|Yet again I couldn't find a decent Free Use image of any|
of tonight's acts, so here's a pic of Spider-Man sexpot
Emma Stone looking like an explosion in a Christmas
As well as playing Gwen Stacy in the new movie, Emma
was a founding member of The Family Stone and is thus
massively relevant to Top of the Pops.
By Mark Kari (Emma Stone)
via Wikimedia Commons.
And what unlikely allies?
It's David “Kid” Jensen injecting a bit of energy into proceedings with his intro. It's a long way from the deliberate cheesiness of Tony Blackburn.
But who'll be the first band on - the one cursed to never be introduced, leaving the audience perpetually baffled as to who it is they've just seen?
It's the Dead End Kids, socking it to us with their own unique brand of anarchy, by reliving the glory days of proto-punk outfit the Bay City Rollers.
He's banging his chimes.
And they still carry on playing after he turns his back on them. Being able to play chimes without touching them's a rare gift too few modern pop stars possess.
Now it's Deniece Williams and Free. Not that I didn't like the Dead End Kids, but this is more like it.
Actually it isn't. Despite my initial enthusiasm, I'm getting a bit bored with it now. Like They Shoot Horses Don't They? it's a song that sounds better in your memory than it does in reality. It's all very nice but it could do with livening up a bit.
If only Deniece had the Dead End Kids' chimes to fall back on.
Not literally, of course. Falling onto a set of chimes would make a terrible racket and be against the spirit of Disco.
Deniece has gone and it's Showaddywaddy. They're still wearing the multi-coloured outfits.
I do find it worrying that I always seem to like the naff acts more than the classy ones.
Is it just me or are there more of them than ever? As with Boz Scaggs' band, they seem to multiply like Tribbles every time you look away from the screen.
Kid's just told us he has a Saturday morning show. Does this mean Fearne “Kid” Cotton's been given the push to make way for him? If so I must make a note to tune in.
Now it's Elkie Brooks again. Not only is she doing the whole retro-thing like Manhattan Transfer but, like the singer of that combo, she's wearing a thin dress with no supporting garment beneath. She's not rampantly nipple-tastic like the singer of Manhattan Transfer but she is more jigglesome. This goes against all I've ever held dear, as I've never thought of Elkie Brooks as sexy before, seeing her as a sexless matriarchal figure like the mother in the OXO ads.
Cliff Richard's back, with My Kind of Life. He's giving it plenty of effort but neither he nor his faceless guitarist can disguise the fact it's not one of his classics.
No offence to Cliff but I've taken to looking out the window while I wait for him to finish. Despite us being in the middle of the worst drought since the year before this show was first broadcast, it's bucketing it down out there.
The Manhattans. My expert musical knowledge tells me they're no relation to the aforementioned Manhattan Transfer – though, by the way the record starts, they might be some relation to Barry White.
Suddenly they're all pointing. I don't know why.
They certainly have slicker and livelier moves than the Stylistics did last week.
They've got more pointing than my gables.
Now they're spinning!
You can tell they've been rehearsing. I don't know if the song's any good – there doesn't really seem to be one - but I like the choreography.,
The audience are shuffling around, clueless as ever. Wherever did they find so many young people with no sense of rhythm whatsoever?
Kid's surrounded by female boxers!
What am I on about? It's not just any female boxers. It's Legs and Co, done up as pulchritudinous pugilists in order to dance to Maxine Nightingale's Love Hit Me. At last, after weeks of sensible and restrained performances, Flick Colby's returned to her insanity of old.
This is so absurd it can only be labelled genius. Why isn't this as famous as her Disco Duck routine?
But, sadly, no pointing.
This is the first time I've ever thought of Legs and Co as sexy.
OC Smith and a track called Together. I could lie right now and say I have knowledge of OC Smith that'd intimidate even Wikipedia but the truth is I'm completely unfamiliar with both he and the song.
I do know he's another one with big hair.
Its not as big as the bloke from the Dead End Kids but he too need have no fear of mountain tops.
Was this filmed at the same time as the Deniece Williams video? It seems to have the same dancing members of the public in it.
Like Deniece Williams, it's struggling to hold my attention.
He looks like Phil Lynott's dad.
I wonder if he is?
After what seems like an aimless eternity, OC's finally finished, and now Elkie's with Kid.
Isn't she petite?
“A position I would like to see her in,” says Kid of Elkie. I just bet you would, you naughty boy.
ABBA are Number 1 and still trapped in that video.
I'm in trouble now. How can I possibly find anything new to say about it?
So I might as well just watch it.
And we're playing out with Smokie. As we should. It wouldn't be TOTP without them.
The producer's giving them a good old play. None of that early fade-out stuff for them. Early fade-outs are reserved for lesser acts, like David Bowie and Elvis Presley.
I must say this week's edition did drag badly in places, especially whenever videos shot on one particular set reared their slow-tempo head, and there was little on it that we haven't seen before in recent weeks.
But I did learn much in this week's show. I learned that Deniece Williams is a thing best left to nostalgia and that, despite being named after a giant ungulate, Elkie Brooks is somehow daintier than I thought.
I also discovered the burgeoning sexuality of both Elkie Brooks and Legs and Co, meaning that, at last, at the age of 48, I'm going through a strange kind of surrogate puberty on their behalf. Well, that at least was certainly worth tuning in for.