in this episode, he had BBC One logo and BBC Two logo jumpers,a radio one sweatshirt and 2 different tank tops(one was a nice coca cola sired logo)

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  10. A really good episode. Good to see the ABC video as well.

    We get a rest from these re-runs then now...all these years later and with now 500 channels shows on the BBC still get bumped for sports.

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    1. Totp reruns are not considered important enough programmes for moving on to the other BBC channels like we saw when Wimbledon live tennis was moved from BBC2 to BBC4 a few weeks ago. You would not get TOTP moved to BBC1 or BBC2 because these are repeats and not fresh material. The problem is that there is no more BBC3 which has been scrapped from TV and is now an online service only I think.

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    2. Yeah, i get all that and i wouldn't really expect old episodes of the show to go to 1 or 2.

      It was a comment on the fact that in 34 years nothing has changed. Sports continues to take over and those with no interest in sports continue to loose their shows, even though we now have hundreds of channels, the red button and online.

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  11. A good start to the show with Classix Noveau who started out as a band called The News in 1978 with a great power pop single called Blu Thru. That had some great Queen-inspired vocals on it but wasn't a hit.

    Aah the ABC video, I was waiting for that one. I love the combination of drama and humour with nice little touches including the middle aged crowd dancing (scary to think we're that age now!) and the lady using her face powder to shrink Martin to the size of a mouse.

    I have no memory of this Leo Sayer song at all but it is pleasant enough. Leo only has a few cards in his pack but he plays them very well, even repeating his meaningful frowns at the end in case we didn't get it the first time. We did.

    Very glossy video for Just An illusion, this really must have helped sell the song. The film-within-a-film ending is ripped off from Don't You Want Me and has less meaning but its still a superb video where all three members get to show off their dancing skills.

    I was never a huge fan of Layla until I heard the long version with the instrumental bit at the end but it's nice to hear it again and this is a good dance routine from the un-star like sounding Maureen who gets solo credit at the end. Bless.

    Oh no its the Goombays again and it isn't even number one yet. The lead singer looks like a fat drag queen who has just taken his wig off.

    Uh-oh, I spy the Fairbrass standing next to Dickie when he introduces Japan. I suppose he was useful in such circumstances because he was so tall and can dance (a bit).

    Japan's Ghosts reminds me of Gary Numan's Complex, being an introspective song which both made me sad at the time and still do. For once the crowd do the right thing and remain still and quiet even in the bits where usually they would clap or cheer thinking the song had ended.

    The Gary Numan song has grown on me, I must be a closet chameleon. Not 100% sure all of the band look comfortable in those hats, some look a bit plonked on.

    The Visage video filmed at the rather unglamourous location of Tenterton on the Kent and East Sussex Railway, directed by Midge Ure who does a good job of disguising it's location. The blond sailor who we see on the platform and later in the bar was a mate of mine called Terry Leer who was a film and TV extra. He looked a bit like a young Derrin Nesbit and was in quite a few things around that time.

    The Top Ten, read out rather unenthusiastically by Steve Wright and then Tight Fit back in the studio in a un-tight fitting loincloth and suede booths. All three have cracking sets of pins so there really is something for everyone here.

    And we play out with a long-forgotten Kool and The gang song which seems to have borrowed its rhythm from a Stevie wonder track.

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    1. i see mention of derren nesbitt, most of whom would probably be sctaching their heads saying "who's that?" but might recognise as the intense blond-haired guy who mostly played heavies and thugs in film and tv in the 60's and 70's. perhaps best-remembered as the gestapo officer in "where eagles dare", he also played for laughs (and in drag at one point!) in dick emery's "ooh you are awful". although he's still active, the work dried-up substantially after that - possibly because like others of his generation such as tom bell and peter wyngarde he blotted his copybook in some way (wiki reports that he got done for ABH)?

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    2. Mr Nesbitt will always be the director of The Amorous Milkman to me. When Channel 5 used to show films worth watching! Ahem.

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    3. He also played one of the very first human villains in Doctor Who, in the story Marco Polo - now lost, alas.

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    4. My mate Terry was an extra in a few episodes of Dr Who circa 1882/3 but I don't know which ones. I also knew an actor called Bernard Padden who was in Dr Who.

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    5. Yes, Bernard Padden played a young tearaway who tried to hijack the TARDIS, during Tom Baker's final year.

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    6. i looked up bernard padden on the internet and apparently he was interviewed for the role of doctor's assistant adric. and of course the guy who ended up getting the job appeared as a guest on totp!

