“TO BE HONEST,” they would proclaim, “the fuss that is sometimes made when we’re playing the theatres scares us. It’s like The Beatles.” The Bootleg Beatles, that is. Walking (just) embodiment of what went wrong with comedy in the 80s, now born-again Christians but still happy to lap it up at the Blackpool Winter Gardens. Enjoyed astonishing exposure off the back of amusingly failed appearances on BRUCE FORSYTH’S BIG NIGHT doing sub-sub-sub Morecambe and Wise variety with a curly-haired noisy little sod with braces (“Rock on, Tommy!”) and tall dull stooge. Own show weirdly mutated into a sitcom for a bit, then ended up – oh god – Cannon And Ball’s Casino with a young Steve Coogan cashing his chips. Not the nadir, though; that was spin-off film The Boys In Blue, done ten years after ITV spin-off films had a) stopped being funny and b) just stopped. An appearance in 2000 on J** D*******’s Generation Game was arduous: Cannon sings song “for all the ladies and gentlemen here tonight”, Ball accompanies on toy trumpet, Cannon gets gradually more agitated with Ball’s erratic behaviour, audience sympathises with Ball… They hadn’t learned.
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Creamguide's Pick of the Day
A pretty pivotal episode, this one, and not just for Peter Powell’s wardrobe reaching an all-time low with his ridiculous flying suit. If this repeat run has done nothing else, it’s disproven the myth that you had to be in the Top 40 to get on Top of the Pops as over the past four years we’ve seen dozens of acts appear while deep in the bowels of the charts, or indeed not in them at all, and who despite performing to several million viewers never got there. Hello, Glamourpuss. It’s a practice that’s soon to disappear but for one of the last occasions, they certainly struck lucky while trying to pad out the show during a quiet week as we don’t just get the debut of Jona Lewie but also, famously, the only appearance of the original incarnation of The Human League (although they also make a guest appearance in another song on the show) and their deadly enemies OMD.
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Points of View
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