Top of the Pops 8 May 1986

 Introduced by Chris Arnsby. [23] The Cure: Boys Don't Cry. Janice Long. “Hello and welcome to a very live Top of the Pops and to start us off tonight at number 23 it's the wonderful Cure and Boys Don't Cry.” 
Robert Smith is in fine form. He's perfected a distracted amble round the stage which he uses to good effect during Janice Long's introduction. He wanders away from the microphone and it looks for a second like he won't make it back before the lyrics start but, of course, he does. What a pro. He's also wearing the essential item of 1986, a suit which is plainly too big. However it's less a fashion statement than a prop. He clutches at it, and twists it, and wrings it in his hands, and thoroughly incorporates it into the Robert Smith persona.

For those keeping count (ie, me) this is only the second live show of 1986, and John Peel's third of six appearances. Like a lot of the long term hosts he seems to be winding down now (or he's not being asked back as much). He'll clock up one programme in February 1987 and that will be it until December 1995 when he's invited back one last time as a pretext to get him on This Is Your Life.


Why the UK shouldn't leave Eurovision...

 …and how we can get more than nul points.

It goes like this every year. Beforehand our latest entry for the Eurovision Song Contest “stands a real chance this time”, we’re `taking the contest seriously` and this is our best entry in years. On the day though the song is, well, not quite right and we score close to no points or as we did this year no points at all. Then comes the ritual of saying the song was actually no good at all and we should take the contest more seriously or perhaps we should quit altogether. Brexit 2? Well I reckon that would be a hasty decision just to save however much per year we contribute towards the staging of the contest a deal that at least allows us to avoid the humiliation of being knocked out before the Final as our recent entries surely would have otherwise been. No, I reckon we should sit it out, not take the contest seriously and we could just do a lot better. How, you ask?



Top of the Pops 1 May 1986

Reviewed by Chris Arnsby. [32] Maxi Priest: Strollin' On: Mike Smith. “Good evening and welcome to Television Centre in London for Top of the Pops with Maxi Priest.” Strollin' On is a nice enough song to open the show but it doesn't do a lot for me. I'm considerably more interested in the efforts of the saxophonist and trumpet player as they do their best to synchronise their constant bobbing motions.

Mike Smith: “The line up tonight is so dazzling I've got to keep my shades on for it. The trouble is, I can't see you. Are you there? Oh you are, good. We've got Princess tonight, we've got Madonna, we've got Joyce Sims, come over from the States, and of course we've got the new Top 40 for you with Janet Jackson at number three.”



Titans season one

 Given the similarities between superheroes across various franchises it is becoming more difficult for tv shows and films about them to stand out. This series, launched in 2018, is from the DC stable whose television work has generally surpassed their big screen offerings, Wonder Woman being the exception. Based on the Teen Titans comics, the series is clearly aimed at a younger audiences with it’s cool stylings, outbursts of kinetic violence and edgy characters. It is an earnest narrative full of teenage angst even if some of the characters are older.


Top of the Pops 24 April 1986

 [17] The SOS Band: The Finest. Janice Long. “It's Top of the Pops and please welcome a band who have just flown in. It's their first appearance on Top of the Pops. At 17, The SOS Band. It's The Finest.”

Check out the sliver clad dancer/backing singer at stage right. Eighties fashions have progressed to the point where the jackets resemble 40s Zoot Suits, although the padded shoulders are trés eighties. Observe the way they shoot up every time the sliver clad fellow raises his arms and leave him looking like a turtle pulling its head into its shell. This is not my kind of music, so my attention lapses and I am confused when a green-jacketed man suddenly starts serenading the lead singer. Was he hiding behind a microphone stand? All becomes clear when his bit ends, and he retreats back behind the keyboard.

Little else happens of note. We get a new Quantel effect during the keyboard break. The picture zooms back into a small box, a second picture drifts out from behind it, and the two camera shots briefly bounce around the screen. These kind of picture effects are normally reserved for cutting between the hosts and the charts, and it's become unusual to see them used during performances.



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Deep inside the mountain known as Devil’s Peak, a group of misfit scientists’ amazing plan to solve ecological problems is threatened by an elemental menace with dangerously different ideas. As Tom Allenby tries to stop this new threat to mankind, he faces the most serious peril of his fifteen year old life. Things will never be the same again. In his toughest, most personal adventure yet can Tom save the world and those closest to him? Or will humanity fall to the storm of the century?

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Top of the Pops 17 April 1986

Presented by Chris Arnsby. [10] Big Country: Look Away. Gary Davies. “Welcome to Top of the Pops and here to start us off Big Country and Look Away.” A nice enough song, and a good performance, but it leaves me with very little to say. I'm not mad keen on Stuart Adamson's carpet remnant coat. Gary Davies. “What a great way to start. Big Country and Look Away. So, all on my own in the studio tonight, well not exactly on my own, also in the studio we have George Michael, we have A-ha, and It's Immaterial but first here's this week's Top 40 over this video from Falco and Rock Me Amadeus.”