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    7. The story Bernard appeared in, Full Circle, was Adric's debut adventure. I guess the part he eventually got was a consolation one, but it must have been galling missing out on Adric to Matthew Waterhouse, who couldn't act to save his life!

      Coincidentally, this edition of TOTP was first broadcast two days after the last episode of Adric's swansong, Earthshock, where he became one of only a tiny handful of companions to get killed off.

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  12. Steve Wright swapped his swaying and nodding for bowing this week, but loads of question marks about Richard Skinner, sadly. What’s his middle name? It begins with N according to his first jumper. A later jumper read “Hears Ricky” (Ricky???) instead of “Here’s ”, Leo Sayer’s apparently doing well in the charts according to Richard despite not having a mugshot, and Japan jump 11 places in 3 minutes as Richard gives them two chart positions, 42 (correct) before their song and 31 after.

    Great use of that keyboard by Classix Nouveaux. I found Richard O’Brien’s switches from medium tone to dog whistle vocals really jarring.

    Why was that dope wearing a brolly hat before ABC? Lavish and lush video for the lads, but not so sure about what looked like a Darby and Joan disco.

    Has to be said, a fine live vocal from Leo Sayer. Compare and contrast with Gary “Smiler” Numan’s supposedly live vocal as announced by Richard.

    Not such a lavish video for Imagination, but I agree the flouncy synchronised running was impressive.

    It’s Derek and the DominoEs, you idiots! A very pedestrian dance effort with awful effects, but Maureen did her best. Nice smile, that gal.

    David Sylvian looked like Julian Cope in that early close-up. An atmospheric and, indeed, brave choice of single by Japan.

    I could imagine Ultravox having a crack at Visage’s song. A grandiose video, but it didn’t hook me as much as ABC’s.

    Dear God! Put some clothes on, Steve Grant! Take some more off, Chopper and Denise! Okay, if it has to be the boots that come off...oh, and Human League gals, that’s how you do synchronised dancing!

    Kool and the Gang’s effort wasn’t cool, more tepid. Talking of temperatures in the studio, I wonder how many sheep clothed Richard and melted him under those lights in this edition?

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    1. what with midge ure writing their songs and directing their videos, ultravox and visage were practically one entity at this point. by the way, there was a highly-impressive (pre-morph) fade cut at one point in the visage video where steve strange's face stayed practically in the same place whilst everything else around him changed...

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    2. as part of "a country divided by a common language", the americans took the "E" out of words like dominoes and tremeloes. as an all-british band the latter got billed with the same spelling in the US as the UK, but sorry athur - even though the former was essentially an alias for clappo, it still got spelt the american way on all their UK releases!

      and also interestingly, fleetwood mac's album "rumours" was spelt that way for the american release, which seems a bit odd considering they were us-based at that time and were primarily focusing on that market. but maybe the british contingent in the band demanded the "proper" spelling?

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    3. Wilby, I think even the Americans spell Arthur with two r's! :-D

      Funny enough, Robbie Nevil had a hit in 1987 with "Dominoes" which was spelt that way despite Nevil, an American, co-writing it.

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    4. I've just listened to Robbie Nevil's "Dominoes", which was never a British hit - and it's a scorcher! He's written songs for the likes of Destiny's Child and Jessica Simpson more recently, but deserved to be a major star in his own right.

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    5. "Dominoes" was a minor UK hit, spending two week in the mugshots and peaking at 26.

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    6. I hadn't heard Robbie's Dominoes since the 80s! Checked it out, it's OK, like a lot of 80s pop tracks the production was impeccable but the tune was a little lacking. Looks a bit of a poseur in the video. Nice to hear he went on to success behind the scenes.

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    7. I retract my previous assertion that Robbie Nevil's "Dominoes" was never a British hit, as Arthur is right - though, strangely, there is no trace of that particular disc on everyhit.com. I've dug out an edition of The Guinness Book of British Hit Singles, which cuts off at the end of 1992 - and "Dominoes" did indeed reach No.26. I have just emailed everyhit.com to notify the administrators of this omission.

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  13. nevil did have one big british hit with "c'est la vie" which i liked at the time (1986 - will we get to see it in these re-runs?) then went off, but listening again on yt now it's sounding good again. i'd never heard "dominoes" before either - it's a pretty decent dance effort, but gets a black mark from me due to modulating down in pitch for the chorus!

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    1. aarrgghh - i must make sure i put my comments as a reply!

