Veteran DJ Tony Blackburn has been sacked by the BBC with immediate effect following the devastating revelation that he worked at Radio 1 in the early 1970s. "We were shocked and appalled when evidence emerged recently that Blackburn hadn't, as he claimed, worked on the World Service at the time, but had actually been plying his trade at Radio 1," said BBC spokesman Toby Tool in a statement released earlier today.
"Not only was he a colleague of Jimmy Savile, it's believed he may also have at times played records by Gary Glitter and Jonathan King, and he probably mentioned It's A Knockout at some point too. Faced with such overwhelming evidence it quickly became clear to us that Mr Blackburn's position at the corporation had become untenable."
Blackburn, 73, had hosted the popular Pick of the Pops on Radio 2 since 2010. Early favourites to take over the role include Olly Murs, Jeremy Clarkson and Bashar al-Assad. Arnold the dog was today unavailable for comment.
Honestly, there is so much to see: Julian Cope miming along to Reward dressed in what appears to be one of his mum's old frocks; Midge Ure doing Vienna in a gimpy leather cap with accompanying metal ch(a)in-strap. We know you're bald under there, Midge. There's also some quintessentially deadpan John Peel links; Colin Blunstone and lovely Kim Wilde singing live - albeit not together; Phil Oakey in full wonky-fringed mode, an inebriated-looking Adrian Juste introducing Kirsty Maccoll as "a little lady". Imagine being patronised in such a way by someone with precisely none of your talent.
Adam Ant reveals to Simon Bates that the highlight of his year was meeting the Queen. Phew, rock 'n' roll! Fans of Legs and Co should look away as show-offy usurpers Zoo prance about to the strains of Can You Feel It and O Superman; Steve Wright gets heckled by Chrissy Boy from Madness whilst introducing Toyah and Peter Powell invades Thereze Bazar's personal space (she should have kicked him in the knackers). There's also a communal rendering of All You Need Is Love over the end credits. All that plus The Beat, Depeche Mode, OMD and Altered Images with Clare Grogan done up like a Christmas tree. What more could you ask for?
video deleted by copyright killjoys
He kicks off by introducing Darts' version of the Jackie Wilson classic as "Little Richard's Reet Petite", which I suppose you could put down to first-night nerves. But I dunno - he does look and sound extremely relaxed and full of confidence. Anyway, it seems to me that if you're hosting a TV music show watched by MILLIONS - and indeed if your full-time job is playing music on the nation's airwaves - a few seconds' research on the songs you're introducing is the very least you could do. Assuming he made the same basic error in rehearsal, you would have thought someone - anyone - on the production staff would have been able to put him straight? But no. Did no one on that show like
him pop music?
No problems with his next link to camera - a still of which you can see above. Although, I dunno, for some reason those two girls don't seem to be enjoying the experience all that much. Why it's almost as if they don't enjoy being playfully grabbed round the neck by a complete stranger. Get a grip, girls! Simon has!
Two songs later and there's another unforced error when Simon introduces My Simple Heart as My Simple Hut, before swiftly correcting himself. After the video clip Simon says, laughing: "My Simple Heart, and that's the Three Degrees." Then, gesturing towards the girls flanking him in this picture:
"...And three very jealous boyfriends. I like this job!" Zinger! (Remember: Simon is irresistible to women.)
And how about this: "That's Michael Jackson and Legs and Company. It gets hot in here, but even hotter now. Here's Sugarhill Gang and one of the fastest climbers of the week. It's The Rapper". Oh Simon, you've done it again! You meant Rapper's Delight! Never mind, at least you can correct yourself after the clip has played:
"That was The Rapper. I mean when does he breathe? That's the most important thing to know!"
sloppy song about a mentally ill woman being committed to an institution. Off the schmaltzy scale!
Anyway, apart from all that, and the Police incident (no, not a police incident! The Walking one!) he was great, and it's no wonder he went on to present the show on a regular basis for the next nine years. I'd like to think he even learnt the names of some of the songs at some point.
Happy Black Friday.
Whatever - the important thing here is that this flimsy #37 pretext gives me the ideal opportunity to share some guilty pleasures from my pop past. And let's face it, we all loved cheesy chart music at some point in our journey from there to here, right? Anyone who protests that they went straight from nursery rhymes to Einstürzende Neubauten is having a laugh, basically.
To kick things off here's a song that was #37 on this week in 1983 - in what turned out to be its one and only week in the top 40; Level 42's Micro Kid, in which the titular character invents the internet or something, probably.
It's easy to bemoan the fact that technology is the preserve of the young and that us old 'uns have a hard time keeping up with every new development. But I can safely say that, as a kid at the time of this song's release, I was as clueless about all things computer-related as I am now. No Microkid, in other words!
Full disclosure: although this isn't their greatest song, I was - and remain - a Level 42 fan, slapped bass and all. Something About You, Lessons In Love and The Sun Goes Down (Living It Up) are great pop songs. Mark King was on Pointless Celebrities a while back, and seemed like a lovely, humble bloke (in contrast to some of the other celebrities who've appeared on that show) so good luck to him. They're still touring in 2014, too (Level 42, rather than the pointless celebrities).