Top of the Pops 27 November 1986


Scrutinised by Chris Arnsby. Gary Davies: “Hey! How ya doin'? Welcome to another Top of the Pops. In an action packed programmed tonight we have Five Star, we've got Nick Kamen, Roger Whittaker and Des O'Connor, but first we start off with those warriors of the wasteland. Here's . Frankie. Goes. To. Hollywood.”

[19] Frankie Goes to Hollywood: Warriors (of the Wasteland). An uncharacteristically surly performance. Frankie Goes to Hollywood, like Madness, are one of those bands who seemed to value appearing on Top of the Pops and worked to make each performance different. Remember the days of 1984 and Two Tribes endless stint at Number 1; Holly Johnson dressed as Norman Wisdom (for some reason); giving the audience Frankie flags to wave; Paul Rutherford probably unwisely waving around a prop gun; giving the audience flowers to wave; and, of course, the live performance on 09/08/1986 when Holly Johnson steps off the stage walks through the audience. And then there's this one. Holly Johnson lounges at the front of the stage with his hands in his suit pockets, as if he's auditioning to replace Neil Tennant in the Pet Shop Boys. Everyone else is dressed in black leather and guitarist Brian Nash stares down the camera as if he's auditioning for The Stranglers. It's certainly different, but not good different. Only drummer Ped Gill and Paul Rutherford look like they want to be there; and Rutherford's shaved off his moustache which is like the ravens leaving the Tower of London.



Spiderman- No Way Home review


Waiting for the cinema to open at the early hour of nine forty, a caterpillar of school kids starts to emerge at the top of the escalators. There must be at least a year group here and guess what film they’d come to view on this most unlikely of school trips? The most we ever got to go to was a piece of waste ground to analyse whatever flora and fauna we could discover there, clearly educational outings have become far more sophisticated. It was interesting to see though that once this film began they settled down and were just as captivated as the rest of us. This was also the first film I’ve been to where I had to wear a face mask all the way through courtesy of the latest pandemic rules. Plus the fact that none of the kids were wearing them. If you’re thinking I’m playing for time to avoid spoilers in this first paragraph you’d be exactly right…

A whole web of spoilers after the break...



Top of the Pops 20 November 1986


Reviewed by Chris Arnsby. John Peel: “Hi there, and welcome to the one thousand, one hundred and eighty eighth edition of Top of the Pops.” Janice Long: “A man filled with facts. Tonight on the show we've got glam demi-gods Boni Jovi.” John Peel: “We're gonna start though with Europe.” 

[5] Europe: The Final Countdown. Europe would like it to be generally known that they are a great bunch of crazy pop mates. Check out their grinning, and pointing, and lots of microphone stand work by lead singer Joey Tempest; not his real name, his real name is James Tempest. A round of applause also for the old Status Quo standby of putting an arm round your bandmates' shoulders, for a manly hug. Plus, there's enough headbanging to dislodge even the most stubborn of nits. They are indeed, as Janice Long describes them, “a big bunch of Swedes.” Must be the leather trousers.  Patrick Moore would also just like to have a quick word and point out that if your trip to Venus has “so many light years to go,” you're heading the wrong way and need to turn around when it's safe.


Ad Break- Dancing on the Moon


You’ll probably have seen this Chanel No.5 advert featuring a couple dancing interpretively across the vistas of a golden lunar surface recently as it seems to have been re – released. Originally launched in October 2020 its presumably been pressed into action again because the perfume is one hundred years old this year. Or perhaps because it is really good!



Top of the Pops 13 November 1986


Reviewed by Chris Arnsby. Mike Smith: “A busy night tonight. We've got to cram it all. We've got Kim Wilde in the studio, Spandau Ballet are here, and on platform three waiting for a train [makes train noises] …  Spandau and Kim Wilde coming later. Here's Madness.” 

[20] Madness: Waiting For The Ghost Train. I'm not sure what happened to Mike Smith's introduction. It sounds like a rare fluff from one of the more polished hosts. The second half of the sentence is in voice over only and feels redundant. Did someone remind him he hadn't said the name of the group? Or, was Smith about to accidentally introduce Madness as Spandau Ballet before he made a last second correction?