1979: The first Star Trek film was released the previous day in the US and on the 15th here. The BBC children’s budget extended to sending Maggie Philbin to the set on behalf of Swap Shop to meet the cast, including Shatner and Nimoy.
1983: “This week’s number one is on the back of my jacket!” No, not the melting snowmen Flying Pickets Pops performance but the one in which they look comfortably the most disreputable, especially the one on the right who fancies himself as a salt of the earth Quentin Crisp variant.
1986: Madness have split! Well, we already knew that, it had been announced in September, final single (Waiting For The) Ghost Train had already been and gone from the charts and Utter Madness was released a couple of weeks earlier. Even so it was still deemed worth Breakfast Time sending Steve Blacknell at this late stage to ask why, after they’ve got over asking about the videos once more, and besides which Suggs casually mentions that some of them are staying together which they briefly did as The Madness.
1988: Cliff Richard goes almost straight to number one and so gets on Top Of The Pops to bid us “have a great Christmas everybody!” before the climactic key change. A bit early, surely, but one woman does make sure to shout “thank you!” in response.
1989: “Gavin – is it Gavin or not?” “It’s Tom!” Even though the “shock jock” thing never really took off in the UK outside the first month of Talk Radio, the James Whale Radio Show and its host’s reputation for “straight talking” almost seems quaint these days. We join Whale about a year into the late night TV simulcast from Radio Aire. “It’s a little confusing tonight” he starts, which hardly helps but does sum up his attitude to the night’s topic of ‘role reversal’, which here means a transgender woman, house husbandry, a same sex marriage blessing and male strippers, the latter of which features the pre-Partridge traditional gay panic ending but is in fairness a role reversal itself from Peter Baynham’s description of the show, “a lady comes on in just her bra and James Whale smiles”. And if you have any idea what
Gavin Tom is actually there for, let us know.