j programming that recognised the
ways Scotland had changed since
, Duncan Macrae was all the rage.
As the station's current Hogmanay
i producer Sandy Ross admits. the
problem since then has been to inject a little tradition back into the up-dated formula: ‘Back in 86 87. for example. we did a Hogmanay show
with Muriel (iray and .limmy .\lulville from Who Dares Wins. It
was a very good programme but. to be frank. it could have been shown at any time of the year. The New Year content was minimised to the point
i where it wasn't really a llogmanay show at all.'
last year saw the balance being redressed when Dave Anderson of Wildcat welcomed the bells in a hearty but not over-sentimental fashion. 198‘) will be ushered in by Radio ()ne's Nicky Campbell. liy c from the Iron in Iidinburgh
and featuring The Proclaimers.
Stanley Baxter and 'l'he Boys ofthe l.ough.
'At S‘l'\'.' says Sandy ‘we call the llogmanay show the ‘poison chalice’ because you really are in a no-win situation. 'l‘here will be criticism no matter what approach you take. l-unnily enough. mind you. most criticism about the dropping of traditional trappings comes from down South. For a lot of Scottish cs-pats l logmanay is the only time of the year they can get a taste of the homelale
Such an occurcncc is unlikely to be a problem this year. In their wisdom. l.ondon Weekend ‘l‘cleyision and 'I'VS have opted out oftaking the Scottish show altogether. preferring instead to have ( 'illa Black carry them into the new year.
According to their Press office. l.W'l believe that Southerners aren‘t as fussed on all-out revellery as the l’icts and would far prefer to have a lorra lorra laughs with the flame
'- haired Scouscr instead. The fun will
be compounded. rumour has it. by a sneakily pre-recorded. guaranteed hitch-free blast of Big Ben on the
: strokeof midnight.
Over at the BBC. black bun and neeps are still Dish ofthe Day. Whilst Auntie‘s viewers down South face the prospect of'l‘erry Wogan
being their televisual first foot. we up
here will be making do with Bill \lcCue's New Year party.
If tradition tends to be a dirty word in Cowcaddens. the merest mention
executives to break out in cold sweats. memories of their 8485 show still sticking like lumpen parritch. Broadcast live from (ileneagles Hotel. the programme began with 'l’om ()‘Connor in a sable coat and went downhill from there; Comedian John (irieve had to be fed lines from an off-camera prompt.
: guests raised protestant voices
against the jostling technicians and Chic Murray rounded off his
, otherwise spotless career as a dazed
and confused victim of the whole badly organized undertaking.
After such a fiasco. the chances of another live Hogmanay show
' coming from the Beeb seemed as
likely as Jimmy Shand becoming the new James Bond. l.ive broadcasts.
12 The List 23 Dec 1988 - ll Jan 198‘)
however. continue to the present day. this year's show being handled by the lady who produced that fateful (ileneagles offering. Ann Summers.
When asked about the (jleneagles affair. Miss Summers assumed a silence cold enough to leave the sturdiest of sporrans ice-bound. Instead. I asked Head of Programmes .lirn Hunter why the BBC still chose to broadcast live at Hogmanay: ‘Mainly. I think. because it’s the only way to capture the essential atmosphere of the occasion. Certainly pre-recording the show would remove the element ofdoubt but Hogrnanay is all about the party spirit end it would be dishonest I feel to manufacture that
- several weeks before the event.'
(irampian 'l’elevision disagree. l‘heir festive bonanza has always
been recorded in advance primarily.
GOOD TO BE
they claim. because it means they can feature the artists they want. rather than whoever could bear to tear themselves from the hearth-fire at this most domestic time of the year. STV‘s Sandy Ross again: ‘There is a very macho strain which runs through TV companies at Hogmanay which regards anything other than live as totally unthinkable. That said. I think everyone realises that liveness really adds to the ambience of the thing.’ Either way. when you raise a glass on 31 December this year and mistily comtemplate the twelve months that have just faded into nothingness. spare a thought for the lads and lassies in studios up and down the Land. These people have died for you. Come Hogmanay. the chances are that they‘ll be dying even more.
| (Allan Brown)
Rock stars come and go. but Gary Glitter goes on and on. As his annual seasonal show shimmers into Scotland. the leader of the gang rev ‘als himself to Sarah Salway.
From his first question. ‘Are you alright. dcar'." to his tactful description of lidinburgh and (ilasgow as both ‘cqually lovable‘. (‘xary (ilitter lives up to his latest reincarnation as rock‘s equivalent of the cheerful 'old trouper'.
