Saturday 18 August 2012

Tea Time Tyne Tees TV

Continuing our series on TV pop shows of the 1980s, today I'm going to talk at you about Razzmatazz, Tyne Tees' kids' music show which ran from 1981-87 across the ITV network. Possibly most famous now as the programme that was, for a time, co-presented by a teenage Lisa Stansfield, there was actually a lot more to Razzmatazz than this connection to a future pop star. Or was there? Maybe, maybe not. Any programme that features a regular item called Popscotch can't be all bad anyway.

Mind, it had its drawbacks too. I can't say I noticed it at the time but watching old clips now the show's main presenter, Alastair Pirrie, was quite an irksome presence. Possessed of an unfortunate and persistent giggle-cum-cackle and a rather overbearing manner, he was like a cross between a budget DLT and the actual Timmy Mallett.

Oh, and he could be hilariously Partridge-esque when interviewing the great and the good of the pop world - as evidenced by this short interview with Paul McCartney when our man, keen to ingratiate himself with His Royal Fabness, keeps banging on about how he much loves The Other Man from the latest album Pipes of Peace. Macca, obviously well used to interviewers waffling in his presence, smiles politely but, when Pirrie repeats how much he loves The Other Man, eventually puts him right and informs him that the song's actually called The Other Me. Whoops.

Anyway, on to today's main clips. These are sort of chosen on a theme; the theme being that they all feature people who, for one reason or another, you'd struggle to secure an interview with on kids' TV - or any media platform at all, really - today. They also highlight the high calibre of guests your typical pop programme could hope to land back in those days.

So here we see Kate Bush (Kate Bush!) talking earnestly about the music video-making process flanked by a load of initially bored-looking kids; she actually ends up interacting with them quite sweetly, though. Thankfully Alastair Pirrie's not around to bungle this interview either. He'd have probably called her love and pinched her arse or something, all in the name of "fun" of course.

Next it's a rare early performance from the much-missed Kirsty MacColl singing that one about the fella from the Chinese takeaway who reckons he's Charles Hawtrey or something. Oh you know the one!

And finally Pirrie (arghh!) interviews Frida and Agnetha (Agnetha!) from ABBA. There's a really awkward bit here when he asks Agnetha to tell us more about the new single, One Of Us, and what it's about, and you can see the pain etched on her face as she struggles to avoid saying "Well, it's basically about my failed marriage but written by my ex-husband and thus lyrically making me sound like the guilty party who's now desperate for a reconciliation and anyway I'm off to live in the woods soon on my own save for a stalker who I'll invite to move in with me but who'll probably start hoarding my pooh or something and it'll all end in predictably disastrous fashion, but yeah, thanks for asking, you big clot!"

So yes, Razzmatazz. It was no Top of the Pops, and the main presenter was a bit of a wazzock, but it regularly served up some of the biggest names on the pop scene and it had games and jokes and fancy illuminated displays in the background with the acts' names on, so if you were 11 or 12 it was pretty magical. And, like all the most memorable shows of yore, it had a properly catchy theme tune. All together now: Ra-ra-ra-ra... Razz-a-matazz!


Rol said...

It's hard to believe we watched this stuff.

Pip said...

Cock. Peggy Babcock, that is, which I'll be repeating in my head all day now...

Kippers said...

I still can't repeat that even now!

In this clip, Pirrie calls his female co-presenter "slut face". Words fail me. Actually, they don't. THE MAN'S AN ARSE!

GJackman said...

I remember a couple of animated gangster characters with Tommy guns, wasn't that part of this show? I had a duvet set with them on, and am sure it was from Razzamatazz.

Kippers said...

Was that not from Tiswas? Could be wrong but it definitely rings a bell.