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TV Pop Diaries
Pop Music on British Television 1955 - 1999

There were many valid reasons for hating the eighties. Politics, AIDS, yuppies, docklands, the decline of British industry and Calendar Goes Pop.

Words don't do justice to the utter stupidity and pointlessness of it. Hosted by Richard Madeley, regular anchor at Yorkshire's weekday early evening news show Calendar. He was never the issue, he liked and knew his music, as he would later prove on his Radio 2 shows, but it was the utterly weird, almost abstract nature of the show around him that made every aspect of it unnecessary.

Acts were invited onto the show to be interviewed, with only Tom Robinson the only pop star responding with any respect. The two leads of Status Quo proved that they couldn't string a sentence between the two of them and play acted at being bored, while a taciturn Shakin' Stevens resorted to physically attacking the host rather than answer questions. Why some pop stars would prefer to show themselves as insufferable rather than respond to serious, or even semi-serious questioning is baffling. Was it out of boredom, ingratitude, maybe nerves? But many do it and Calendar Goes Pop suffered more than most.

Tragically poor post-post-post punk bands Aromatic Tours and Music For Pleasure were invited and, despite their appalling disdain and rudeness they still turned up. Of course they would. None of those identikit, punk-lite, too-late-for-the-party bands turned down the chance to be on the box, as long as it's understood that you're honoured to have them on and you will be ignored and we will not answer your questions with reason, playing it sulky, rude, entitled and ungrateful. If they were truly worthy of the punk ethic, they wouldn't have turned up at all, but they all did. Even the Gang of Four turned up for Top Of The Pops.

All three shows must have been recorded in one lump as by the final show, broadcast on the 19th December 1980, still hadn't mentioned of the death of John Lennon which had happened ten days' before.

Why so many programme makers in the early eighties shoved this kind of smelly nappy in everyone's face is unknown. Almost deliberately amateur in their delivery Oxford Road Show, Something Else, B A In Music, Whatever You Want, Calendar Goes Pop etc, all appeared to despise their audience. The show is now only remembered for the Shakin' Stevens incident, which was unfair to the host.

It truly was punk, but at least three years' too late.



5th December 1980 - 19th December 1980