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Video: Frankie does go to Shepherds Bush

Following the lead of Radio 1 controller Derek Chinnery, BBC TVs Top Of The Pops have entered the Frankie controversy by refusing to feature the No.1 hit ‘Relax on last weeks show.

The Beeb shouldered ranks, claiming that “the lyrics are sexually explicit and not suitable for family viewing”—a more longwinded way of saying, as DJ Mike Read did, that ‘Relax was “overtly obscene”.

All this doesnt alter the fact that ‘Relax had already been featured on Top Of The Pops three weeks previously, without complaint. And Radio 1 played the single at least eighty times before the ban!

Now Frankie become the first No.1 hitmakers since The Sex Pistols to be banned by TOTP.

We spoke to a bemused but happy Holly at the offices of ZTT.

“Im in a daze, can you understand? Oh, its gorgeous! The ban is quite strange, because without the supposed sex act described on the record Top Of The Popswouldnt have an audience.

TOTP producer Michael Hurll seemed to like it first time round. Now he wont, or cant, have us on. Its rather sad.”

Before the furore, Frankie had taken out an insurance policy of sorts by remaking the ‘Relax video, substituting the mildly titillating Roman orgy scenario of the first version with something more wholesome and bland. Well, Holly?

“We didnt want to re-do it, although there are some gorgeous lasers in the new video.

“Really though it is a mediocre bog standard rock promo. It proves the point that when youre given a creative hand you make something better than when youre repressed.”

The new video was shot in a warehouse with no plot to speak of. The original video is still being shown by the Irish TV station RTE in their equivalent of Saturday Superstorecalled, appropriately, Anything Goes. Holly reckons that Americas video cable channel MTV will use the old video, “although theyre putting censored stickers on to make it seem obscene. It wasnt at all. Its more Frankie Howerd Up Pompeii than Caligula and the Last Days of Sodom.”

We left Holly “in a dreadful mess. Ooh, Ive just spilt coffee everywhere”.

A sneak glance at ZTTs sales sheets revealed that ‘Relax is about to go Gold, with sales of 500,000. 1984 has only just begun. Sit tight.