Bad Manners

“It’s big and it’s bland, full of tension and fear” – Top of the Pops, 30 October 1980

Peter Powell & Colin BerryAfter last week’s automobile-related tomfoolery it’s time to bring some sense back to the proceedings with the ever-reliable Peter Powell. But hang on, who’s this with him? Powell introduces him as “one Colin Berry” (sadly this doesn’t spark a football chant response of “there’s only one Colin Berry”) and before you can say “Hang on son, only Radio 1 DJs allowed in this area” Berry’s gone on to tell us about how he’s been sitting in for Terry Wogan on the Radio 2 breakfast show all week. Although a Radio 2 regular for many years, Berry’s TV work was mainly confined to announcing the votes of the UK jury at the Eurovision Song Contest, which he did most years between 1977 and 2002, although curiously not in 1980 when Ray Moore took the job. As is now usual we get a quick glimpse of a few of the acts coming up on the show; this week we’re promised two repeated clips and a video that was on a DLT episode a month ago. Oh Pete, You’re spoiling us! But the vital question remains unanswered: is that really a young Dermot Murnaghan in the audience behind Pete’s head?


See the full top 75 for this week on the Official Charts Website.

ADAM AND THE ANTS – Dog Eat Dog (#13)

Adam and the Ants“Right now no show seems to be complete without a band called Adam and the Ants,” Powell advises us. “The reason is because they’re going on tour currently and you’ll see for yourself.” Not sure that fully explains the situation, but never mind because here are the erstwhile Stuart Goddard and his band, back in the studio having survived their altercation with the members of 4″ Be 2″ last time. No sign of the shamrock T-shirted goons this week, although it’s unclear whether the person in the peaked cap glaring at the crowd from in front of the stage is an actual security guard or a member of the Ants’ entourage who didn’t get the memo about the band’s new image. Halfway through the performance Adam produces a cane from somewhere, which he wields like Fred Astaire having some kind of seizure. While Adam’s first appearance pushed the single into the top twenty, it could be argued that this was the performance that sparked Antmania, propelling Dog Eat Dog to number 4 and sending sales of Tipp-Ex through the roof.

ODYSSEY – If You’re Looking For A Way Out (#6)

OdysseyBit of a reverse Yewtree moment before the next song as Pete is apparently goosed by one of the young ladies behind him. “What are you up to?” he demands, before remembering he’s on telly and has to keep smiling. Never mind, because it’s time to bring on one of the rapidly-becoming-infamous Top of the Pops T-shirt models, so Powell can put his arm around her and everything’s back to normal. You’ll be fascinated to know that the T-shirts come in three colours and two sizes, adults and children – so hopefully she’s wearing a kids’ one otherwise they’ve grossly underestimated the size of most adults. Details of how to get them will be in the Radio Times in the next couple of weeks, apparently, although I’m sure they promised that a couple of weeks ago. Moving on, it’s a second outing for the If You’re Looking For A Way Out video, a song that’s been hanging around the bottom reaches of the top ten for a month now without any further TOTP action since DLT introduced it four weeks back. A showing last week or even the week before might have given it the top five placing it deserved, but number 6 was as far as it went. Consequently this was its last showing on TOTP, but I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t remind you of the Tindersticks version.

BAD MANNERS – Special Brew (#5)

Bad MannersWhere’s Colin Berry gone then? Haven’t seen hide nor hair of him in three links now. Poor Pete could be doing with his help as he seems to be having trouble getting his words out this week and runs out of them altogether during this link, eventually having to chat up the young lady next to him in order to fill time. More repetition next: they can’t risk having Bad Manners back in the studio again after the scenes they caused two weeks ago, the sight of Buster Bloodvessel’s legs under that grass skirt caused several members of the audience to pass out, and not in a good way. However, with the single ploughing relentlessly up the chart, there seems no option but to show the same performance again, with Buster’s brief but energetic burst of dancing bringing new meaning to the phrase “Legs & Co”. Special Brew got as high as number 3 but for some reason it was never shown again, although this performance seems fairly tame once you’ve seen their other number 3 hit from the summer of ’81.

