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DE88682 posts since 8 Jan 2017
Peel's last TOTP in his regular stint was in February 1987 (he came back for a one-off in December 1995, as a cover for being the subject of an edition of This Is Your Life). According to an interview on the old TOTP BBC website, he gave up presenting the show because he was fed up of being recognised by the public for appearing on TV.

Janice was on the regular presenter roster until December 1987 before having her first child, and only came back to host two more TOTP shows in the summer of 1988 - it was mooted she was to return to Radio 1, but because she wasn't offered a slot in the schedule which was accommodating for the mother of a baby, she never did, and instead went to work on GLR.


As an older R1 DJ (47 at the time of his last regular episode), I wonder if Peely might have gone anyway when Paul Ciani started bringing in the likes of Anthea Turner and Andy Crane?

Janice was 33 at the time of *her* last regular episode, so could theoretically have continued had Beerling and co been that bit more accommodating. She definitely wouldn't have worked as well alongside the kids' TV presenters as she did alongside Peel, though... Wink
Now officially retired from TV Forum. "When the fun stops, stop."
Steve Williams2,846 posts since 1 Aug 2008
Janice was on the regular presenter roster until December 1987 before having her first child, and only came back to host two more TOTP shows in the summer of 1988 - it was mooted she was to return to Radio 1, but because she wasn't offered a slot in the schedule which was accommodating for the mother of a baby, she never did, and instead went to work on GLR.


Indeed, and Long later said she was grateful to Pops for continuing to book her despite her issues with Radio 1 at the time. It's quite clear that, despite the connections between Radio 1 and Pops, both had very different ideas of who they wanted - so from 1982-84 Peel was more or less the senior presenter on Pops, whereas Mike Read, who as breakfast host at the time was hugely high profile on Radio 1, didn't really appear that much at all. Indeed he didn't appear for eighteen months from mid-1986 because Hurll fell out with him. But then after Hurll left, Read was probably as prominent as ever and his last show was in 1989 when he was barely on Radio 1.
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Araminta Kane92 posts since 8 Dec 2015
apropos an above post, Bruno Brookes' association with TOTP was curiously on-off - he was a daily Radio 1 presenter, in a peak slot featuring a chart rundown every Tuesday, from September 1984, and he got the Top 40 show on Sundays eighteen months later, but he only hosted the TV show six times before he finally became a regular presenter in 1988. He was on the show more often when he was doing early breakfast and seemed increasingly out of step with the way Radio 1 was changing, and was indeed about to leave, than he was when he'd been this huge name.

The early 90s presentation era was odd because the presenters, who were very obviously "yoof" (to use a dehumanising spelling I strongly dislike), fitted ill with a policy of who to book, specifically for the pre-chart features, which was if anything even older than that of Radio 1 at the time, so it didn't really please anyone - the music seemed skewed towards the Bates/Travis audience, long after those presenters had left the rota, but the presenters were precisely the people that audience didn't like, and the people who did like that presentation style didn't like a lot of the music (I mean, really, "C'mon People" by Paul McCartney! And I speak as someone who has no problem at all with the song of his featured on the edition they showed this weekend).

apropos the first post, Paul Gadd was dropping down the charts with a Christmas song in January 1985 (the same song which was the reason why the 13.12.84 show wasn't shown) and never again appeared in the Top 40 other than via "Doctorin' the Tardis", though as stated he hosted the show over three consecutive Christmas periods when his annual tour was still this big event during the 70s nostalgia boom. I still find it hard to imagine BBC Four showing the 90s TOTPs, but then I couldn't imagine them getting this far for a long time so who knows. A great shame about Smith, especially seeing how this year they could finally otherwise have shown pretty much the lot. He kept his shows off UK Gold in the 90s, but so did Noel Edmonds and they showed his editions (although in Edmonds' case it was apparently "not wanting to appear on a commercial channel", which clearly was no longer any sort of bother for him in later years).

apropos Peel & Vance, I think their relationship might have been strained in the autumn of 1984 because Radio 1 wanted an AOR show at 10pm to use their then-precious FM stereo airtime, which ultimately became Nicky Campbell Goes Into The Night (seemingly Jensen's departure had to do with the station wanting him at 10pm playing more mainstream stuff than he played on the mid-evening show and wanting Peel in mid-evenings playing relatively more mainstream stuff than he played on the late-night show - meanwhile, Johnny Beerling told the NME in 1985 that once they had their own FM frequency and extended airtime they'd not only have an AOR show at 10pm but move Peel after midnight, as indeed they did when they shunted him to the weekend graveyard shift), and Peel's Thursday slot had been taken for the closest they could get to that at this stage, Vance's 'Into the Music' which was less metal-based than his Friday show, and Peel made it quite clear that he was not happy. Although more generally Peel respected Vance as someone who cared much more about music than being a celebrity, even if it wasn't usually the same kind of music (sometimes it could be, though - Vance was prepared to risk upsetting the more traditional hard rock fans by playing Napalm Death on some occasions). The one show Peel hosted with Smith - which has never been repeated; my copy has David Allan announcing over the closing titles - was the only time he co-hosted with someone who was clearly much more showbiz-orientated.
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james-20015,306 posts since 13 Sep 2015
Central (East) East Midlands Today
The early 90s presentation era was odd because the presenters, who were very obviously "yoof" (to use a dehumanising spelling I strongly dislike), fitted ill with a policy of who to book, specifically for the pre-chart features, which was if anything even older than that of Radio 1 at the time, so it didn't really please anyone - the music seemed skewed towards the Bates/Travis audience, long after those presenters had left the rota, but the presenters were precisely the people that audience didn't like, and the people who did like that presentation style didn't like a lot of the music (I mean, really, "C'mon People" by Paul McCartney! And I speak as someone who has no problem at all with the song of his featured on the edition they showed this weekend).


