TV Cream

Radio 1: The Jocks

PET SHOP BOYS, The

Five hundred points if you spot the obvious joke behind using this pic...WRY Imperial Phase pop-duo invited to do a novelty holiday cover slot as part of the baffling ‘Bates’ Mates’ summer scheme (see also Jason Donovan, Donna Summer and other equally pointless choices) who became a surprise hit after bombarding the audience with toytown techno, sniggering at threatening letters demanding “something from the hit parade like Elvis Presley”, and generally revelling in the chance to relay their dry wit for the masses. First choice as cover for dance shows and John Peel for several years thereafter.

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  1. Glenn Aylett

    June 17, 2009 at 8:03 pm

    I remember them playing distinctly anti Bates music such as house music and dance remixes, which might have been a subtle dig at the Bates, who hated this music( though to be fair so did a lot of people). Not long after Bates was forced to include the occasional rave track which he could barely concede his hatred of, ” it’s all right if you like that kind of thing,” was a forced comment when he really wanted to say he would happily shoot every rave act on the planet and bring back proper musicians. 12 months later he was gone, ironically just as the rave era was ending and ” proper” musicians in Britpop bands were emerging.

  2. Raston Robot

    June 17, 2009 at 8:49 pm

    Joe Elliott from Def Leppard also stood in for Bates around that time, he was pretty good at it I seem to remember.

  3. Glenn Aylett

    June 17, 2009 at 8:52 pm

    Were any of these people actually friends of Simon Bates, though, or was it just a title invented by Radio 1 to make people believe the Bates knew Joe Elliot and Neil Tennant socially? Only Simon Bates could answer that one.

  4. Matt

    June 20, 2009 at 10:22 pm

    I had one of these on C90 and wore it out with repeated listenings. Some great rave-era tracks on there, Zero B – Lock Up, Don’t You Want Me – Felix, Electribe 101

    I don’t suppose anyone’s seem them on mp3 anywhere?

  5. Matthew Rudd

    March 25, 2010 at 3:57 pm

    They all had their own jingles from the 1991 Radio 1 package re-sung. That would have cost a bit.

    My favourite memory of the Pet Shop Boys stint was their championing of Crucified by Army Of Lovers on the understandable grounds that they thought it was “hilarious”.

    Jason Donovan played the Cure all the time. Robert Smith reviewed the singles in Smash Hits shortly afterwards and refused to say what he really thought of the new Jason Donovan single (“I’m Doing Fine”) because “he likes us”.

    Joe Elliott was indeed very good, though after three days realised he was being rather guitar-centric (well, duh) and stuck on a few token Kate Bush songs to make up for it.

    Whitney Houston was unspeakable. Phil Collins was only memorable for saying “I’ll be back tomorrow at 9 o’clock – be there” at the end of all his shows. Including his last one.

  6. Paul

    December 25, 2010 at 10:26 pm

    The Pet Shop Boys were the only ones who drove the desk and I suspect they were the only ones who did it live. Whitney was awful, as was Diana Ross and Jason wasn’t great. As others have noted, Joe Elliott was the only decent one.

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