Tag Archives: Tommy Vance

Thin Lizzy

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

Tommy VanceThat 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 show between Thursday and Friday and you run the risk of a very repetitive Friday night edition full of songs you already heard the previous evening. This week, however, it’s kind of worked to BBC Four’s advantage. We may have lost almost an entire month since last night, but it does mean that all but one of tonight’s songs are new to the BBC Four run, when in fact only one is new to TOTP itself. This figure is made less remarkable by the fact that tonight’s show is somewhat truncated, due to last Saturday’s FA Cup Final ending in a 1-1 draw and the concept of the penalty shoot-out not yet having been introduced to the competition, meaning that Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City are required to do the whole thing again tonight. Naturally football takes precedence over music when you’ve only got three TV channels, so this week’s TOTP has been optimistically branded a “Cup Final Special” despite having been unceremoniously hacked down to a cosy nineteen minutes. Poor Tommy Vance must be wondering what he’s done wrong: last time it was his turn to host there was a strike on, and now he’s got to whip up enthusiasm for a “special edition” that’s only half the show’s normal length. On top of that, it’s his last hosting gig until some time next year. It’s enough to make a fella paranoid.

See the full top 75 for this week on the Official Charts Website.
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“You’re all corrupt, you’re all depraved” – Top of the Pops, 12 March 1981


Up next on BBC1, another edition of Let’s Pretend Nothing’s Wrong And This Is Just A Normal Edition Of Top Of The Pops Even Though It’s Painfully Obvious That There’s Another Strike On And We’re Desperately Stringing Pre-Recorded Clips Together … read more

“Imaginary playing heavy riffs, no diminisheds or fancy fifths” – Top of the Pops, 29 January 1981

Susan Fassbender

Week two of the new supercharged BBC Four repeat run and it’s the end of January already; in all probability the 8 January show will have been the last time we weren’t way ahead of ourselves. Your host this week … read more