Probably has a lot to do with having a producer who was pushing 60, not really the best choice for a "trendy yoof" show. The "no miming" rule was hardly a success either. Apparently it partly done through his desire to "kill off" dance music- even though it's what the show's target audience was buying.

I have images of him sitting there moaning about how today's music was all a noise and how things were so much better in his day, while booking Paul McCartney and Barry Manilow to play in front of an audience of teenagers, while sulking about The Shamen and the Utah Saints being terrible (and forcing them to perform their samples "live").

I remember reading a summing up of how strange the 1991 revamp was that the first edition of it featured a Stevie Wonder video that failed to even reach the top 40- something very much not of interest to the teenagers of 1991!

Thankfully Ric Blaxill was a lot more in touch!
Last edited by james-2001 on 14 January 2018 8:34pm
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Araminta Kane92 posts since 8 Dec 2015
Indeed, there were dark rumours at the time that Stanley Appel wanted to make dance acts look bad, show them in a bad light, by forcing them to recreate in the studio songs that couldn't really be done that way - hence samples having to be performed live (I can never remember whether or not they had some bloke on not remotely attempting to sound like Brian Cant when "A Trip to Trumpton" charted, but they most certainly had some bloke on not remotely attempting to sound like Richard Briers when "Roobarb and Custard" charted).

But then I think a lot of the old guard, very much including Radio 1 management, panicked at that time because they could see pop going away from them - all the talk about computer games killing pop off altogether. It was a strange, paranoid era with a lot more good stuff than a lot of people remember, and some of it was even in the Top 40 - but it was also the point where the TOTP format could clearly no longer hold it, just as it couldn't really hold Ramz, Dave & J-Hus if it were brought back today.
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james-20015,306 posts since 13 Sep 2015
Central (East) East Midlands Today
I imagine a lot of people ran off to the ITV Chart Show during that period- it seemed like it was a lot more in touch! They always had a healthy amount of dance music for a start. Though admittedly they had a fair amount of questionable "exclusives" that never charted too. I always personally preferred it to TOTP though- was gutted when they axed it for CD:UK.

It's going to be strange when/if BBC4 reach the Stan Appel TOTP era, as I'm interested in a lot of the music from that era- just a shame the format it's shown in is dreadful!

Last year I got sent every TOTP episode from 1993-98, it's interesting to see how the format changes dramatically, right from Ric Blaxill's first show! For a start, miming is back, the Radio 1 DJs are back, the presenters are back in vision on every link (during the Appel era the opening link was always OOV, and some of the others often were too), and the overlong end credits sequence is replaced with a montage of clips from the show. Even more changes happen over the following weeks.

I do wonder how the 1991 revamp might have gone if Paul Ciani hadn't fallen ill and ultimately died? Considering the amount of planning that must have gone into the revamp and the move to Elstree, I presume it would have been well underway before Stan Appel took over (and presumably made changes).
Last edited by james-2001 on 14 January 2018 8:46pm - 4 times in total
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Araminta Kane92 posts since 8 Dec 2015
Wonder if anyone noticed that the "last week" chart positions in the 3rd January edition do not correspond to the ones given in latterday chart books? This is because the 29.12.84 chart, though compiled, was never published officially or broadcast at the time. Bruno Brookes' show was broadcast on FM on New Year's Day 1985, it being a Bank Holiday, and featured the first rundown of this chart - the full show is available on Mixcloud (always a frisson to hear him playing "Soul Deep").

apropos Smiley Culture's performance, easily the best thing on that show (and he's on again next week, or two weeks later at the time) I can only quote a Facebook friend when he died: "the manner of his death infects the greatest achievement of his life, and will make it impossible to listen in the same way ever again. Doubly destructive; couldn't be more cruel."
Araminta Kane92 posts since 8 Dec 2015
Utah Saints


I only recently found out that they actually came from Harrogate. Presumably they said they came from Leeds because it had more pop-cultural cred.

Quote:
I remember reading a summing up of how strange the 1991 revamp was that the first edition of it featured a Stevie Wonder video that failed to even reach the top 40- something very much not of interest to the teenagers of 1991!


That was the original version of the OTT piece by Steve Williams of this parish, from 2000 - later versions may have removed that specific reference.

Quote:
Thankfully Ric Blaxill was a lot more in touch!


Blaxill was one of the few young producers at Radio 1 in the early 1990s, when most of their production staff had been there even longer than many if not most of their presenters - he produced Simon Mayo. Clearly he was one of very few people who already had sufficient BBC experience to be entrusted with the show who would have been in line with what they now wanted to do with it (and he did have the advantage of Britpop, the last gasp of "a whole national dialogue about pop" as it has been described).
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