The YouTube Files – The Very Hot Gossip Show.

The Very Hot Gossip Show (Channel 4, 1982)

When Channel 4 launched in 1982, this was designed to offer an alternative, a new opportunity for things to be shown that were more bizarre and experimental, not the kind of things that would really get on ITV. This was a show from the first month of Channel 4 that did cause something of a stir. I found this on YouTube, and this is the story.

Hot Gossip were founded by choreographer Arlene Phillips (who recently appeared on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!) in the mid-70s. They were a group of young women and men who wanted to offer an alternative to the dance troupes that were still on Top Of The Pops at the time, although the line-up changed constantly, and they went on to release several singles.

They first found fame in 1978 when they collaborated with Sarah Brightman for the Top Ten hit single “I Lost My Heart To A Starship Trooper”. They then regularly appeared on The Kenny Everett Video Show, performing their routines to the biggest hits around, and even Cuddly Ken thought that they were rather naughty! Well they were no Shock but they were still rather good.

In 1981, they released the album “Geisha Boys And Temple Girls”. And then, they went on to appear in a one-off special. The reason I was interested in seeing this was because after I had seen them on other shows, I noticed that there were a lot of women with big strange-coloured hairstyles. Did everyone in 1982 walk around looking like this? Well maybe not.

In The Very Hot Gossip Show, they did their thing on stage, but not in that way! They performed more routines, and sang various hits, including “I Feel Love” by Donna Summer, and “The Model” by Kraftwerk, accompanied by some impressive for the time visual effects. This was all greeted by much applause, although there didn’t seem to be an audience actually present.

Well I have seen little else like it, no wonder the viewers’ pulses were reported to quicken. It was also said that this made the similar The Hot Shoe Show on BBC1 seem tame by comparison. Is this really what they were going to fill Channel 4’s time with? Let’s hope so. Hot Gossip continued to dance until 1986, by which point I imagine they were all rather tired and needed a lie down.


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