Top of the Pops 16 Jan 1985

Presented by Chris Arnsby. Mike Read: “Welcome to Top of the Pops even more exciting and thrilling than EastEnders, and Dixie has borrowed a new jacket just for the occasion.” Dixie Peach: “Lots of great stuff and we're going to start with a song that was a hit for Elvis Presley back in 1969. Suspicious Minds. Fine Young Cannibals. At number 17.”
[17] Fine Young Cannibals: Suspicious Minds. Mike Read is wearing his tie in a low slung loop. It looks like he ran to the studio while still getting dressed. I've got a nagging memory of this trend which I think it started in a commercial; probably featuring some bright thrusting young Thatcherite washing their clothes in a new type of laundry powder or using their Dragon 32 to hack into the Pentagon.


Research shows it's not any of the obvious suspects; the Gold Blend commercials didn't start until 1987; the bloke from the Volkswagon advert (“this is the man who bet a million on black and it came up red”) is wearing a bow tie; and the man who wants a “sedond cladd return to Dottingham pleade” (he has a cold, you see) may be a monster who wants to pass his germs on to an entire train carriage, but at least he's smartly dressed. Maybe I'm wrong and it wasn't from an advert. Perhaps it was something started by the kids from Grange Hill. Or, god forbid, could it be that it started with Mike Read and he's a trendsetter? The two Fine Young Cannibals guitarists are having a silly legs dancing contest, again. The one in the grey cardigan wins effortlessly.

[4] Dire Straits: Walk Of Life: On video. The dancing gorilla is the best bit.


[6] Cherrelle & Alexander O’Neal: Saturday Love. Michael Hurll is away and Brian Whitehouse is once again producing and directing in his absence. Presumably it's his idea to have Alexander O'Neal lurk at the side of the stage. It's surprisingly Hitchockian with Cherrelle alone onstage and the audience gradually becoming aware that she is being watched from the shadows.

Meanwhile, où sont Michael Hurll? He is tired and clapped out after producing Roland's Yuletide Binge, 11,30am BBC1 Christmas Day 1985; and the Second Annual Noel Edmonds Live Up The Post Office Tower Live On Christmas Morning Celebration Live (working title) 11.55am BBC1 Christmas Day 1985; and the Top of the Pops Christmas Party, 2pm BBC1 Christmas Day 1985; and The Two Ronnies, 9pm BBC1 Christmas Day 1985.

After all this activity, Michael Hurll takes himself off to bed for a sleep troubled by dreams of being chased up the neverending Post Office Tower stairs by Kevin the Gerbil, Gary Davis, and Barbara Dickson, who want to pitch him a new Light-Entertainment format.

Best British Video Award: It's the third annual Best British Video award. Mike Read makes less of a meal of explaining the rules than Simon Bates (1984) or Peter Powell (1985). You might want to vote for Feargal Sharkey's A Good Heart, or Tears For Fears' Everybody Wants to Rule The World, or Mick Jagger and David Bowie's Dancing In The Street; if you dare.

No Top 40 Breakers this week. In your face Five Star, Nana Mouskouri, and Sarah Brightman & Steve Harley.

[2] A-ha: The Sun Always Shines On TV. Morten Harket appears distracted during the introduction. He looks down at his feet, and then behind. Has he dropped his wallet? Or is he checking his mark for the next shot when he dances moodily with his back to the audience?

Top 40 Countdown: With a terrible photo of Feargal Sharkey at number 39.

[8] Mr Mister: Broken Wings. The lead singer of Mr Mister (would that make him Mr Mr Mister, or Mr Mister major?) is wearing a vile pair of white cowboy boots. The guitarist and keyboard player also wear white shoes, but they have to settle for regular shoes rather than boots to denote their Mr Mister minor status. At no point is it possible to see what sort of shoes the drummer wears.

Top 10 Countdown: A much better photo of Feargal Sharkey at number 5.


[1] The Pet Shop Boys: West End Girls. On film. A nostalgic wander through Waterloo Station, Leicester Square and it's environs. Look that old WH Smiths logo; ahh! And the protest outside the South African Embassy in Trafalgar Square. And on the line “just you wait till I get you home,” what appears to be a man in doubling up to be sick outside the Empire, Leicester Square; maybe he's just come out from watching Fletch.


[3] Bronski Beat: Hit That Perfect Beat. Audience dancing and credits, and Paul Jordan and Mike Smith hosting next week.
Performance of the Week: A-ha, The Sun Always Shines On TV.



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