Top of the Pops – 1975 Christmas Special


Noel Edmonds (dressed as Fred Astaire) and Tony Blackburn (dressed as Buttons) are our genial hosts today. Could be worse I suppose ….

First up are Pilot with January. It’s all quite bouncy and rather agreeable – live (or re-recorded) vocals and massive guitars are firmly to the fore. A good start.

Johnny Nash gives us Tears On My Pillow. There’s not a great deal to say about this performance, but luckily the next turn – Don Estelle and Windsor Davies with Whispering Grass – contains plenty of talking points.  Davies’ outrageous mugging to camera (well I guess he had to do something, since Estelle was handling most of the singing) still raises a smile today, whilst you have to tip your hat to Don Estelle – he was a very good vocalist.

Pan People’s are wearing candelabras on their heads. That was unexpected.

Ralph McTell with Streets of London is up next. Given the sentiment of the song, it fits well into the Christmas show. As expected, it’s a no-frills performance, but none the worse for that.

The Tymes, Ms Grace. I love everything about this performance – the red suits, the coordinated dancing, the off-screen parping of the TOTP orchestra.  Tammy Wynette, plonked next to half a dozen or so tinselly Christmas trees, belts out Stand By Your Man whilst the TOTP orchestra once again scrapes away as best they can.

The Bay City Rollers with Bye, Bye Baby would no doubt have whipped the teenage audience into a frenzy – but like last year, all the turns have to perform to an empty studio.  That’s a little odd, as it means that the party atmosphere seems even more stilted than usual. Mud then pop up for the second year running with Lonely This Christmas. This time Les is standing up, rather than pouring out his tale of woe at the piano.

Guys and Dolls, A Whole Lot of Loving. Consisting of three pairs of guys and (well) dolls, this is quite the performance. The chest hair (from the men you’ll be glad to hear), their stack heels, their impossibly tight trousers. Crickey. The dolls can’t compete with that sort of competition.

Telly Savalas, sporting the widest shirt collars I’ve ever seen, appears on film to intone If.  It’s quite remarkable. It’s not good, but it’s quite remarkable.

More Pan’s People, this time they’re dressed as Christmas parcels.

10cc, with I’m Not In Love, arrive in the nick of time with a quality pop song. That just leaves diddy David Essex, in maximum Cockney mode, with Hold Me Close.  Live vocals, the worst jacket seen in the programme and plenty of chest hair. That’s the way to bring the show to a memorable conclusion.

10 thoughts on “Top of the Pops – 1975 Christmas Special

  1. It should be said that Pan’s People are interpreting ‘I Only Have Eyes For You’ by Art Garfunkel (in candles and dry ice) and ‘I Can’t Give You Anything But My Love’ by The Stylistics (as ribbons on a Christmas parcel).

    Its fair to say that Flick Colby’s choreography on ‘I Only Have Eyes’ comes a very poor second to Busby Berkley’s!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Pan’s People’s first routine – they are dressed as St Lucia, who features a lot in winter celebrations in Scandinavian countries. So NOT a totally ridiculous idea !

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I think this was the only Christmas edition of Top of the Pops for 1975

    Surprisingly the Christmas number one wasn’t included. Then again, much has been made of Another Brick in the Wall being the least festive Christmas number one, but in 1975 one of the most poignant Christmas records ever made was kept from the number one slot by a song about a murder trial.

    This programme was broadcast on the same day as the first screening of Wizard of Oz on British television.

    Also 1975 was the year that Radio Times went back to traditional festive designs on the cover


    • There was 2 shows in 1975.

      These 2 presented the one, while S****e & DLT presented the other, a couple of days earlier!

      This presented a interesting situation with multichannel repeats later in the time, as Noel refused permission for his shows to be repeated on UK Gold in the mid 90’s, but the other show got the go ahead, but the situation was reversed when BBC FOUR repeated it a few years ago. Noel either gave his permission or had no choice in the matter this time, but S****e & DLT, due to their own ‘problems’ wasn’t repeated!


      • They did the double show thing for a few years I believe. When I get back to my Xmas TOTP blogging soon, I’d like to fill in the gaps (If I can track down the various shows I haven’t yet written about).


  3. Please………can anyone tell me why Mud’s drummer wasn’t on stage when they did ‘Lonely This Christmas’? I’ve been trying to find out since I watched it originally!


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