Andy J's Guide to Thomas Dolby

ITV Night Network's Video View


"Some of it's here, in pictures"

Night Network logo Video View logo


Back in 1987-1989 ITV (the UK's first commercial channel) cheaply filled the late hours with TV branded as Night Network, originating from London Weekend Television. One of the segments was called "Video View" - the novelty was that the presenter and guests watched new pop videos on a telly with three big red knobs on it's top. When anyone had had enough, they walked over and pressed their knob - with an accompanying fruity (almost farty) noise. Once all three knobs were hit the video stopped and a discussion ensued.

the set

Carl McCoy Presenter
Carl McCoy, Mick Brown, and...
Thomas Dolby title

One particular night in April 1988 one of the guests was none other than our beloved Thomas Dolby, and Carl McCoy from the Fields of the Nephalim sat on the left. The presenter was Mick Brown (currently presenter on Capital Gold) - one time member of Pat and Mick. On this page I list the videos they watched and commented on...

listening to Carl

1) "Born Again" - the Christians

(video features a bulldozer)

Hitting the knob

Carl : Not his cup of tea...
TD : "Well I really liked the bulldozer, I've always had a bit of a fetish for bulldozers. Personally I would rather have seen more of the bulldozer, and less of the group."
".... that bulldozer was really happening."

TD laughs

2) "Give me More" - the WonderStuff

Carl : "Quite good"
TD : A bit irritating when videos cut around so fast, it gives him a bit of a migraine!
"... but getting back to bulldozers for a moment... (all laugh).. there's a guy called Kristos (sp?), who builds curtains accross valleys and things - I'm just reminded of this. He's got a huge ranch in, I think it's Arizona, and when he gets bored with his view outside his window, he goes out with a bulldozer and re-arranges it" "He's definitely got class"

5 10

3) "There's always something there to remind me" - the Housemartins

(Video featured school scenes)
TD : "I had a horrible time at school ... I hated school"
Carl : "Very boring" - "didn't do nothing (for me)"
TD : "I like their records a lot actually but I didn't like this one very much"

3 Hmmm!

After a break, there are some Tina Turner goodies to give away. Mick holds up a "Rio '88" t-shirt to the camera, Thomas sniffs it!


4) "Mohamed's House" - Sheik Fawaz

(TD last to hit the knob)
TD : actually not too keen - video was just a sequence of random images because you wouldn't make the video of the palid guy sitting in a studio.
Carl : not impressed

Hit the knob! 1

5) "Sinbin" - Head

TD : "Silly video, but without the humour"
Carl : not impressed, too bright
Mick wonders if it's anything to do with BBC Radio 1's sin bin (if a DJ plays something on air that hasn't been approved, it gets blacklisted) - Thomas agrees that he can't afford to be rude about Radio 1 - "if you want this country to hear your records you need Radio 1 because they have a monopoly over it. Hopefully that will change in the next few years when we get some competition in there. You can't really criticise Radio 1 in a way because there is no competition, so there's no pressure on them to change their archaic ways. So we have to put up with them."

11 looking right

6) "The men responsible" - The Company She Keeps

(TD last to hit the knob)
TD : "I liked the pig" "I've a feeling one of them wrote a thesis about Prefab Sprout - so out of respect for that I thought I'd leave the video on a bit longer"
Thomas commented how cheaper videos are often more inventive because you're forced to use your imagination more.
Carl : "like the family in their room"

12 14

7) "Don't look any further" - The Kane Gang

"Tommy Boy" : "Unadventurous" - "It's getting a lot harder these days to do anything original, so I don't blame anybody who doesn't come up with anything" - "It's a field that has been explored a great deal"
Carl : "I don't like discos and that reminded me of a disco"

2 4

8) "When will you make my telephone ring" - Deacon Blue

Carl : "A bit smooth" - "terrible, boring"
TD : "It looked kind if old fashioned, like the dreaded Duran Duran days... I think that guy's quite a good singer but it looked like he was trying to suppress a fart"

14 6

...and that was deemed a good place to finish the show... later on Night Network we were treated to such class acts as the Partridge Family :-)

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