When he leans confidentially close. displaying his dyed -r albeit perfectly coiffcd- roots and heavily false-tanned complesion. he has the look ofsomcone about to touch you for the cost ofa wee dram. but ' (iary's been teetotal for a year. ‘l've become very civilised.‘ he comments. and his dry year has been one of his busiest ever with a national tour. unespected No I hit as the special guest of the lime Lords. a (iranada 'l‘\' film co-starring Roger Daltry and .lulie (ioodyear and advertising campaigns for British Rail. Hein/ Soup and 'l‘DK Cassettes to his credit.
This Christmas live. for the sixth year running. he will be playing in Scotland when he brings ‘(iary (ilitter‘s ( iang Show" to the ’lt‘s become a tradition. like a national carnival.‘ he says. with customary modesty. ‘fiyeryone likes a bit of(}litter for Christmas. and this is the biggest show I've ever done. It‘s going to be phenomenal. with Christmas songs and carols — everything.
"l‘he audience are the show.‘ he explains. ‘it‘s all about participation. After all. Scotland has the greatest singing audience in the world.‘
He should know. At a show at the old (ilasgow Apollo. he launched into one of his raunchiest numbers to find the audience didn't want to play along. For ten minutes. (iary and his band had to sit on the stage and listen
to renditions of. amongst others. Flower of Scotland. ‘lt was really great .' he says gamely.
(iary finds a lot ofthings ‘really great'. Yearsofbouncingback after a series of flop records. bankruptcy and unpopularity - hay e given him a ‘l’ollyanna' attitude to life and a talent for verbal self-llagellation. Every story has a moral or a joke included. often heavy~handed and mostly against himself.
()fcourse the truth is that (iary. like so many flamboyant characters. hides a painful shyness behind his extravagant image. ‘l‘ve never been particularly handsome or talented. so when l was at school I thought that cutting a record would be the way to get the girls.’ he says. Eventually after several years in the wilderness as Paul Raven and attempts to make it as Terry Tinsel and Horace Hydrogen .‘(iary metamorphosed himselfin his glitter image and sold over 18 million hit records including
such golden oldies as ‘l)o You Wanna 'l‘ouch Me (Oh Yeah )'. “I'm The leader ofthe ( lung (1 Am )' and ‘1 Love You Love Me l.ovel'
'l‘he shyness still remains though. and he tells the story of how. when he was leaving l.ondon's Capital Radio. a thirteen year-old girl yelled out ‘(ioodbyc ( iary' in. you know. that kind of voice and he immediately felt himself blushing bright red. 'I felt like a dirtyold man.‘ he says.
‘I used to have a squint when l was young. and my grandmother always used to say "stop squinting. open your eyes". so I developed this w ide-eyed look that‘s become a trademark.‘ he says. Now people shout “( io on. (iary. give us your look.” It's tuniin
With a perpetual weight problem and a birth date rumoured to be considerably earlier than the one of
I‘M-l given in his official biography. (iary(ilitter wasonc of the most unexpected sex sy mbolsot the Sey enties. l' n joy mg his celebrity status to the lull. he found himself in the bankruptcy courts in NW when his Sey entics' success. which included a record chain of eleven 'l‘op lll chart singles. came to an end.
He tried to raise some of the money owed including nearly half a million pounds in back taxes by auctioning off his stage wardrobe. but the (ilasgow audience on Christmas live can still be assured of a spectacular appearance. ‘I thought I might wear some sort ol kilt .' he says. ‘l've got very nice legs. Intact when l was in the Rocky l lorror Show in Attstralia. they were voted the best pair of legs in the show.‘
On the other hand. his costume might hay e a nautical flavour. Now he's back on top. Ciary's big spending ( he was discharged from the bankruptcy courts in 1985 ) seems to have resurfaced and he's been looking at buying a yacht. ‘l'm a keen fisherman] he explains obliquely.
However much you may want to laugh at (iary. it is rather disconcerting to find that he is laughing harder. "l‘he day I take myself too seriously is the day it'll all backfire.'
But his new gang. including students all over the country. and many post-punk musicians. do take him very seriously; (iirlschool. "I‘he UK‘s raunchiest all-girl rock band‘. are playing alongside him in his (lung Show. and at a recent ‘Rock ‘n' Roll spectacular‘ at l.ondon's Hippodrome. one of the teenage pop magazines - who admitted they had only gone to laugh — enthused. ‘He strutted. he strode. he minced and he posed. he teased and enticed but. (iod. what a performer?
Now 'the (iodfatherof(ilam Rock’ is considering writing his autobiography. ‘Maybe it‘s time.‘ he says. "l'hcre's so much you can forget. but I‘ll put in pretty well everything about the industry.
A lot of people will be worried. It‘ll be much juicier than any other book
around. Very. very naughty.” he promises. ‘After all. I may as well disclose it myself. I’m the one who‘s had to live through it all.’