Ronan and Stephen from Boyzone are the cover stars of this edition of Smash Hits, during the Autumn of 1996.

In news, Howard Donald has recorded tracks for a solo album, while Jas Mann from Babylon Zoo has written a song for his new friend Paolo Maldini.

Jamie Redknapp has a column in Smash Hits, where he reveals that his social life is restricted to an Italian restaurant near Anfield.

Tipped for stardom this week, is Brian Kennedy.

Cover stars Boyzone get a three page diary, as they share their diary as they go on promotional duty.

Getting the lyrics poster treatment are Chemical Brothers, Lightning Seeds and Boyzone.

Robson and Jerome, riding high in the charts, get a three page feature.

Ant and Dec are reviewing singles, and give awards for Best Single to Catatonia and Octopus.

Gina G answers questions from a biscuit tin, revealing that she was 12 the first time she got drunk.


We start this week’s round-up with an audience member possibly more famous than the band he’s there to see. Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones, one of the few rock stars whose name rhymes with his band would have been 72 this week.

Apart from rock stars who share their name with their band, such as Jon Bon Jovi, Eddie Van Halen, and um, Paul King.

Here he is performing “The Last Time” in 1965. Keep an eye out for George Best being in the audience.

Sharing a birthday (not the same year though) with Brian Jones is Cindy Wilson of B-52s. I know everyone loves “Loveshack” but “Roam” is a far far better song.

Unfortunately, there’ll be no February 29th mentioned on this blog as this isn’t a leap year. Maybe if I do a 60 Years Of Top Of The Pops blog series in 2024, we’ll see.

70 this week, was Roger Daltrey of The Who. So many songs to choose from, “You Better You Bet”, their last Top Ten single, is my favourite.

Which 80s pop star is like dry land? Nik Kershaw, because he has no C. OK, that was a bloody awful riddle. This is a better riddle.

We all know Bon Jovi, but can anyone name any of his solo hit singles, apart from me, who is the proud owner of a copy of Destination Anywhere?

Meanwhile, former ruler of the world, Chris Martin, was 37 this week. Sometimes, I like to dressed up as Chris Martin and pretend i’m him. Yep, I do Coldplay Cosplay.

Sad anniversary time, it’s 15 years this week since the death of Dusty Springfield.

Born the day after Chris Martin was Ronan Keating. To be fair, some of his solo stuff is not dreadful.

Believed to be the main influence of Elvis Presley, Shakin Stevens, no relation to Rachel Stevens from S Club 7 or Cat Stevens was on Top Of The Pops so much in the 1980s, they invited him back for their end of the 80s special in 1989, unsurprisingly. When else would you have an end of the 80s show?

Also celebrating a birthday this week, Evan Dando from The Lemonheads, seen here performing “Mrs Robinson”

Eddy Grant, 66 this week, was once offered a role in Strictly, but declined, stating “I Don’t Wanna Dance”

One of his biggest hits was “Baby Come Back”, covered by Irish Reggae singer Pat O’Banton.

Meanwhile, both Charlie Reid and Craig Reid of The Proclaimers were 52 this week. They’re twins, obviously. The second most successful pop twins (after Bros) of 1988.

And finally ……. remember The Kooks? I liked them.