Top of the Pops 10 November 1988


Words: Chris Arnsby

Bruno Bookes: “Hello. Welcome to Europe's number one TV pop show this is Top of the Pops and a moment of broadcasting history as I stand one inch taller than my co-presenter Sybil Ruscoe.” 
Sybil Ruscoe: “Thank you very much shorty. Good evening. No competition for them this week. Brother Beyond.”
Bruno Bookes: “... [inaudible]... get this, brilliant.”

 [8] BROTHER BEYOND: he ain't no competition. Sybil Ruscoe? The name rings a bell. BBC Genome has reminded me that Simon Mayo hosted the Breakfast Show with Sybil Ruscoe and Rod McKenzie. In fact, checking Genome more thoroughly, Ruscoe and McKenzie only seem to have been credited in the Radio Times from around 10/10/1988. Before that they were just mentioned in the listing as “the Breakfast crew.” If that is correct then Sybil Ruscoe has done well to parley that credit so quickly into a Top of the Pops hosting gig. When can we expect Rod McKenzie?

It's a shame Sybil Ruscoe's first song is this. Nathan Moore's dancing is still all over the place, literally, he still looks like he's trying to move all his bodily parts simultaneously, and he's added a new move. Occasionally he clutches at his stomach with one hand. A gesture which suggests he overdid some undercooked shellfish in the BBC canteen. No wonder the crowd keeps shrieking.

[12] BRYAN FERRY: let's stick together. On film, which means it must the original 1976 promo.

TOP 40 FROM 40 TO 31.

[5] ROBIN BECK: first time. It's about this time during Top of the Pops that I like to crack open a bottle of Pepsi Max. Mmm! That Pepsi flavour it just tastes better. And what greater song to enjoy alongside an ice cold Pepsi (or now, new, diet Pepsi, the taste of a fresh generation) than Robin Beck's First Time, which started out as a mouldy old Coke advert. Coke gives you scabies. If you drink too much Coke you get sick and you die. You know who drinks Coke? Commies. Commies drink Coke. Drink Pepsi and keep America free from infestation by Commies and scabies.

Robin Beck has arrived at Television Centre dressed as DC's Zatanna, for reasons which never become clear. But DC always was Coke to Marvel's all-triumphant all-American Pepsi. I've carefully checked Robin's performance for subversion and subliminal Coke adverts and scabies, and I think it's all clear.

Drink Pepsi. 7-Up is an acceptable alternative but not, and I can't stress this enough, Fanta. (Paid promotion).

BREAKERS: [22 SALT 'N' PEPA TWIST AND SHOUT]; [18 INXS need you tonight].

[15] CHRIS DE BURGH: missing you. It's the human incarnation of Panda Pops Cola flavour, that's been left in the boot of a car for a couple of hours in the sun.

TOP 40 FROM 30 TO 11.

[10] DEACON BLUE: real gone kid. Sorry Deacon Blue. You are this week's entry in the “I haven't got anything to say about this song,” column. I'll use this space to note that Tony Newman is once again Director while Brian Whitehouse is the Producer.

Tony Newman wants to zoom in on Bruno Brookes and Sybil Ruscoe as they introduce the Top 10. Unfortunately he starts on a really wide shot which reveals the pair marooned on a rostrum with a few audience members around them, as if the studio is flooding and the survivors have headed for high ground.

TOP 10.

[1] ENYA: orinoco flow. A repeat of the 20/10/1988 performance.

[26] PRINCE: i wish u heaven. Donny Osmond “gatecrashes” the Top of the Pops studio. He's got a single out. As is traditional for Top of the Pops the ten second chat is terrible, and runs like this:

Bruno Brookes: “We've got a gatecrasher here in the name of Donny Osmond.”
Donny Osmond: “Hey, hey, I'm not a gatecrasher.”
Bruno Brookes: “That single of yours. Is it going to be in the Top 40 next week?”
Donny Osmond: “If It's Love That You Want”
Bruno Brookes: “Erm. Please not on Top of the Pops at the moment.”

The exchange really demonstrates Bruno Brookes charisma and comic timing. Gary Davies and Susie Mathis next week. Who is Susie Mathis? Stay tuned!

 PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK: No one. All the studio performances were jolly rotten. 

(John- I therefore declare Bryan Ferry to be the winner even if he was on film from twelve years earlier.)

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