Tag Archives: 1981

“Too much fighting on the dance floor” – Top of the Pops, 2 July 1981

Bad Manners

Finally! After months and months of recycling the same tired joke, the powers that be at TOTP have finally taken my advice and commissioned a proper theme tune and title sequence. Don’t tell anyone though, because it’s still under wraps … read more

“You’ve got to get up to get down” – Top of the Pops, 25 June 1981

Depeche Mode

Rush rush, busy busy, rush rush, busy busy! A combination of a condensed thirty minute show due to Wimbledon fortnight, the continuing lack of a proper opening sequence and a poorly chosen first song with a short intro means that … read more

“I feel my spirit’s getting old” – Top of the Pops, 18 June 1981

Odyssey

“Hi folks! Welcome to Top of the Pops once again!” Well, hello sailor. It’s solid, reliable Peter Powell in charge this week, in a strangely nautical white shirt with navy blue stripes and – yes! – red trousers. A full … read more

“Please remember to mention me in tapes you leave behind” – Top of the Pops, 11 June 1981

Landscape

Looking for a 54-year-old silver haired loon in a ridiculous tracksuit made up of random, uneven patches of different gaudy colours, desperately attempting to stay relevant to the record buying audience despite being old enough to be their grandfather? It’s … read more

“Following the footsteps of a rag doll dance” – Top of the Pops, 4 June 1981

Imagination

“Yes, it’s Top of the Pops with today eleven top acts!” Six months on from Richard Skinner’s first solo hosting gig and Operation Make Skinner Look Less Like A Newsreader And More Like A Human Being is finally seeing some … read more

“You said it all, though not many had ears” – Top of the Pops, 28 May 1981

Hazel O'Connor

Hey everyone, let’s play “good news / bad news”! The good news is, after missing a huge chunk of musical history due to presenters’ off-screen activities and someone’s inability to record a live programme for the archive, BBC Four viewers … read more

“Blow up the TV, blow up the car” – Top of the Pops, 21 May 1981

The Human League

If you had fond memories of late April and early May 1981 and were looking forward to reliving those memories via the BBC Four reruns of Top of the Pops, you’re probably feeling pretty short changed by now. What with … read more

“He is a song that’s not easy to write” – Top of the Pops, 14 May 1981

Thin Lizzy

That idea of showing two editions of TOTP a week on consecutive nights seemed great at the start of the year. Quickly, though, we ran into problems due to the, shall we say, unavailability of certain episodes. Miss out a … read more

“The devil take your stereo and your record collection” – Top of the Pops, 7 May 1981

Ossie Ardiles

By this stage of the BBC Four reruns the audience has formed itself into two distinct groups. One one hand there’s the casual viewer who isn’t really following the timeline but will greet every deviation from the norm – anything … read more

“Stay in time with the rhythm and rhyme” – Top of the Pops, 30 April 1981

Tenpole Tudor

For all Michael Hurll’s efforts in dragging Top of the Pops kicking and screaming into the ’80s and turning it into a dazzling celebration of pop music instead of a dreary light entertainment show, he keeps coming up against one … read more

“Look at it from my angle” – Top of the Pops, 23 April 1981

Level 42

There’s an almighty gap in the BBC Four reruns here as we skip three whole episodes, starting with this Dave Lee Travis-fronted edition. No doubt the Daily Mail would be disgusted to realise that people ever watched it on its … read more

“The more we know, the less we show” – Top of the Pops, 16 April 1981

Department S

“Hi.” Hi yourself, Peter Powell, in your monogrammed shirt, white blazer with the sleeves rolled up and, let’s not beat about the bush here, beige slacks. Powell seems to have taken on the mantle of “senior presenter” of TOTP recently, … read more