The Snow In The Summer or So-So

Week of 4 February 2019


We're all just ending up at Monument whilst trying to find the exit at Bank right? #

The weeknotes
Vintage Top of the Pops + 35 Years Minus 6 Weeks

15 March 1984 Simon Bates and Mike Smith are the earnest hosts of tonight's live edition. We begin with Julia & Company with Breakin' down (sugar samba). The trouble with live television is that things can go wrong, and they go wrong. The & Company part haven't turned up, so we're just left with Julia in her dark cloak. The backlights haven't been turned on, so instead of being a shadow against the neon, Julia is a shadow in the shadows. And the song is instantly forgettable, even while it's playing.

If only we could say the same about Hello, a video we're going to review once and then fast-forward through a lot. It's the one where Lionel is a drama teacher, lecturing his class about the difference between 1958 and 1983. "The Brooklyn Dodgers were still the Brooklyn Dodgers," he says, to the general bemusement of everyone. Then he spends the rest of the video perving over a blind girl, in a manner that reminds us of Mr. Parrott and Robyn. Didn't want to see that again, and nor did we want to see our dinner again. There's a clay head, and Lionel calls up his crush and says "Hello, is it me you're looking for," and promptly wanders away from the receiver. Does he not know how telephones work? Will he take remedial classes from Little Noel Edmonds???

Kajagoogoo perform The lion's mouth, another completely forgettable track. We're struck by how the new lead singer looks exactly like a comedy character, though we can't quite remember who. Alexei Sayle annoys a bus queue in the video for 'Ullo John gotta new motor?.

Help has been the subject of some dubious covers. Bananarama and Laanaaneeneenoonoo made a version for charity, and someone massacred it on one of the NME charity albums. Tonight, Tina Turner will perform the song in her own style: red latex microdress, soul stylings, lots of dry ice, and gospel backings. She'll take the tempo right down, and it almost — almost — works. But it's just too ponderous for its own good, and the ending is neither aspirational nor vulnerable.

Wang Chung are back amongst us, Dance hall days gets another superb performance. Compared to two weeks ago, the lead singer is much more confident, leading the rhythmic clapping from the very start. It's trivial to textpaint "take you baby by the hair", but the group has the presence to get away with it.

Richard Hartley and the Mike Reed Orchestra are at number 10 with Bolero / Barnum on ice. It's a cash-in on the immensely popular Torvill and Dean, the ice-dance duo had captured the BBC's hearts when they won the world title three years ago. In February, they finally translated it into gold at the IOC event in Sarajevo. Their music from this year and from last year has been re-recorded and put out as a single. We see the performance from Sarajevo, and don't hear the record.

From Hagen to Schöneberg, Nena is still number one with 99 luftballons, the German-language version. The record company made a video for the insular anglosphere, where they're very careful not to show Nena singing for more than a moment. TOTP never plays it. The playout record is Break Machine's Street dance, with some of that video.

Performance of the night is Wang Chung. Relief of the night is that we didn't see Simon Bates' costume from Leap Day, when he dressed up as Gary Glitter.

World news

Bombs in London and Manchester were blamed on Libyan elements; 24 were hurt in the blast at a London nightclub. Five men were charged.

Spain began talks to exchange ambassadors with Israel. The Spanish had refused to recognise Israel under General Franco's regime, and its cultural heritage with the Arabs. In Poland, a dispute about where the crucifix can be shown led to a quarrel between the communist government and the catholic church. East Germany's government began to erect a second line of the Berlin Wall, about 80 yards behind the first barrier.

The EEC agreed on quotas for milk output, hoping to cut production. French farmers led the opposition, to the surprise of no-one.

The National Union of Mineworkers called for miners to go out on strike; about three-quarters of pits were closed by the end of the week. The National Coal Board won an injunction against "flying pickets", people picketing somewhere they don't usually work. While the NUM didn't organise a national ballot, there were local ballots in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire, and in Cumbria.

Trouble in the Monday Club, a group linked to the Conservative party. David Waddington, the minister for immigration, was heckled while explaining his position, and his aide Derek Laud was "insulted". John Pinniger, the political advisor to the group, resigned his post and said the members were "anti-immigrant and anti-black: that is simply racist."

The Yankees were voting for their next president; or at least the Democrats were. Gary Hart had emerged from nowhere to become the front-runner, sweeping various caucuses and primaries in the north. Pre-race favourite Walter Mondale struck back this week, with a series of wins on "Stupor Tuesday". The contemporary narrative was all about the horse race, the coverage did not talk about policy differences between the candidates.