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  14. One thought that occurred to me about Visage's The Damned Don't Cry is that the pattern of the verses is very similar to their first hit Fade To Gray, you could sing the lyrics to that on this tune and they would still fit.

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  15. I waited a while to watch this one since we've got a bit of a break now, and I seem to be the only one on here who doesn't mind watching the Olympics (except for the Russians who shouldn't be there)

    I thought this was chock full of top tunes, though the presentation could have been better by having 100% less Steve Wright.

    Classix Nouveaux - They were legendary bandwagon jumpers, weren't they? Mind you, they also had a fair few singles stop in the 40s so it's only fair that they had one big hit. And it's a good one too. We'll presumably get to see Sal Solo's solitary solo hit (try saying that after a few pints!) if the repeats continue for a fair bit longer.

    Leo Sayer - I remember acquiring this when I needed it for my chart show a few years back and realising for the first time what a brilliantly structured song it is! Fair play to Leo for doing it live too.

    Imagination - For such a big hit, strange how you don't see this video very often. A bit of a forerunner to Yazoo's for 'Don't Go' (though that is even cheaper!)

    Derek & The Dominos - For one minute, I thought we were getting 'Maureen and Sue'. Wow, she's back! Oh....'Maureen from Zoo'. Need to get my ears cleaned out. And not just through listening to this average rock track.

    Japan - 'Ghosts' completely passed me by at the time. Then I got into it in the early 90s and completely scared myself silly listening to it late at night after a few drinks. Great track, and well done to the Pops producers for making the crowd STOP WHOOPING AND PISSING ABOUT. And for the slightly sepia effect too.

    Gary Numan - Is that really him? He's laughing all the way through it! So much for the android act now then..

    Visage - As with Japan, I wasn't really aware of it at the time but now I adore this and it's my favourite of theirs. Good video too, a bit Sapphire & Steel if you ask me.

    Tight Fit - Very much a case of 'So, Mr. Waterman, what first attracted you to dancer Denise?' !!!

    Oh good, an extended dance playout! Oh, it's to a tedious Kool & The Gang dirge. Never mind. The one spinning around in the red leather or PVC (can't tell) trousers is Michael Sundin isn't it?

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    1. Of course toothy Michael Sundin again. His trousers are probably made from Sticky backed plastic (see what did there?).

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    2. i wasn't a regular watcher of "blue peter" (it was a bit too stiff and clean for my liking) so was only vaguely aware of the term "sticky-back plastic". i only recently heard by chance that the reason they used that garbled description was because dear old aunty beeb could not be seen to be endorsing commercial products in any way, so they couldn't mention "sellotape" as it was a brand name (wouldn't "sticky tape" have sufficed?)!

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    3. Shakey Shakerson11 August 2016 at 02:38

      Wilby. I WAS a Blue Peter viewer - forced into it by elder brother (I was more inclined towards Magpie and the lovely Jenny Hanley). Anyway. sticky-back plaster was not the same thing as sellotape at all. It was pretty much what its name suggests; a coloured film of plastic that could be used to decorate something like a cardboard box. It came on a roll, similar to cling film, and had a paper backing that you could peel off to reveal the adhesive backing that would stick the plastic to whatever it was you wanted to decorate or cover.

      But Jenny Hanley, though.......

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    4. oh well shakey, the sellotape thing must be an urban myth then - either that or the person who told me was talking bollocks! i wasn't that into "magpie" either, but i preferred it to "blue peter" as the presenters were cooler (i remember the sexy susan stranks) and so was the theme music. does anyone also remember a similar programme called "why don't you just switch off your television set and go out and do something less boring instead?"?

      ps - i remember once seeing jenny hanley in a pre-"magpie" hammer dracula film, where the hero was played by dennis waterman!

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    5. Jenny's Hammer film was Scars of Dracula, generally considered the worst of the series. The next one, Dracula A.D. 1972 has a few laughs going for it, at least.

      She was also in Percy's Progress as one of the hero's conquests, though her fans would be disappointed that she remained fully clothed throughout - at least Valerie Singleton narrated a nudist camp movie.

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    6. Oh, and Why Don't You? was a hobby show presented by precocious kids, but the early series scared me as a young 'un when "The Doris" featured, an unseen menace hidden beneath a trapdoor that ate the brats in the last episode.

