Back to Christmas 1985 (2nd January 1986)

There’s something of a weary post-Christmas, post-New Year feel about the schedules today. Scrabbling around on BBC1 and BBC2 for something to watch, there’s the always dependable Top of the Pops. Presented by John Peel and Janice Long, let’s take a quick look at the top pop treats it contains ….

First off A-ha are in the studio with The Sun Always Shines On TV, which is a jolly poppy way to kick off proceedings. Then we go to Paul McCartney on video with Spies Like Us before returning to the studio for Level 42 and Leaving Me Now. This brings the party mood down a bit, although the audience still shake their pom poms with enthusiasm. Oh, and Mark King’s wearing quite the jacket.

Bronksi Beat Hit That Perfect Beat next (more top pom pom action from the audience) which is followed by Sophia George with Girlie Girlie. Sir Shakin’ Stevens remains at number one, so that just leaves the playout track (Elton John, Wrap Her Up) which features some entertaining dancing from the always willing studio audience.

I’ll follow that up with EastEnders, where Pauline, Arthur and Michelle are still in Southend, searching for Mark.

ITV’s early evening schedule is pretty bleak (a movie length Knight Rider followed by Mistral’s Daughter isn’t my idea of fun) but thankfully C4 looks a little more promising.

There’s Treasure Hunt (“stop the clock!”) which this week is in Clwyd (scope for plenty of unpronounceable names then) and after that there’s the second episode of Unknown Chaplin.

6 thoughts on “Back to Christmas 1985 (2nd January 1986)

  1. We’re almost back to everyday television by this stage. I have no definite recollection of seeing anything that night, though it is probable that I saw Top Of The Pops and EastEnders. My father’s diary records “French film on TV – Colette”, but I’m sure that I didn’t watch it with them.

    Chris Armsby has been watching his way through eighties TOTP on the This Way Up blog, with a detailed critique of each edition (with some very interesting close readings of camera movements and lighting). The entry for 2 January 1986 –

    If I were planning an evening’s viewing from this now it would go; Crossroads, Top Of The Pops, EastEnders and (the obvious highlight of the day) ‘The Comic Strip: Private Enterprise’. Adrian Edmondson’s ‘Private Enterprise’ feels a lot more tightly-plotted than most of the other Comic Strips up to this point, looking ahead to the next series of longer films initially screened in cinemas in 1987/88.

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  2. The feature length episode of Knight Rider was a two part story called ‘Knight of the Juggernaut’ that kicked started season four of KR in September 1985 on NBC in the States. I believe many US shows from this era, were only aired in UK several months later. Because of declining ratings in America, Knight Rider was finally relegated to that car park in the sky in 1986.

    There was some great music dominating the charts in 1985/86. A-Ha had just missed out on a UK number 1 with ‘Take on Me’ (kept off the top spot by one hit wonder Jennifer Rush) in late 1985, but ‘The Sun Always Shines On TV’ would finally top the charts later in January 1986. Great to remember Janice Long, who sadly passed away a week ago.


  3. I did see that day’s edition of Blue Peter. They had a trick violinist on. I remember Martin Jarvis reading the William stories (he read them on radio as well). The best of the Christmas stories was the one about Uncle Percy who William’s mother thought was very good with boys. (I think Stephen Moore played Uncle Percy in the nineties tv version.)

    I would have taped Comic Strip Presents.


  4. Janice Long was born on Tuesday April 5th 1955 in Liverpool,Merseyside & She Was The Original Broadcaster for The last Five Decades.

    She Joined BBC Radio 1 in 1983 & The Presenter for Top of The Pops On BBC-1.

    Sadly On Saturday December 25th 2021,She Passed Away at The Age of 66 Years After Short Illness.

    The Great Memories of The late Janice Long.

    The Great icon.

    Terry Christie,

    Liked by 1 person

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