50 YEARS OF TOP OF THE POPS : JAN 24- JAN 30

Hello and welcome to this week’s round-up from Top Of The Pops history, which features a tribute to a country.

Neil Diamond turned 73 this week. One of his most famous songs might surprise you ……. or maybe not, as Red Red Wine, made famous by UB40 was a cover of a Neil Diamond song.

Sharing a birthday, is TV’s Jools Holland, who believe it or not, was once a popstar as well, playing keyboards in Squeeze.

On the theme of Neil Diamond covers, here’s another one, by a man who shares a birthday with him (1959) ……… Mr Victor Reeves, performing with EMF in 1995.

Of course, it would be rude to mention Vic Reeves, and not include his collaboration with The Wonder Stuff.

58 this week, Andy Cox was a two time (or three time, if you include Two Men and a Drum Machine) pop star in the 1980s, with The Beat and Fine Young Cannibals.

So, in the interest of fair play, here’s one of each.

Another famous Andrew in pop, is Mr Andrew Ridgeley off of Wham! This song, is just superb.

Seeing as birthdays of New Order members will be commemorated with side projects such as Electronic or Monaco, how about an actual New Order song for Gillian Gilbert.

They probably should have just mimed.

Meanwhile it’s Mark Owen’s birthday this week, so here he his performing Never Forget, in an episode seemingly presented by Howard Donald’s future other half Catherine Tate.

Frank Skinner celebrates a birthday this week. I imagine you’ve guessed what video is coming up next. Sadly, it’s the awful 1998 version rather than the excellent 1996 one.

Matthew Wilder also celebrates a birthday this week. Here he is being enthusiastically introduced by John Peel. He ended up helping No Doubt become massive in the late 90s.

And finally, this week sees Australia Day, so here’s a couple of tunes from Down Under for you.

And finally, the song that soundtracked Australia’s Royal Wedding. I still get emotional thinking about it. Scott and Charlene. What a lovely couple.

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