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    7. i remember seeing "dracula AD 1972" billed as showing at my local fleapit on release and really wanting to go and see it, but i was too young at the time. however i've made up for that by watching it several times since. for me it's my favourite hammer dracula film as it belatedly goes for the then-contemporary yoof market. perhaps my favourite bit is when peter cushing works out that shadowy hipster johnny alucard's name is an anagram of something far more sinister!

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    8. One of the other films featured one Dr. Acula, who no one seemed to recognise...

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    9. If you're a Jenny Hanley fan check out the 1970s police drama Softly Softly Task Force where she played the girlfriend of DCI Hawkins in several episodes just released on DVD. Also she was in a great film called Danny Jones about a Welsh boy who looses his virginity.

      Oh and "sticky back plastic" was called Fablon, they still make it today.

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    10. thanks bama - so my friend was half-right then, in that they wouldn't (couldn't?) mention the brand name on "blue peter"

      even as recently as the 90's the beeb were touchy about any association with commercial activities - i remember carol vorderman having to leave "tomorrow's world" because she'd dared to appear in an advert on itv! and back then even the commercial stations had a rule whereby people couldn't appear in adverts if they were in the programmes either side of them. contrast that with today where having made himself look a complete prat by letting in soft goals in the 2016 european football championships, joe hart tries to convince punters that using a certain brand of shampoo is cool!

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    11. As I remember it, Carol was let go from Tomorrow's World not because she'd merely appeared in an ad, which was permissible, but because she was up to dodgy dealings with sponsorship of the products she promoted, appearing in ad breaks of programmes she was presenting. Something like that, my memory is hazy.

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    12. unfortunately i can't find anything on the internet that outlines the full details of carol vorderman's departure from the bbc as a result of her fronting commercial telly ads, so i'm just going from memory too. but whatever the feelings on her choice of endorsements (she got a lot of flack for representing what is in effect a loan shark, but is that any less moral than advertising something like unhealthy foods?), nowadays i doubt bbc employees are restrained from taking financial advantage of their celebrity status anywhere near as much as they were in the past...?

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    13. I doubt it too, these days if you're a celebrity you're expected to shill for something no matter what channel you're on. Not everyone does it, mind you, either for personal or financial reasons I suppose.

      There are still restrictions on appearing in the ad breaks of the programmes they're in, but that's Ofcom's jurisdiction, not the BBC's.

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    14. Going back to Blue Peter, I recall that John Noakes got into trouble with the Beeb for using his dog Shep in a dog food commercial. The BBC claimed that the dog belonged to them so he used a ringer called "Skip" and did the commercial anyway. That was the end of Go With Noakes.

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    15. Maybe they should have employed Jason the BP cat to advertise Boss - sorry, Top Cat cat food, too. Now Top Cat has his own ad contract, of course. But not for cat food, oddly.

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    16. i used to love watching "top cat" on bbc in the early 70's, but at the time was utterly bemused as to why it was billed as "boss cat". our family actually had a cat at the time, but i don't ever remember it being given any "top cat" catfood!

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    17. "Top Cat" was renamed "Boss Cat" in the UK as there was a brand of cat food (which didn't last all that long) called Top Cat at the time it was originally transmitted and the BBC didn't want to subliminally promote it.

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    18. There were some similar practices with three Laurel & Hardy films, where the film title was renamed in Britain for some unknown reason.

      Fra Diavolo was changed to The Devils Brother.
      Babes In Toyland was changed to March Of The Wooden Soldiers.
      Sons Of The Desert was changed to Fraternally Yours.

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    19. Renaming films for foreign markets still goes on today. Disney's Zootropolis was originally called Zootopia in the US and elsewhere, but had to be changed in Europe because a non-Disney company had copyrighted that name.

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    20. Films aren't just renamed for foreign markets. The Wallace and Gromit film "Curse of the WereRabbit" had to be re-named for screening in Portland, Dorset, due to superstition. The burrows cause quarry landslides and the animals are referred to there as underground mutton or furry things instead of rabbits.

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    21. thanks for that arthur! i knew you'd mentioned this before in context of films titles being changed for whatever reason, but couldn't remember what it was - even though i grew up near portland so was well-aware of the "don't say rabbit" custom. as i recall, islanders usually referred to them as bunnies. which may have been the inspiration for what i think is the far-better alternative title "something bunny's going on"

      there hasn't actually been a cinema on portland since the late 70's, but if locals watched this film elsewhere or at home, surely they'd still have to endure the dreaded "r" word in both titles and dialogue?

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    22. Oops, sorry, maybe it was just posters around the area which were amended. I guess people from Portland wouldn't be so worried about mention of the 'r' word when watching the film some distance from their 'manor'.

