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Top of the Pops, Friday, 19.30, 21.00, BBC4

So with Peter Powell following Long, Bates and Smith out the door, there’s clearly a changing of the guard to make way for new faces, as you can clearly see here with… er, Richard Skinner. We last saw Richard back in 1985 and for the four a half years before that he was a pretty welcome presence on the show with a dry wit and a good-natured approach that saw him work well with everyone, before he defected to Capital. But now he’s defected back to Radio 1 to help pilot their bold new venture into post-midnight programming, playing snoozesome AOR and dadrock, and that means a brief but welcome return to the Pops roster, we think in part on the suggestion of Simon Mayo who joins him tonight. Happily Richard won’t be bringing his Dire Straits records with him, as he’s got the Wee Papa Girl Rappers to introduce instead. And we’re fair flying through the autumn with another episode at nine. This does unfortunately mean that even though we’re no longer skipping episodes, the same songs do still come around quite frequently, quite a few here last heard 24 hours ago, including a Sinitta song that’s been bloody lucky to have had two studio performances as it still hasn’t got anywhere near the Top 20.

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