The pop star Sting is back on the market, divorcing Frances Tomelty. A young crocodile crawled out of the Seine near the Louvre; it joined the queue, paid the admission fee, and snapped at the curator.

Sportsball. The TCCB investigated claims that England cricketers were on drugs during their tour to New Zealand. FA Cup quarter-finals: Sheffield Wednesday (II) and Southampton drew 0-0 on ITV, Watford won 3-1 at Birmingham, Everton were 2-1 winners at Notts County, and Plymouth (III) held Derby (II) to a 0-0 draw. Southampton and Plymouth would win replays. Burrough Hill Lad won the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Gentle northerly winds for the weekend, turning easterly for Tuesday. About 6°C for Thursday.

Dead: Maurice Macmillan, former Employment secretary... Arnold Ridley, Private Godfrey in Dad's Army.

Other television

Nick Kershaw and Todd Carty are in the Saturday Superstore, but Tony Blackburn and Suzanne Dando are exiled to Keith's delivery van. Aesop's Fables on 3-2-1. Wogan provides early exposure for French and Saunders. Holiday goes on a wander-walk through the Tyrol, and The Sky at Night reported from the surface of Venus.

A special edition of Sixty Minutes introduces Nigel Lawson Badger's first financial statement, and went straight into Sixty Minutes proper. Jimmy Young and Dominic Harrod have the show on Radio 2, and a PM special with Gordon Clough and Valerie Singleton runs on Radio 4. Alistair Burnet and Martyn Lewis (with a computer!) analyse on ITV.

"Don't cry over spilt milk" is this week's Fraggle Rock; The Keeper boards up the Fraggle hole, trapping Gobo in Outer Space. Uncle Matt puts his postcard in a big red "paper-eater". Jackanory reads "Tuck Everlasting" by Natalie Babbitt, told by Kathryn Pogson. Eternal life is a curse, not a blessing; low energy; the 2002 movie (starring Alexis Bledel) might be snappier than the book. On Blue Peter, Janet is with the RNLI.

Swallows and Amazons Forever! gets a dramatisation from BBC2's youth strand, 7pm Wednesday. Radio 2's Saturday night concert is Stars of Friday Night is Music Night, no confusion there. Wednesday evening features Hit List, a guest introduces six pieces of music he never wants to hear again.

Carnival de Horgues... Choir concert... Super Cross a Bercy... and Serge Gainsbourg's angry, too, burning a FF500 note... BBC1 news for Sunday... Walter Mondale: Where's the beef?... Ferry of West Loch Tarbert... the QE2 in Ibiza... 10 Years of People magazine part one of 5... La Chasse aux Tresors is in Saint-Malo... Australia's computer show is in full swing... Stupor Tuesday in Toledo and San Francisco... Nina Simone on After Noon Plus... NCAA basketball tournament begins with Richmond 72-71 Auburn... Steve Reich in het Antwerpen... Witch Water Green, a radio drama... KISS day on Toronto Rocks... Danny Wallace scores for Southampton against Liverpool, later named BBC Goal of the Season.

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Telly and radio

Pure (C4) tells of Marnie, who thinks of sexual thoughts. As in, everyone in the nuddy, and perhaps performing sexual acts. Moving away from her parent's house, how will she cope in the anonymous London? Presented as a "comedy", we don't get any laughs from the show, just a mild intrigue. Enough to watch for the first few episodes, perhaps not going to be a brilliant success.

On this week's Blue Peter

Magic and Music Alex McAleer, mind reader, does tricks with the presenters / Sets up viewers to read each others' minds / Lindsey vt - Paul McCartney interview, career retrospective, creative process, created Gold Badge / Badge wall with Nina Nesbitt / Lindsey vt - gritting, from mine to roads (rpt 2016) / Viewers try to read each others' minds / Fan of the month - Summer Dancing Bear / Nina Nesbitt PA "Colder"

Next week

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News this week

Paris is burning A blaze at a mid-rise apartment building killed at least 10 people, and sent other residents fleeing to the roof to escape the flames. Police held a resident on possible charges of arson resulting in death.

Festival 24 April will be marked in France as a memorial to the Armenian genocide. The decision, by Emmanuel Macron, inevitably sparked grouchiness and much clucking from the Turkish contingent, because they claim there was never a genocide.

Gefuckoffbooken Germany's antitrust watchdog began to crack down on The Feckbook's data collection practices. The world's largest social network abused its market dominance to gather information about users without their knowledge or consent.

