Remembering The Kenny Everett Video Show

Remembering The Kenny Everett Video Show

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Kenny Everett and Hot Gossip (Photo by PA Images via Getty Images)

It wouldn’t get made these days. Not with those NAUGHTY BITS. And it certainly wouldn’t be screened here by the ABC at 6pm, just as the kids were sitting down for tea in front of the telly. But ILYOS is very glad it was: 1979 and the first couple of years of the 80s just wouldn’t have been the same without it. Not only was the Kenny Everett Video Show funny and, um, strangely exciting; it was full of music. Paul McCartney & Wings, Rod Stewart (check out Rod and Kenny here), Bryan Ferry, David Essex, Cliff Richard, Queen – loads of big names. But clearest in our memory are Nick Lowe in his Riddler suit singing “So It Goes”, someone called the Steve Gibbons Band who we’ve never heard of before or since doing a rocking little number about a guy who looked like Eddie Cochran that we can still sing in our head (thanks to Channel 2’s endless repeats), and of course this fantastic finale to the 1979 New Year’s Episode that featured members of Thin Lizzy and the Sex Pistols rocking out.

But no, no one watched Kenny Everett just for the music. Kenny was a comic genius and a very naughty boy. He was very well known in the UK before he had his TV show in 1978; he’d been a big deal on pop radio since the mid-60s. He was offered his own TV show when a producer at Thames asked his teenaged son who he’d like to see on television. The Kenny Everett Video Show was primarily a music show at first, but Everett’s comedic interludes became increasingly popular and were soon given greater prominence. The brief, serialised cartoon Captain Kremmen was perhaps most popular with teenage boys, thanks to the Captain’s sidekick Carla. Even if Kenny did her voice himself.

The regular dance group Hot Gossip were also rather popular, although it seems kind of bizarre now that TV shows would have people in to dance to records.

Kenny was also a great interviewer... see him below with Kate Bush and Cliff Richard. 

... and had a particular thing for the Bee Gees.

Then there were Kenny’s characters. Most memorably Sid Snott, a middle-aged leather-clad rocker no doubt partly inspired by Sex Pistol Sid Vicious...

... as well as the perpetually outraged Angry of Mayfair, seen here taking on David Bowie...

 ... and the suave Frenchman Marcel Wave...

.. the preacher Brother Lee Love...

... and finally, chat show regular, the starlet Cupid Stunt, who really did show that it was all done in the best possible taste!

Sadly Kenny passed away in 1995, from complications arising from HIV/AIDS. He was only 50 years old. To finish our brief tribute, let’s hear Roger Taylor of Queen talking about the role Kenny played in breaking “Bohemian Rhapsody” in his radio days, and about the comic brilliance that was The Kenny Everett Video Show.

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