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james-20015,200 posts since 13 Sep 2015
Central (East) East Midlands Today
[One of the oddest choices of people they got to present TOTP for me at the time was Sybil Ruscoe. It was the moment I wondered what the heck they were doing to the show. Maybe time will prove kinder to her and when she shows up she won't seem quite so odd as I thought. But she did only last a handful of appearances around about 1988/9.

Didn't Sybil host alongside Simon Mayo (and Rod McKenzie) as a Breakfast Crew takeover kind of deal?


Yes, though she did a few other episodes as well.
Colm (previously Col) 3,490 posts since 6 Jan 2003
Anglia (West) Look East (West sub-opt)
Talk of children's presenters turning up on TOTP has made me try to recall John Leslie presenting on TOTP, which I vaguely think he did.


No, he didn't.


While John Leslie never presented a whole TOTP, he did appear, alongside Diane Louise-Jordan, on the Christmas Day 1990 edition [at 2:47 introducing Kylie Minogue]:



Listen out too for a couple of festive Radio 1 jingles, Andi Peters' first (and sadly, not last) involvement with the show, and Bernard Davey(!)

Given Christmas Day 1990's TOTP also has a brief clip of Jimmy Savile featuring in a clip of Slade's "Merry Xmas Everyone", this edition will undoubtedly require a few nips and tucks... if we get that far on the BBC Four repeat run.
Steve Williams2,812 posts since 1 Aug 2008
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 (cheaper?) children's presenters.


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.
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benriggers gave kudos
JamesWorldNews8,151 posts since 22 Aug 2004
STV Central BBC World News
Peter Powell was married to a Blue Peter presenter too of course


Though not while either of them were presenting TOTP!


As we'll hopefully see later in the year, they did appear on the same stage during the same episode...


Thanks, Colm! How are you?? Long time.

Mind you, although your explanation above is perfectly clear, it just goes to show how the mind can play tricks on us. I was adamant that Leslie did present TOTP. And more than once.

Not sure who it is I’m thinking of and imagining it’s him.
@JamesWorldNews | Formerly BBC WORLD
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Rich Tea gave kudos
james-20015,200 posts since 13 Sep 2015
Central (East) East Midlands Today
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.


Or a full on replacement if you're looking at Stan Appel in 1991, Ric Blaxill in 1994 (bringing back the presenters Stan Appel had axed!), Chris Cowey in 1997 (apart from Jo Whiley who had appeared occasionally under Blaxill) and (at first) Andi Peters in 2003 (until he bought Fearne & Reggie back after a few months).
Steve Williams2,812 posts since 1 Aug 2008
Or a full on replacement if you're looking at Stan Appel in 1991, Ric Blaxill in 1994 (bringing back the presenters Stan Appel had axed!), Chris Cowey in 1997 (apart from Jo Whiley who had appeared occasionally under Blaxill) and (at first) Andi Peters in 2003 (until he bought Fearne & Reggie back after a few months).


Well, true enough, although I would highlight the case of Mike Read who seemed to fall out of favour under Michael Hurll, and didn't appear at all for eighteen months, but appears to have been a favourite of Paul Ciani.

As I've said before, in 1999, it was reported that Chris Cowey had a look at all the Radio 1 DJs and decided they were all unsuitable to host Top of the Pops, with the exception of Scott Mills who did several episodes around that time.

I will, of course, spend the whole of 1988 irritated that they haven't made a new graphic for the Top 30 and just reuse the Top 40 one.
james-20015,200 posts since 13 Sep 2015
Central (East) East Midlands Today
I will, of course, spend the whole of 1988 irritated that they haven't made a new graphic for the Top 30 and just reuse the Top 40 one.


At least the graphic they introduced in 1989 just said "Charts" in case they did decide to split the charts up some more!

You must have been just as annoyed in the first few months of 1986 after they ditched the video top 10 and intoduced the top 10 with the "Top 40" animation!
Steve Williams2,812 posts since 1 Aug 2008
Last night's edition used the original version of The Wizard over the charts rather than the single version for some reason.


Yes, I noticed that - I was already upset about losing the jazz piano the other week, so losing the keyboard swirls as well was a double blow.

On another forum you point out that they broke a rule last night in that Aswad were on two weeks running, being the playout on the Smitty episode and then in the studio last night. I think there'll be many more examples to come of this because it seems to be the case that Paul Ciani doesn't count the playout as an official performance, but instead sees it as the equivalent of a breaker and so it qualifies for the next episode.

I'm assuming Ciani therefore sees the playout as the credits plus a song, rather than a song with the credits, and so the playouts will presumably be much shorter from now on and pretty much just about the length of the credits.
VMPhil9,845 posts since 31 Mar 2005
Granada North West Today
Last night's edition used the original version of The Wizard over the charts rather than the single version for some reason.


Yes, I noticed that - I was already upset about losing the jazz piano the other week, so losing the keyboard swirls as well was a double blow.

On another forum you point out that they broke a rule last night in that Aswad were on two weeks running, being the playout on the Smitty episode and then in the studio last night. I think there'll be many more examples to come of this because it seems to be the case that Paul Ciani doesn't count the playout as an official performance, but instead sees it as the equivalent of a breaker and so it qualifies for the next episode.

I'm assuming Ciani therefore sees the playout as the credits plus a song, rather than a song with the credits, and so the playouts will presumably be much shorter from now on and pretty much just about the length of the credits.

This seems pretty logical to me. The length of the playout song is never fixed, it's always seemed to me in this era to be a bonus song instead of just having the credits play over the theme tune.