I've been waiting for last night's episode as it features the second of only two appearances by
one of my favourite '80s bands, Prefab Sprout
, but also because their performance was uploaded officially to YouTube and featured a stereo soundtrack. The BBC Four broadcast did indeed also have a stereo soundtrack. The last couple of weeks of episodes have been in mono, so I wonder if this was this the first regular episode in stereo (there was the one a while back presented by Janice Long but that seems to have been a one-off). I guess we'll find out in the coming weeks.
Never have I been more astonished, infact taken aback with shock, at how different someone now looks compared to how they used to look, as when I took a look to see what Paddy McAloon looked like nowadays after seeing him on last night's 19th May 1988 TOTP and wondering how he'd fared since then.
My instant reaction was that he immediately reminded me of Father Abraham with the Smurfs, seen here on TOTP 1978.
He looked pretty similar to how he looked on TOTP until the end of the '90s, from the photos I've seen. Around that time he had detached retinas in both eyes, and then a few years later he had tinnitus, the latter of which explains why there haven't been many Prefab Sprout albums since 2001 (the most recent of which was a one-man band effort as he can no longer work in a recording studio with other musicians - he uses an ancient Atari ST computer to make the basic tracks).
Whilst dealing with the detached retinas, he spent a lot of his time listening to radio phone-ins, the result of which was the beautiful I Trawl the Megahertz album
, which was reissued earlier this year.
The picture the TOTP Facts twitter account posted of him looks more like Colonel Sanders
This photo is taken from around the time of the Crimson/Red album release in 2013, I believe. He can dress how he likes as far as I’m concerned, he’s one of our greatest songwriters.