Yes Tricia Roberts. I've previously said I knew Tricia from school in Sheffield. If she or anyone who knows her reads this please drop me a line so I could get in touch. Ive heard she isnt around nymore...i hope thats not true
Before continuing to reprise 1984, I'd just like to step back into 1983 for a moment . I'd held back this performance because I thought it merited a more detailed look, as I consider it one of Sandy's best.
The date is the 7th of July 1983 and Freeez are at number 5 in the charts with IOU. The band have already appeared once in the studio and would appear twice more with this song (one of them being on an Xmas edition) . However, this time they have given free reign to a host of performers to interpret their record. We have a juggler, a blonde dancer in a tutu, a somersaulting male dancer and from Morocco, we have the Hassani troupe. Compering it all is the red- jacketed ringmaster - Zoo stalwart Eddie Kemp. But what of Sandy? Well, she is our Golden Girl tonight; our twirling majorette. She looks great in her shiny outfit and shows off her handling skills to a tee.
It's the 16th of February 1984 and Matt Bianco are in the Top of the Pops studio to promote their no. 36 debut single 'Get Out of Your Lazy Bed'. They would appear in the studio again two weeks later and the record would eventually peak at number 15. To add to the presentation of their retro sounding jazz-funk, we have two dancers either side of the band. In those caged sections are old pals Lindsay Neil and Gina Keer. The camera gives a lot more attention to our "blue angel" and that is where my focus lies. Gina proves (if there was any doubt) that she's not just there for decoration, as she gyrates and twist those hips to great effect and gives a thoroughly professional performance.
Onto the glorious summer of 1984 and the TOTP studio is in full party mode. Those Black Lace boys are back in the studio, after visiting two weeks previously. At the time of their first appearance, 'Agadoo' was at number 19 in the charts. Now, they have reached their peak position of number two and would be kept off the top by George Michael's classic song 'Careless Whisper'. A third outing for 'Agadoo' would occur in the 2nd Xmas show of 1984, but this performance - on the 16th of August 1984 is clearly the best one. To suit the tropical nature of the song, we have three giant walking fruits in the studio. Now I know one of them is a banana, but are the other two an apple and a pear? or something more exotic?
We have more fruit adorning the heads of our two Carmen Mirandas - in the shape of Julie and Jenny.
I love the intro from Wrighty, which has Susan and Alex either side of him. As he sarcastically refers to the song as a "gentle, heart-warming, lilting love song", Sappy leaps to the Black Lace boys defence with a sympathetic "aaaahhh". Alex looks miffed, as he has to come to terms with having to do the dance for a second time. Once the record gets underway, he soon gets into the swing of things; as does Susan, who energetically shows off her moves to the camera near the end.
Unfortunately, I cannot see a BBC4 version of this on YT. If someone could upload it to YouTube (including the full Steve Wright intro), that would be great.
The Miami Sound Machine had been releasing singles and albums in the U.S. since 1977, but with little success. 'Dr. Beat' would be a big success throughout Europe, but would still fail to chart in America. It wasn't until the following year (1985), that they would crack the Billboard Hot 100 with 'Conga' and catch up with the rest of the world. As the hits continued, Gloria Estefan would be credited alongside the band, before going solo in 1989. The Miami Sound Machine would continue to back Gloria on her tours for a long while afterwards.
Here they are making their debut in the TOTP studio on the 23rd of August 1984. 'Dr. Beat' is currently placed at no.16 in the charts and would go on to peak at no. 6. An excellent dance mash-up called 'Dr. Pressure' by Mylo vs Miami Sound Machine, would reach no.3 in the UK charts in 2005.
The band have come suitably dressed as surgeons and have brought in an hospital bed for their patient - Gloria, who just can't stop moving to the beat.
Also suitably dressed are four of the regular cheerleaders; Tricia , Gina and Karen Alexander as the three nurses and Alex as the doctor. I shall be crediting all four for this performance, although it is Tricia who is certainly in charge of this ward. As well as her usual twirls, she treats us to some robotic dancing near the end.
Hello Colm and thank you for your reply. The cast lists have him as Andrew "Downs" rather than "Downes". I'll put the former, unless you know differently.
I also want to create a small section and give recognition to two other cheerleaders. Are we in agreement that Karen Alexander is one of the 'Dr. Beat' nurses, as I've indicated above. Here's another picture of her with Gary Davies and Mark Rowan.
The lady in yellow (pictured with Andy Peebles and Sally Stairs), I believe is Charlotte Barker. Would you be able to confirm this? (as well as Karen), because I cannot find any information on them doing anything outside of TOTP.