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james-20015,306 posts since 13 Sep 2015
Central (East) East Midlands Today
One thing to note that Phil is smoking pretty much throught the full length video, whereas on the short TOTP/Chart Show version you can barely even tell he is. Of course smoking wasn't the taboo 30 years ago that it is now, so I wonder if that has anything to do with it, but that version is missing all of the shots where it's quite obvious that he's smoking, and basically only has shots filmed from behind or from a distance or at an angle where you can't see it. Whether they'd have made a stupdily short edit to hide Phil's smoking way back in 1988 seems strange, but it does make me wonder.
james-20015,306 posts since 13 Sep 2015
Central (East) East Midlands Today
(also includes an interesting live link-up, on Bruno Brookes' show, with Steve Wright about the pre-TOTP preparations outside TC8, as well as the news bulletin which followed, and the start of Liz Kershaw's show)


Of course despite that "live link up", the show wasn't live anyway, no more live episodes until March 1989 thanks to the All About Eve incident.
Lottie Long Legs (previously Skytower) 658 posts since 20 Apr 2003
Westcountry Spotlight
(also includes an interesting live link-up, on Bruno Brookes' show, with Steve Wright about the pre-TOTP preparations outside TC8, as well as the news bulletin which followed, and the start of Liz Kershaw's show)


Of course despite that "live link up", the show wasn't live anyway, no more live episodes until March 1989 thanks to the All About Eve incident.


Personally, I think it has more to do with who was the show’s producer. I get the feeling that Stan Appel wasn’t that fussed about it being live.
Steve Williams2,846 posts since 1 Aug 2008
Personally, I think it has more to do with who was the show’s producer. I get the feeling that Stan Appel wasn’t that fussed about it being live.


I'd probably agree with that. We'd certainly been seeing fewer live episodes than in the past in recent years - in 1986 and 1987 it seemed we only got them in the weeks of Bank Holidays when the chart was published a day late so they had less time to plan it, and now the chart is published on a Sunday, that's not a problem anymore.

As you suggest, presumably the general consensus was that it didn't really gain much from being live, so it was much easier just to record it unless it wasn't possible. I think most of the live episodes in 1989 come about because there were a lot of strikes at the Beeb that spring so they didn't have any other option.
james-20015,306 posts since 13 Sep 2015
Central (East) East Midlands Today
I think there were a few live editions in 90 and 91 (pre-revamp) though. I don't think they were a thing after that until Andi Peters took over though. There were a couple in 1994, one due to a strike and another I think due to cricket, and the return to TV centre edition in 2001 was live, can't think of any others over the 1991-2003 period though. A lot of performances that were advertised as "live Via satellite" though, though whether they actually were live and inserted into an otherwise pre-recorded edition or not is something I don't know.

Though in December 1994 they showed music videos by Mariah Carey and Celine Dion which were for some reason advertised as "live via satellite", even though they were clearly professional videos recorded on film and with a fair bit of editing. The latter video was made specifically for TOTP, but was still clearly and obviously not live.
Last edited by james-2001 on 29 October 2019 10:33pm - 2 times in total
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Richard gave kudos
james-20015,306 posts since 13 Sep 2015
Central (East) East Midlands Today
The latest listings show BBC4 are having a Friday double bill for 3 weeks in a row now, I'm wondering if we're going to possibly get an edited version of the 25th birthday edition now. Either that or there's going to be something else popping up and replacing the show in the schedules some point in late November/Early December, or we're going to finish early and have break before the Christmas edition a bit like we did in 2017.

I imagine these double bills will get a lot more frequent seeing as there should (hopefully) be no skipped episodes in 1989 and 1990.
Last edited by james-2001 on 29 October 2019 11:06pm
Argybargy362 posts since 7 Nov 2012
Granada North West Today
There's no way that BBC Four will be showing the 25th birthday edition. Savile was featured in the titles and opening link with the presenters. Gary Glitter also appears in it, I believe. BBC Four won't touch this edition with a barge pole, I'm afraid.
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Richard gave kudos
Charlesy14 posts since 4 Jun 2017
Central (West) Midlands Today
There's no way that BBC Four will be showing the 25th birthday edition. Savile was featured in the titles and opening link with the presenters. Gary Glitter also appears in it, I believe. BBC Four won't touch this edition with a barge pole, I'm afraid.


If you can stand it, here’s the first bit:

https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x3ip1g


The full episode appears to have been uploaded by the same user on Dailymotion in eleven parts, the first was linked above.
Steve Williams2,846 posts since 1 Aug 2008
I think there were a few live editions in 90 and 91 (pre-revamp) though. I don't think they were a thing after that until Andi Peters took over though. There were a couple in 1994, one due to a strike and another I think due to cricket, and the return to TV centre edition in 2001 was live, can't think of any others over the 1991-2003 period though. A lot of performances that were advertised as "live Via satellite" though, though whether they actually were live and inserted into an otherwise pre-recorded edition or not is something I don't know.


There were indeed a couple of live editions up until 1991, but it wasn't very common and certainly at least one of them was in the first week of January when it was presumably easier to do it live. I don't believe that any of the episodes post-revamp were live, apart from maybe 2nd January 1992 because I don't know when they might have recorded that otherwise.

As you say, there were two episodes in 1994 broadcast live, one because of a strike and the other one was when it went out on Wednesday because of athletics on the Thursday. Interestingly Ric Blaxill was on holiday that week and Kevin Bishop produced it. Pretty sure no episode under Chris Cowey was live, I don't think the TV Centre one was because I remember seeing pictures of the presenters (and Savile) in the papers beforehand. And then from November 2003 until the move to BBC2 in 2005 it was pretty much always live, and then on BBC2 mostly live but with one episode a month pre-recorded straight after the previous one (though obviously with the chart rundown added live in voice-over only).

We've mentioned "live via satellite" before, because to create more of a sense of occasion during the recording they would always do the show as-live, and that included going over to the satellite at the exact point of the programme, rather than just recording it separately and slotting it in during the edit. Probably wouldn't get away with that these days what with safeguarding trust.
Last edited by Steve Williams on 31 October 2019 7:42pm
james-20015,306 posts since 13 Sep 2015
Central (East) East Midlands Today

We've mentioned "live via satellite" before, because to create more of a sense of occasion during the recording they would always do the show as-live, and that included going over to the satellite at the exact point of the programme, rather than just recording it separately and slotting it in during the edit. Probably wouldn't get away with that these days what with safeguarding trust.


Still doesn't explain the strange situation with them introducing what were obviously music videos as "live via satellite" though! I guess it's possible they were being played into Elstree via satellite rather than them having been sent the tapes, but they were still clearly not in any way live.
Steve Williams2,846 posts since 1 Aug 2008
Not that I watch this programme too much, but for the last few weeks we've had a classic Stan Appel camera shot that he uses on regular occasions - it happened last night before Spagna where Mike was alone on the main stage, before the camera panned left to the act on the left hand stage. He's used that on at least three occasions in the past month, and I remember him using it on episodes he directed back in the early eighties.

I know that's an incredibly dull observation, but I've now got to the stage where I can tell a Stan Appel episode based on his direction. As mentioned before, he seems less enthusiastic than others about placing the hosts among the audience.
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Lottie Long Legs gave kudos