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    23. Returning to the Blue Peter and adverts theme, didn't ex-BP gardener Percy Thrower get fired from Gardeners' World for doing an ad?

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  16. I heard Annabella Lwin interviewed on the radio today, she sounded in fine fettle, upbeat and still performing and making music. Nice to hear she's survived the pop biz and is happy in herself.

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  17. Anyone watching Dominic Sandbrook's documentary series The 80s on BBC 2? I like a good essay series, and this has been an improvement on his 70s one, with loads of great clips, wry observations and amusing song choices that comment on the action. Recommended if these TOTP repeats have made you nostalgic, but also remembering the turbulent times from 30 years ago.

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    1. i haven't yet, but i'm not surprised to hear he's now followed up his series on the 70's (that brought back a lot of memories for me). it will fill the gap made here by the olympics!

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    2. i've now started to watch this series (thanks thx for bringing it to my attention) and found the bit about "the face" magazine quite interesting. i was more into the music than the posey fashions at the time, so i bought the likes of "smash hits" and "record mirror" rather than this. but then someone gave me about 20 early editions of it that i kept for many years. then i had to make a move half-way across the country in the late-90's and didn't have room for them in my car, so i left them with a friend who took over my old flat. about three years later when i was able to return to pick them up, not only had the friend disappeared but the magazines had too. and not too long after that i discovered they were now highly-collectable and worth at least a fiver each! so as you can imagine i was a bit annoyed about that...

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    3. the music/fashion magazine that i did buy at that time was a halfway-house between "smash hits" and "the face" called "new sounds, new styles", that only lasted a year or so. sadly my copies went the same way as my "face" mags, but a year or two back as part of the nostalgia kick for these times i felt compelled to re-acquire the earlier editions on ebay - they go for a tenner or so depending on how lucky you are. what i do is buy them, read them, scan what i want out of them and then re-sell them, usually getting more-or-less what i paid for them in the first place:

      http://mark1814.wixsite.com/mag-a-zone/new-styles-new-sounds

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    4. I've still got all of my original Smash Hits, The Face and a huge pile of Rcord Mirrors from 1977-83 which I bought at a garage sale for just £1.

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    5. Sounds like a bargain. I've still got all my Record Mirrors from 1988-91 plus a few of the supplements from when they merged with Music Week

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    6. I should have said it was circa 1986. They were 5p each but I bought the job lot for £1.

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  18. Folks, I’ve missed a number of episodes whilst I’ve been on holiday but it seems not as many have been shown as I feared, so I’ll pitch back in on this most recent offering. Apologies if any of my observations have already been made by somebody else.

    Great edition this one with the double act of Richard and Steve (still wearing his badge trumpeting the B Side of ‘Ticket to Ride’). Very 80s in flavour I must say.

    Classix Nouveux – Is it a dream – “No, it’s a bloody nightmare” went the review in ‘Record Mirror’. The first TOTP appearance for Sal Solo and he did look weird. Not as bad as the RM review makes out in my view.

    ABC –Poison Arrow – I finally purchased ‘The Lexicon of Love’ CD (in a Record Shop in Kendal whilst on holiday) and this is a classy song and video. Filmed where I wonder?

    Leo Sayer – Have you ever been in love – Class, class, class. A true performer singing live with a backing track that’s not the fantastic Arif Mardin production and still sounding great. I love this track and Leo commented on his ‘Definitive Greatest Hits’ collection “I had the unique pleasure of working with legendary producer Arif Mardin on the album ‘World Radio’ from which this track comes. The song was written by Andy Hill and Pete Sinfield (‘Land of Make Believe’) ….Arif directed me beautifully on my vocals”. Indeed. Checkout the great original version by Paris on YT as well – lead vocals sung by Andy Hill, guitar solo by Ian Bairnson (Alan Parsons Project & Pilot) although the video shows Andy miming it – and Andy himself actually comments about this on the YT link…..

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hh-7ojfJON8

    Imagination – Just an illusion – Surprise surprise, I actually like this one from Leee and co and they’re pretty restrained in this spooky video.

    Derek and the Dominos – Layla – Is it ‘Dominos’ or ‘Dominoes’ ?45cat and TOTP state the former whilst the Guinness Book of Hit Singles plumps for the latter, which would have been my spelling. My spellcheck here accepts both. Ah well, not sure why this charted again but for me the track needs to be heard in its full length with the extended instrumental section, but that would have been too long to choreograph Maureen.

