50 YEARS OF TOP OF THE POPS : NOV 14 – NOV 20

Not a lot of pop birthdays this week, but let’s get stuck into our weekly TOTP round-up.

Travis Barker from Blink 182 is another year closer to 40.

Incidentally, he shares a birthday with Faye from Steps, who, from next week, can be seen doing Panto in Belfast.

Anni-Frid from Superswedes (Actually, only three of them were Swedish, Anni-Frid is actually Norwegian) Abba (or Frida, as she’s more commonly known) turned 68 this week. ABBArasure anyone?

Mani from the Roses turned 52 this week.

And a Girls Aloud double birthday as both Sarah (17th November) and Kimberley (today) turn 33.

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50 YEARS OF TOP OF THE POPS : MAY 2- MAY 8

It’s May, summer is almost here. Want a nice uplifting summer song? You’ve come to the wrong place. America has The Hoff, UK has The Hump.

On the birthday trail this week is Dave Ball from Soft Cell, and The Grid. Special treat for you. Here’s Soft Cell performing it on a 80s Hits special edition of the show

In the name of equality, here’s a full episode from 1994 featuring The Grid.

It’s Jay Aston from Bucks Fizz birthday as well this week. And, seeing as it’s almost Eurovision (Two days to go!!!), there’s only one song we can play for you. No skirt ripping in this one. Their clothes budget didn’t stretch that far.

Gregg Alexander of New Radicals also celebrates a birthday this week. A classic one hit wonder, it wasn’t because he spent time in jail for threatening Courtney Love and Marilyn Manson, but because he gave it up to become a songwriter for others instead.

Sad anniversary time now, it’s two years this week since Adam Yauch died.

Back to this week’s birthdays, with Ian McCullough from Echo and the Bunnymen

Also celebrating a birthday is John Flansburgh, who might be a giant. You might recognise the song from a certain TV show.

Dave Rowntree from Blur celebrates a birthday this week. Here they are at different ends of their career, with their first big hit …….

….. and nine years later, promoting their Greatest Hits album

Darren Hayes celebrates his birthday this week. If you don’t know who he is, he’s the one in Savage Garden who isn’t Robbie Savage or Graeme Garden.

Pay attention maths fans, one-half of the two-fifths of the Welsh members of Steps celebrate a birthday ….. Ian Watkins, known as H, because he used to work for MI5 and that was his codename.

And finally, 31 today, Matt Willis off of Busted, and who also did one good solo single.

50 YEARS OF TOP OF THE POPS : MAR 21 – MAR 27

Hello and welcome to this week’s look back at 50 years of Top Of The Pops (Or, to be pedantic, 42 years and 8 years worth of Christmas specials)

This week’s first birthday of note is Guy Chadwick, lead singer of House Of Love. Unfortunately, we don’t have a clip of them performing ‘Shine On’, but we do have East 17 performing ‘House Of Love’, a song not about the early 90s band of the same name.

East 17 of course, were named after their local postcode. If they came from East Belfast, they would have been called BT4, BT5 or BT6, depending on whereabouts in East Belfast they came from.

Also celebrating this week is Sarah Jane Morris of The Communards. This, is an epic tune. BAAYYYYYBAAYYYY!!!!!

and … Jonas Berggren from Ace Of Base. I once got lost en route to an Ace Of Base concert trying to find the venue ………. then, I, saw the sign.

And from Sweden, we head to Canada, for a bit of Sum 41.

And from Canada, to Liverpool, for Pete Wylie’s birthday.

And now, to chill the mood a bit, with a bit of Beverley Knight.

Our globetrotting adventures now take us to the suavest man in Glasgow. If you really need to be told, Marti Pellow of Wet Wet Wet, who spent the whole of 1994 at Number One. How exactly, was a Sweet Little Mystery. I know you’ll love these next few clips. Why? I feel it in my fingers, I feel it in my toes.

Our birthday travels this week take us now to the Mockney King (from Colchester) …… Damon Albarn (And yes, I am aware he doesn’t sing on the first song)

And now ……. we go to Germany for one of the best songs of the 1980s. A woman who wouldn’t make a good Financial Advisor as she spent all her money on a bag of balloons. Since you ask, I counted, there were 78 balloons in the studio when this was filmed. BBC Cutbacks.

And from Germany, we go to German based West Indians …….. singing a song about The Troubles in Northern Ireland.

Ironically, Bobby Farrell of Boney M had the most Belfasty name in pop.

39 this week was Mel Blatt from All Saints. Here she is as a solo artist.

Milestone time now, and Diana Ross was born 70 years ago this week. So, as a tribute, here’s Steps covering ‘Chain Reaction’

Wee treat for you for Tony Banks of Genesis birthday (the one who isn’t Phil Collins or the guy from Mike and the Mechanics) …. a studio appearance from 1992

With all these births, unfortunately, we have a death anniversary. Ian Dury died 14 years ago today.

And finally, Elton John *whispers* turned 67 this week.

This, is his best song, performed nearly 20 years after it came out on a TOTP Special.

I used to think the chorus went “Coco Heart” when I was younger.

And, if you don’t know already, he didn’t play on this song, just mimed on TOTP.

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : TOP OF THE POPS – FEBRUARY 1999

We’re back in 1999 for a magazine cover that could only come from 1999, featuring 5ive, who are looking for a girlfriend.

Scott from 5ive makes his debut as a columnist for the magazine, stating that he doesn’t want Britain to join the Euro, Essex should be the UK’s capital and that there should be more Pizza Hut’s built

Tipped for big things in that month’s edition : Emmie, Dot Allison, Loop Da Loop, Goo Goo Dolls, N*Sync and Take 5.

Billie Piper gets a double page spread interviewing Cher. Ironically, Billie Piper’s first public appearance was starring in an advert for Smash Hits.

In the “Songwords” section, ‘We Like To Party’ by Vengaboys was featured. Yes, the song where they go “We like to party, we like, we like to party” on a continuous loop.

Ultra (I don’t remember them either) dress up as Duran Duran in the ‘Planet Earth’ video.

A cast list of male pop stars queue up to tell what they would do to woo Emma ‘Baby Spice’ Bunton. H from Steps would write her a love song, while Aaron Carter would protect her so she doesn’t get hurt.

There is a page dedicated to an unknown up and coming singer called Britney Spears. Not sure what happened to her.

Billie Piper is the guest singles review. She says Britney Spears has a nice voice and that Steps are lovely. She bins Kula Shaker’s single and gives a 5* review to her boyfriend Kavana.

In the chart profiles, J from 5ive revelas that Braveheart is his favourite film, Claire from Steps likes to relax in her bedroom and Brian Harvey’s favourite dinner is Roast Beef.