“…and a partridge in Ernie’s fur coat.”

Eric confronts Andrew Preview
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Today marks the 30th anniversary of the death of Eric Morecambe, one of Britain’s greatest ever entertainers and one of my personal heroes. I was born in the early 1970s, so I was lucky enough to be growing up when The Morecambe And Wise Show was reaching its peak and I even have fond memories of Eric and Ernie’s latter years after they upped sticks for Thames Television in 1978. When I heard Eric had died, I felt like a bit of my childhood had died too – and I was only 12. So, in memory of the one with the glasses, not to mention the one with the short fat hairy legs, here’s a look at a side of Eric and Ernie you might not be familiar with; the eight singles they released between 1961 and 1976. Continue reading

Top Of The Pops, 24 May 1979 – Dressed to kill… and guess who’s dying?

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Having grown up as a music fan in the ’70s/’80s/’90s (at least to the extent that I can be said to have “grown up”), the weekly edition of Top Of The Pops was always a major event in my life, even up to the point where the BBC finally killed it off in 2006. Then in 2011 BBC Four brought it back and started showing archive episodes from 35 years previously. To everyone’s surprise, given the subsequent revelations about various erstwhile hosts, the repeat run is still going – we’re now in 1979 and riding the crest of New Wave. 7:30 on a Thursday evening is once again an immovable fixture in my weekly calendar, even more so now that Twitter is around and we can all rip it to shreds poke affectionate fun at it in real time as the chaos fun unfolds. Now that I’m doing a proper blog thing, I thought it would be fun to document each week’s dreck show and some of the comments it drew on Twitter. Continue reading

The UK’s 20 Greatest Eurovision Entries – Part 2

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Welcome back! In part 1 we saw that having a good song doesn’t necessarily equate to a Eurovision win. We also put forward the unorthodox viewpoint that Daz Sampson and Ricardo Autobahn are better songwriters than Diane Warren and Andrew Lloyd Webber, but can any of them trump Engelbert Humperdinck? Here’s the top ten… Continue reading

The UK’s 20 Greatest Eurovision Entries – Part 1

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The Eurovision Song Contest has always been one of the year’s major events in my household, ever since I was young enough to believe that the voting was actually based on the quality of the songs rather than a desire to avoid being invaded. Every spring I would look forward to the thrill of the Song For Europe competition to choose our entry for the main event – and the inevitable crushing disappointment when the UK failed to get anywhere near the sharp end of the voting, or even worse, came second to the Irish entry again. Being familiar with most of our entries over the years (there’s a fair number of the late ’70s and early ’80s ones nestling in a box of 7″ singles in the cupboard somewhere), I’ve attempted to pick the best of them and put them in order, based not on their success in the contest or any kind of intangible “Eurovision factor”, but simply on how good the song was. Is it possible for a song to be too good to win the Eurovision Song Contest? Let’s see… Continue reading