    Goombay Dance band – Seven Tears – My Mum alerted me to this ‘singalong’ tune that was played to death on Radio 2 before becoming a hit. I don’t think I’ve seen a fire eater on TOTP before, let alone on a chart topper – not even on ‘Fire’ by the Crazy World of Arthur Brown.

    Japan – Ghosts – Spooky again! Nice performance and treatment of David Syvian’s face to go all, err, ghostly. An unusual, somewhat discordant sound that was different enough to be a big hit. A much better single that the first track taken from the ‘Tin Drum’ album which was only a minor hit (’Visions of China’).

    Gary Numan – Music for Chameleons – Gary liked to dress in sync with his picture sleeves and this is hit ‘hat phase’ which several singles at the time featured. Not one of his best songs though and is really another one on the slide. The next single ‘We take mystery to bed’, made number 9 but only stayed on the chart for 4 weeks. I think biplane antics were taking over at this stage.

    Visage – (the) Damned don’t cry – The picture sleeve says ‘the’ but the label omits the ‘the’. More diminishing returns like Gary. A very arty looking video filmed on a preserved railway that no doubt somebody will recognise. The irony is not lost on me that it’s filmed after dark and the next single was called ‘Night Train’.

    Tight Fit – The lion sleeps tonight – Bloody hell! The guy is surrounded by the two lasses dressed like Louise Jameson as Leela in Dr Who. Very sexy and slinky routine that tried very hard to keep this song at number one but just missed out to the Goombay’s superior fire eating.

    Kool and the Gang – Take my heart – I don’t recall this K&tG track at all but it’s certainly a good showcase for the extended audience dancing skills.

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    1. PS. THX – yes I have watched both episodes of Sandbrook’s 80s. Great stuff, really enjoyed the bit about ZX Spectrums where they showed a lady in W H Smiths – I worked in there and sold ZX Spectrums at this time!!!

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    2. the "layla" 45 always sounded like two different songs stuck together to me, but when i heard the full-length album version some time afterwards (like wings' "band on the run") it sounded like three different songs stuck together! of course the other thing about that track that no-one has yet mentioned is that the guy who wrote it with clappo later killed his mother as a result of being an undiagnosed schizophrenic, and is still banged-up in a pyschiatric prison today!

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    3. We are also enjoying Sandbrooks 80s. I like the way he picks (mostly) appropriate music for the items (reminds me of Rock 'n' years from many years ago)

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    4. Ditto with enjoying the Dominic Sandbrook show, especially the bit on Next in the first episode (I work for them but can't remember the stores from first time round).

      Like Wilberforce I bought Record Mirror, they used to have a feature called Phil's World Of Wigs where readers were invited to suggest a wig for Phil Collins to wear.

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    5. Gary Numan's hat phase coincided with his hair loss phase. Go figure.

      I did recognise the railway where they filmed The Damned Don't Cry video. It's in Sussex (see above).

      Layla was re-released to coincide with The Best of Eric Clapton and the advent of 12 inch singles meant they could include the full length version of the 12 inch. I seem to recall that there was an orchestral cover released at the the same time which was, needless to say, awful.

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    6. of course, after gary numan's "hat phase" he moved on to his "sticking a dead cat on his head phase"!

      i was acquainted with a hat-wearer in the early 80's - of course myself and others would joke that he did so because he was balding, even though he was only in his twenties - although we could only conjecture as he was never seen in public without one!

      unlike today where shaved heads are acceptable if not actually seen as cool, it has to be remembered that the 80's was one of the high-points for men daring to flaunt extravagant hairstyles (and pretty much the first time in terms of length, colour and texture), so those unfortunate enough to lose their crowning glory in their prime felt compelled to try various silly ways of maintaining an illusiion that they still had a full head of hair, rather than concede to the inevitable and get rid of what was left!

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    7. For some reason the last episode of Dom's 80s show was mostly about 1990, but I suppose he had to finish the storylines somehow. That quibble aside, I've enjoyed his observations - but mostly the clips.

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  19. Changing the subject, I was watching Vintage TV this afternoon, on Clare Grogan's My Vintage, and one of her favourites is Adam & The Ants, and when they played the Stand & Deliver video at around 5.20pm this afternoon, they played the original unedited version with the hanging scene, yes, still in 2016. Nice to see Vintage TV standing firm and playing the original video with no edits, and sticking two fingers up to the scissor department. Nice one!

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