Prince Edward hot and Donny Osmond not – a view from 1981


Fab208This I found in my archives and it made me chuckle. A pop annual in 1981 decided to pronounce on who was hot and who was not at the start of the decade.

The Tourists were hot – with Annie Lennox later to forge a career out of that band. Madness, meanwhile, were detaching from the 2Tone bandwagon and had a string of chart hits.

By an unfortunate coincidence, two of the hot people for 1981 were Eddie Kidd and Christopher Reeve who would both end up severely disabled for very different reasons – one from a motorbike stunt going wrong and the other falling from a horse.

Why on earth Prince Edward was thought of as hot is beyond me! But there he is. The sort of Prince William of his day. Seen as an eligible royal catch for somebody. Not my cup of Earl Grey tea!

Not hot were the fading stars of the 1970s – Donny and Marie Osmond, Shaun Cassidy (half brother of David Cassidy, the more successful 70s singer), Leif Garrett (whose decline was even referenced on an episode of Family Guy!) and John Travolta.

Before being rescued by Pulp Fiction, Travolta had some grim cinematic outings after the glory years of Saturday Night Fever and Grease. Child was a dreadful pop group much beloved of Top Of The Pops due to their safeness in the face of punk and Andy Gibb was the youngest of the Bee Gees clan, soon to die young.

The Professionals was obviously felt to be a TV programme past its sell by date in 1981 and so not hot. But in retrospect, I think The Professionals deserved better than that. Your views?

Fab208

Charles and Diana – fairy tale wedding or nightmare?


Charles and DianaThe marriage of Charles and Diana ended up an unhappy affair. But in 1981, the media proclaimed it as the royal fairy tale of the century. However, there were some dissenting voices.

Spare Rib, the Feminist magazine, produced lapel sized badges with “Don’t Do It!” printed on them.  They cost 30p and came in white on a lilac background. This followed on from the highly popular “Stuff the Jubilee” badges in 1977.

The ‘Not the Nine O’Clock News’ team of Rowan Atkinson, Mel Smith, Griff Rhys Jones and Pamela Stephenson (and Chris Langham, talented comedian but convicted of downloading indecent porn on the internet in 2007) produced a souvenir called…. Not The Royal Wedding.   I have a copy but for legal reasons, I’m not going to reproduce that lest the BBC knock at my door.

Their piece of humour included an appeal for a spoof charity called HAR – Help the Aged Royals.  With an image of the Queen Mother, it said:  “Lizzie is eighty one years old and a widow….Although the Social Security provide her with a home help two afternoons a week, her butlers, maids, footmen, chefs, gardners and secretariat all have to be paid out of her meagre £286,000 a year pension.”