Looks Unfamiliar is a podcast in which writer and occasional broadcaster Tim Worthington talks to a guest about some of the things that they remember that nobody else ever seems to.
Joining Tim for a special festive edition is writer Stephen O’Brien, who’s brought along a couple of – in many cases deservedly – little-heard eighties Christmas Singles including Hokey Cokey by The Snowmen, Jingle Bells Laughing All The Way by The Hysterics, What Are We Gonna Get ‘Er Indoors by Dennis Waterman and George Cole, Oh Blimey It’s Christmas by Frank Sidebottom, Christmas In Hollis by Run DMC, Old Fashioned Christmas by Anne Charleston And Ian Smith, and Do They Know It’s Christmas? by Band Aid II, not to mention Bing Crosby and David Bowie’s stilted stately home natter, Boris Gardiner’s mercifully forgotten third single, and the thorny question of whether Keeping The Dream Alive by Freiheit is a Christmas Single or a load of old twaddle. Along the way we’ll be hearing the World’s Worst Jane Leeves Impression, revealing who wrote and sang the theme tune for The Quatermass Experiment, narrowly avoiding giving the actual official worst Christmas Present possible in the entirety of all known history, and finding out how to get accidentally mistaken for an extra in Neighbours.
Looks Unfamiliar Christmas Extra: "The Meaning Of Christmas Is No Boris Gardiner" – Looks Unfamiliar
It’s Looks Unfamiliar… It’s Top Of The Pops!: “I Think That’s The First Time The Bangles Have Ever Been Linked To Twisted Nerve”
A special extra Looks Unfamiliar Top Forty Breaker as Tim Worthington and Stephen O’Brien provide a running commentary on an edition of Top Of The Pops from 9th October 1986, which handily features two almost entirely forgotten singles by two previously major eighties artists. Along the way we’ll be auditioning Howard Jones as a potential Jigsaw presenter, finding out how to locate Paul Young on medieval maps, and working out which is which out of Paul Simon, Chevy Chase and the Camberwick Green Clown. You can listen it here.
Looks Unfamiliar Top Of The Pops Extra: "I Think That's The First Time The Bangles Have Ever Been Linked To Twisted Nerve" – Looks Unfamiliar
Stephen O’Brien is a drama writer and a historian of eighties pop music. You can get his book 80s UK Christmas Singles from Amazon here. Stephen’s blog Meaningless Insights is here and you can follow him on Twitter at @stephenobrien.
Buy A Book!
If you’ve enjoyed this, you’ll find more tales of festive hi-jinks and dreadful forgotten pop records in Tim’s book Can’t Help Thinking About Me, a collection of columns and features with a personal twist. Can’t Help Thinking About Me is available in paperback here or from the Kindle Store here.
Alternately, if you’re just feeling generous, you can buy me a coffee here. If it helps, Arthur and Terry could also get one for ‘Er Indoors.
Stephen has appeared on Looks Unfamiliar talking about The Office (the Steven Moffat one), LM magazine, You Can Do The Cube, Brilliant (the band), The Beachcombers and other last-minute ITV emergency schedule replacement standbys and The Morecambe And Wise Board Game here, and what it was like to watch the original transmission of The Box Of Delights here. Stephen has also appeared on Tim’s Marvel Cinematic Universe podcast It’s Good, Except It Sucks talking about Captain America: The Winter Soldier here and The Falcon And The Winter Soldier here.
Anna Cale reminisced about her determination to complete the Neighbours Sticker Album in Looks Unfamiliar here.
Stephen also appears in The Best Of Looks Unfamilar alongside Justin Lewis on Neither Fish Nor Flesh by Terence Trent D’Arby, Mark Thompson on Libby’s Moonshine, Stephen Brotherstone and Dave Lawrence on The Lone Ranger by Quantum Jump, Garreth F. Hirons on The Ghosts Of Oxford Street, Vikki Gregorich and Jeff Lewis on The Secret Cabaret, Emma Burnell on Melody Radio and Paul Cornell on Terry Wogan’s insistence on playing records that resolutely refused to become hits and Tim on Perfect Night In talking about the BBC edits of The Monkees, which you can find here.
You can probably guess what Dear Father Christmas, I Would Like The Following (In 1986) is about, and you can find out exactly what I asked Santa for here.
© Tim Worthington.
Please don’t copy this only with more italics and exclamation marks.