One notable Radio 1 presenter comeback I do recall from someone who hasn't presented in absolutely ages at this point is Richard Skinner. I've a definite memory of him doing TOTP presenting Cuddly Toy by Roachford, from January 1989 and he reappeared late in '88 having just checked. In the context of quite a few new arrivals from the children's TV stable such as Caron Keating, Andy Crane and Anthea Turner during 1988 it is fascinating that Skinner also got a renewed look-in on the show as someone who was mostly associated with it from the very start of the decade in 1980, notably the memorable edition in the week Lennon was shot for example. Considering Peter Powell's later hand in many other people's careers when he became a backroom player away from the direct spotlight I wonder if Powell was already putting the word in for, able and pulling strings for these other names turning up on TOTP as 1988 progressed?
I thought it then and I still hold the view that they should have kept all the late 80's CBBC presenters firmly shut in the broom cupboard and away from TOTP. They'd already introduced a couple of very capable newcomers as we have just this past week seen. Surely there wasn't a cost consideration with using
Andy Crane has said why he started doing it, Paul Ciani approached him and said "You've got a very big audience of young people, you could bring that to my show", which seems a reasonable attitude to take. Certainly at the time I was quite excited about Crane doing it because I was a big Broom Cupboard fan, I'm not sure he'll be so dreadful when we see him.
The other kids presenters, as Anthea pointed out on the doc, seemed to be because they were desperately in the market for more female presenters, given at the moment we have one female presenter and she's on maternity leave so we don't get a single woman on the show for the first six months of the year. Hence why we also get GMR's Susie Mathis doing a couple of shows later this year.
Richard Skinner's return coinicided with his return to Radio 1, he'd moved to Capital in 1986 but returned to Radio 1 in the autumn of 1988. He seems a bit out of place in the late eighties but he'd been a reliable host earlier in the decade. I remember someone suggesting his return also had a bit to do with Simon Mayo who had welcomed him back on air and I think suggested he'd like to see him back on Top of the Pops (that will be about the time Alan Freeman returned to Radio 1 and when he came on the breakfast show to be unveiled, he turned up in the studio and kissed Mayo full on the mouth).
Every time there's a new producer there's a bit of a turnover of presenters when they have a look at a few people. Of course in a couple of weeks we get the return of Adrian John.