Top of the Pops – 29 May 2021 – 29/5/2021 – Saturday – BBC Two

The Story of 1984

1984 sees Top of the Pops at the height of its 80s pomp – the year of big hair and big tunes. A BBC ban on Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s Relax in January leads to an embarrassing Frankie-shaped hole on the show when it reaches No 1. One of the sounds of 1984 is Hi-NRG, that goes overground from the gay club scene into the mainstream charts. And 1984 is perhaps the gayest year in pop, with a trail blazed by Bronski Beat, who are out and proud and on Top of the Pops.

1984 sees the rise of the one-man acts such as Nik Kershaw and Howard Jones. And jazz pop’s soaraway star is Sade, who brings a stripped-back soulful vibe to Top of the Pops. Yet 1984 isn’t all about smooth sounds. German singer Nena hits the top spot with 99 Red Balloons – shocking Brits with her hairy armpits. And The Special AKA’s Free Nelson Mandela combines a political message with an irresistible tune.

And the year ends on a landmark moment when many of the stars of the chart-topping Band Aid single appear in the studio as the climax to the Christmas show. It’s a moment that reaffirms Top of the Pops’s place at the heart of British pop culture.

Featuring original interviews with Trevor Horn, members of Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Hazell Dean, Howard Jones, Nik Kershaw, Paul Young, Nigel Planer, Nena, Jerry Dammers and Midge Ure.

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About Top of the Pops

Fast-moving music show mixing classic performances from the Top of the Pops archives with exclusive live performances

This show is broadcast on BBC Two, also known as the British Broadcasting Corporation.

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