Looks Unfamiliar: Stephen O’Brien – The Meaning Of Christmas Is No Boris Gardiner

Christmas In Hollis by Run DMC (A&M, 1987) - listen to Stephen O'Brien and Tim Worthington chatting about it and other forgotten eighties Christmas Singles in Looks Unfamiliar.

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.

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Looks Unfamiliar Christmas Extra: "The Meaning Of Christmas Is No Boris Gardiner" Looks Unfamiliar

Old Fashioned Christmas by Anne Charleston and Ian Smith, as discussed by Tim Worthington and writer Stephen O'Brien on 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

About Stephen

Stephen O’Brien is a drama writer and a keen historian of eighties pop music. You can get his book 80s UK Christmas Singles from Amazon here. Stephen’s Stock Aitken Waterman fan site Kean Canter Mattowski 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.

Further Listening

Stephen 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, which you can find 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.

Stephen also appears in The Best Of Looks Unfamilar alongside Justin Lewis, Mark Thompson, Stephen Brotherstone And Dave Lawrence, Garreth F. Hirons, Vikki Gregorich And Jeff Lewis, Emma Burnell, Paul Cornell and TIm on Perfect Night In talking about the BBC edits of The Monkees, which you can find here.

Looks Unfamiliar - 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.

Looks Unfamiliar is hosted by Podnose. You can help Podnose to continue providing quality podcasts for free by donating to their GoFundMe here.

© Tim Worthington.
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