DAVID BOWIE – Fashion (#20)

Legs & CoAh, it’s okay, nobody panic, we’ve found Colin! He’s been off picking up a script and the sleeve of ABBA’s new single for the Tedious News Section™ which he reads with his usual gravitas, warning us to “watch out for Geraldine Hunt” as if reading a news item about an escaped murderer, “her single Can’t Take The Feeling (sic) has been a hit in the discos.” Berry proceeds to warn us of other new releases including the horror of Liquid Gold, while Dermot Murnaghan looks on open mouthed, clearly thinking he could do this better and considering his future career plans. Colin gets a shot at the top thirty countup as well, expertly enunciating his way from 30 to 20 where we pause for the new Bowie single. Sadly it would still be another eleven years until Bowie was desperate enough to appear on TOTP again – and even then it was as part of Tin Machine – so… enter Limbs & Co to “interpret” Fashion in the least fashionable way possible, dressed in brightly coloured corsets and hot pants like a nightmarish Showaddywaddy, overlaid with shots of the girls in other unfashionable outfits. Hurry up and finish your video, Dave!

SHEENA EASTON – One Man Woman (#17)

Sheena Easton“Good single, yeah?” Powell asks Berry as we pan away from Limbs & Co. Awkward pause. “Good one,” Colin finally nods, clearly having no opinion on it whatsoever. Berry’s talents are put to better use as he counts up from 19 to 11, and eagle-eyed viewers will note that the caption person has already acknowledged Antmania by using a reversed “D” in “A⫏AM AND THE ANTS” as per the band’s logo (and if that actually worked and hasn’t broken your browser please let me know). Back down to 17 for Sheena Easton’s new one which, despite Simon Bates’ confident claims a few weeks back, isn’t called One Man, One Woman. Although it’s clearly miles better than either of her first two singles and accompanied by a glossy promo video full of perfect makeup and multiple costume changes, One Man Woman stalled at number 14 and Sheena “two records in the top ten” Easton’s UK chart career had already peaked. Isn’t showbiz fickle? Good job she discovered Prince.

OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN & CLIFF RICHARD – Suddenly (#25)

Olivia Newton John & Cliff RichardIf you’ve managed to blag tickets for tonight’s edition of TOTP, bunked off school and nicked a tenner out of your mum’s purse to get to Television Centre just to be in the audience, you’re probably feeling pretty short changed by now. Were it not for Adam and the Ants, you’d have come all that way just to see Limbs & Co, a Radio 2 DJ and loads of pre-recorded footage. Here’s another video, the fourth hit single from the soundtrack of Xanadu which makes the soundtrack infinitely more successful than the movie itself. Cliff and Olivia simper their way through this limp ballad in a video which Cliff himself seems to have storyboarded, as he finally gets the chance to kiss, fondle and generally get unnecessarily intimate with Olivia, even looking as if he’s about to strangle her at one point. Thankfully we cut back to a gently swaying audience before they get down to it in front of the roaring fire. Let’s face it, he’s no John Travolta.

SHOWADDYWADDY – Why Do Lovers Break Each Other’s Hearts (#22)

ShowaddywaddyAfter that romantic interlude there’s an awkward moment for Powell as the freakishly tall boyfriend of the girl he was chatting up earlier has arrived. Leave it, Pete, he’s not worth it! And talking of not worth it… no, that’s unfair. It’s another repeat though, Showaddywaddy’s “humorous” performance with the reveal of Dave Bartram’s fake spiky hairdo managing to seem even less funny now you know what’s going on. Co-written by Phil Spector, Why Do Lovers Break Each Other’s Hearts was originally recorded in 1963 by the improbably named Bob B. Soxx and the Blue Jeans before becoming the ‘Waddy’s last top thirty hit. Don’t worry though, you haven’t seen the last of them – in fact they’ll be back with another single in just a couple of weeks’ time. Do they never sleep?

BARBRA STREISAND – Woman In Love (#1)

Barry Gibb and Barbra StreisandSo, really, you got Colin Berry in just to read the news and part of the chart? He doesn’t even get to do the top ten, which this week has been tweaked yet again so that the words “TOP TEN TOP TEN TOP” flash constantly across the top and bottom of the screen so as to alleviate any doubt about what you’re watching. At least Pete doesn’t do the curtain joke. Babs is still at number 1 so we get the montage of photos and film clips of Streisand snogging people masquerading as a video once more, but without Limbs & Co interrupting it this week so we can see just how saucy it really is. Colin’s back to say goodbye and take part in the ID parade of people wearing TOTP T-shirts, while Powell and his Radio 1 colleagues are apparently off to Birmingham for the week, which is why next week’s edition is hosted by a certain infamous jewellery enthusiast. Not that Powell is free from accusations of impropriety as he pretends to toss a coin to decide which of the female T-shirt models he gets to go off with. Smooth. Fortunately a gang of revellers descends on the studio floor to cavort to Stephanie Mills’ Never Knew Love Like This Before and in the confusion she makes good her escape, leaving Powell to go home with Dermot Murnaghan.

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