You've read the camera script, right? Good. You've spoilt it for yourself, mind you.
Enter Savile. He's wearing a red, yellow and white curly wig, a paisley patterend jacket and a felt frog over his left shoulder with 'Chief Tadpole' picked out in embroidery. The tone has already been set.
Now, call me a cynic but I don't think this is quite accurate.
The single, I Wanna Get Next To You, was from the film Car Wash, which may explain things, but it's still no Cortina.
The Brothers – Beautiful
Proving that without cod-reggae written by a middle-aged couple from Exeter they might have been easily lost, the Brothers are still running with the matching outfit theme, this time powder blue ruffled shirts under navy blue bolero jackets and matching trousers with bell bottoms one could hide children under. Innovation? Well, the drummer gets to sing a post-chorus section in a strangulated whine and both guitars seem to be playing rhythm, if that all counts. Lots of Union Jack plastic hats in the audience tonight. Perhaps a shipment was expected for Lynsey and Mike the week before last but got delayed.
Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis Jnr – You Don’t Have To Be A Star (To Be In My Show)
Jimmy's managed to find someone new to be in nearly every link with him tonight. Imagine him in that outfit beckoning you towards his part of the stage. You'd have to wonder what was about to happen. In this case it's some girls from Wrexham and a wider shot which reveals Chief Tadpole has a cigar in, as well as a massive breast pocket. Sets it all off nicely, I'm sure you'll agree. Same Top Pop clip as three shows ago.
Brendon – Gimme Some
Ah! Now, if you haven't read the comments you have to, both for 24/3 and last week, as it seems Brendon's bassist Dave Levy, as WeddingSuit, has joined the conversation with his insight into recording, including that script PDF up there. This week he's brought out the big stuff, a double-necked instrument. Brendon's brought his own acoustic with him, slinging it behind his back to begin like a wayfaring stranger, while one of the guitarists is sporting a Rubettes cap. Well, they didn't need them any more. Must be said, while this never got beyond number 14 the crowd are as into it as the producer evidently was, clapping the off-beat throughout and not minding when the cameraman takes several of them down at once judging by the size of the wobble.
David Soul – Going In With My Eyes Open
Jimmy has found two girls in overcoats and flat caps. He claims they're called Bill and Ben. One of them switches between broadly beaming and grimacing vaguely menacingly. In his mind this all makes perfect sense. Those who are playing along with the script at home will spot this isn't Leo Sayer or Mike Nesmith, it seems they assumed this would be number one by now and when it wasn't chose to throw this straightforward singing with occasional overlaid shots from side angles video in here instead.
The Stylistics – 7000 Dollars And You
"A nice single Yorkshire millionaire" is next on the rostrum of chance, one wearing a pinstripe suit and darkened glasses. Back for a second go in the studio Russell Thompkins Jr doesn't seem any less permanently surprised than before but his colleagues, one of whom is sporting not just a tight afro but also mighty mutton chops, seem happy enough with their matching crimson suits and synchronised hoofing. A very wobbly pan to the lights to close.
John Williams & Cleo Laine – Feelings
"It could only happen on Top Of The Pops - it's classical guitar" If you like, Jimmy. "Where could you get such class except Top Of The Pops?" rhetorically asks a man who chose to dress like that. Both parties sit, the crowd stand pensively around the perimeter of a small circular stage I don't think we've ever seen before. It's pretty much what you'd expect Feelings performed by Cleo Laine with John Williams to sound like, a reminder that throughout this decade you'd get stuff well out of the pop loop - the Shadows were regulars well into the 80s - in an attempt to paint the show as inclusive and classy. The response is appropriately Two Ronnies audience-like.
Andrew Gold – Lonely Boy
"I don't know which one to speak into, my tadpole or this microphone". Er, the electric one that's wired up, Jimmy, but he has given Chief Tadpole to one of the latest pair of girls flanking him, which is asking for trouble. Speaking of which... "Legs & Co with Floyd, no less!" Floyd! It's Floyd! Back for... well, he made a few appearances in the couple of years post-Flipper, but rarely would he get a namecheck such as this, or indeed a role such as this. His being the lonely boy in the routine, keen to show off his full repertoire of spins and star jumps, was about as literal as Flick would get this time while still dealing in some respect with the lyrical concern. In a mini-reunion of old ways Patti gets to play lead Leg as the narrator's sister, getting the sort of double act going they never did before as Patti gets variously grabbed from behind and spun right round, leapfrogged, have her pigtails pulled and have general wrestling-like not quite contacting moves performed on her, though she does get to waggle her arse at him as is her wont, which makes someone - Gill, I think - visibly corpse. The rest of the Co kind of flounce around and stand still, this not being their moment. There isn't a feelgood ending rapprochement either, unless you count the fanservice knicker crotch reveals. One close-up reveals Patti's wearing a wedding ring. Don't break it to the kids of 1977 like that!
Billy Ocean – Red Light Spells Danger
"These ladies have just come up from Upminster, would you believe!" As Jimmy embarks on some elbow-led dancing this appears to be a new orchestra-led Ladybirds far too high in the mix version with Billy richly singing live. Suit: purple. Cuffs: white, huge. Collar: wings. Just as things seem to have gone well Ocean gets faded out too early, giving it plenty to very little audible effect before someone realises almost too late.
ABBA – Knowing Me Knowing You
"High speed cameras and things, goodness gracious!" No idea where the two blokes surrounding Jimmy now are from but he says they're DJs, "taking the bread out of my mouth". One of them is wearing a T-shirt reading 'DON'T SHOOT ME, I'm only the DEE-JAY". The other one is wearing a suit, bears a resemblance to the singer from Young Knives and, credit to Bob Stanley with this not least as he's got a book and column to write and an impending album to promote yet is still taking the jeweller's eyepiece to this thing every week, is wearing a safety pin attached to another safety pin through his earlobe. It almost constitutes a watershed, that. The scowling plays out again before Boney M, again, finish a show featuring six new entries, none featured, and five songs in the top ten. Back to shows longer than thirty minutes on original screening next week. I think this tableau from the closing link about sums this week up...