Out this week Cyrus Goodman, a fictional character on Andi Mack. He's the first openly gay child character on a Disney channel programme.

Hell gets busy Reflecting the views of all sane EU leaders, Donald Tusk said there will be a special place in Hell for people who suggest cleaving humanity apart without a clear plan. Jake Rhys-Moog will be sent back to the early 19th century, and will lead the charge against Washington. Niggle Farridge will be stuck at a never-ending check-in counter. Alexander B de P Johnson might open his mouth, but with every word he speaks, a hair falls off his head. Grant Shapps will have the usual fire and brimstone treatment, and will watch as Michael Green enjoys softer treatment. Foxface will be deported from the second to the seventh to the eighth circle of Hell, without notice or appeal. And John Humphrys will be ignored.

Audio contracting EMAP Media is on the grow again; it's bought up two of the remaining independent radio groups, Lincolnshire and The Wireless Group. Spotify, the streams-to-ripoff company, has bought Gimlet Media, which makes podcasts for the chattering classes. Spotify's also bought Anchor Media, a way to make podcasts for the rest of us.

Sportsball Het New England Patriots hebben de 53e Super Bowl gewonnen door het Los Angeles Rams met 13-3 te verslaan. Dat is de laagste score ooit in een finale van de National Football League. In totaal werden er drie fieldgoals en één touchdown gemaakt. It was so interesting we dropped into Dutch.

Manchester al-City and Arsenal will contest the League Cup final. Arsenal's 2-1 victory was the first serious test of the new Manchester Buccaneers team, assembled at great cost and with great fanfare, and parachuted straight into Superleague 2. On this match, the Bucs are worthy of the top flight, but won't be challenging for the championship in the next season.

The number one singles this week:

27jan 19h SAM SMITH NORMANI - Dancing with a stranger [11d03h]

The most gentle change at the top, as Calvin 'n' Bone Man replace Sam 'n' Normani by a nose. Lewis Capaldi moves to 6 with Someone you loved, and Post Malone's Wow. cracks the top ten in its 7th week. Camelphat puts Breathe up to 11.

Chaka Khan has done some television work this week, though we don't recall what. Like sugar bounces to a new peak at 15, having been on release since July. Billie Eilish has a breakthrough hit, Bury a friend scoots 44-17. This week's highest new entry is Marshmello's Alone at 18.

Gesaffelstein is not catching anything here, Lost in the fire struggles to 24 in its fourth week. Lizzo's Juice is a TOTP chart entry, moving 46-26; Tom Walker and NSG both have hits as well.

The Specials have a number one album for the first time ever, Encore does what their active career didn't. Busted are back, Half Way There is number 2, and Ian Brown hits at 3 with Ripples.

The new entries don't stop there. Claire Richards puts My Wildest Dreams in at 5, White Live Five at 7, and Within Temptation have Resist at 8. Nina Nesbitt plants The Sun Will Come Up at 12.

Last week's number one from Bring Me The Horizon is this week's 14. Prefab Sprout score with I Trawl the Megahertz at 20. In the next twenty, new entries from Fredo, Beiruit, and Ex Re.

Andrea Bocelli remains top of the Classical Crossover with Si. Heading the Specialist Classical chart is Steven Isserlis and Olli Mustonen Shostakovich / Kabalevsky / Prokofiev 'cello works. Wandering Hearts' Wild Silence moves to the top of the Country chart.

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A deep depression off Iceland brought fronts and rain. By chance, the rain mostly fell at night. In a south-westerly flow, temperatures were a little bit up from where we'd expect them to be. Storm Eric dropped in on Saturday, with very strong westerly winds in the morning, only slowly easing as the day went on

The coming week retains the dominant south-westerly flow, though it will slacken as pressure begins to build over the near continent. That could bring about some mild weather by day, turning into frosts by night. Do avoid fascists.

04 Mo rain o/n, sun pm    6/10, 5.5
05 Tu cloud              -2/ 7
06 We rain o/n, cloud     4/ 9, 3.0
07 Th rain o/n, sun       5/ 9, 9.0
08 Fr showers             8/11
09 Sa wind, bright        5/ 8, 2.0
10 Su rain am             3/ 7,12.0

Rainfall in February: 31.5mm; monthly average: 50mm

Degree heating days: 427.5
2017-18: 486/834
2016-17: 502/677
2015-16: 263/585
2014-15: 472/718
2013-14: 438/630
2012-13: 627/1151
2011-12: 463/751
2010-11: 833/1056
2009-10: 677/1107
2008-09: 683/927

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