Both Enya and Kylie were filmed that week. If you observe the colours of the neon tubes on the gantries (always a good guide when working out the date of a pre-record) you’ll see that they match the backdrop for the presenter links.
Well, indeed - and I also know that the Art of Noise performance on the following show was recorded that week as well, so all was well in the studio. I know it looked especially weird given that the Enya performance was also very video-heavy.
I think a lot of it is down to the direction, on Roobarbs recently Richard Marson was referring to the "lacklustre" direction by Tony Newman who usually directed game shows, and he also mentioned - because he's incredibly indescreet, as anyone who's read his books will know - that at this stage Brian Whitehouse was apparently not lavising much care and attention onto his work. Certainly the episodes directed by Whitehouse seem a bit dull compared to Ciani and Appel's episodes, so I think a lot of the wonkier moments in recent shows have just been dull or perfunctory direction.
Either a shortage of acts within the top forty that were willing to appear in the studio, or a policy of picking the higher placed songs irrespective, I guess.
Remember the episode in mid-1991 where both the number 41 (Northside) and 42 (Marillion) songs were featured in the studio? Possibly a change of policy dictated that rather than go video-heavy.
I don't think it was any great policy change, presumably given the two studio acts were ballads, they decided neither was uptempo enough to open the show so they opted for one of the videos instead. We'll see it again in a few weeks (and a couple of times in 1990, I recall) when they use a repeated performance to open the show. If they'd shown Kylie first it probably would have looked a more familiar programme.
There'd been a lot of controversy over the D-Mob song the previous episode, with lots of people claiming it was pro-drugs (though D-Mob himself has always insisted otherwise) and Steve & Caron enthusiastically introducing it, maybe it was connected to that? They'd stopped naming "Acid Man" by Jolly Roger in the charts that edition too.
Drug Alert was a regular Radio 1 campaign, it ran for a couple of years around that time. I remember John Walters slagging it off, saying if Simon Bates told you not to take drugs, he'd reach straight for the needle.
Brilliant timing this year - going from Steve Wright in a smiley T-shirt enthusiastically talking up We Call It Acieeed to Simon Mayo earnestly telling us about drug abuse within the space of a week.
Lottie Long Legs gave kudos