Sunday, 13 December 2015

Sex, death and Top of the Pops

Blimey, it's hard work finding out ANYTHING about the Claire McAlpine case. Thanks to Bandini and Misa, I've found a very interesting FACT, and that is, that for some reason or another, the press were revisiting the case in NOVEMBER 2011. 
What ? Could it be that the Mail had got wind of Meirion Jones's little scheme around the time that MWT got involved ?

Now, I could be wrong here, but have a look at these photos. More specifically, have a look at the date they were 'uploaded' onto the Daily Mail pictures site
 Here's another 
 WHY the sudden interest with dancers who appeared on Top of the Pops ? Here's a link to the page courtesy of Bandini, see for yourself

Another photo agency, Rex features, features photos of other girl dancers who appeared with Samantha/Claire/McAlpine. I do not know WHEN this was uploaded but I'm assuming it's around the same time ?
 You can see that these photos come from the rehearsal or 'warm up' stage of the show
Tony Blackburn presented Top of the Pops that week
Now, I had set out to tell you more about these girl dancers. After all, the press appear to have an interest in them, even supplying their names etc.

How on earth do they know this ? Better still, why is Jimmy Savile in a photo said to have been taken on 4th February 1971, when he wasn't even there that day ? The next photo caption will explain a few things. It's Claire and it's tagged 8th April 1971. Now at first I thought, stupid buggers, the poor lass died on 29th March 1971, then I concluded that the date refers to the DATE OF HER INQUEST in other words, the date it may have been used in a newspaper report at the time !

All very interesting isn't ? But, I'm going to leave the photos for now because guys and gals I have, just this morning found a corker of an article about the case. Goodness gracious, this is actually advertised online but I'm not telling you where, sorry ! It's obviously published in April/May 1971 and it's obviously from an American magazine or newspaper. God Bless America !

"She would have done the same thing if there had been no Top of the Pops" Goodness Gracious something that would now be called 'victim blaming' !

The next few paragraphs are .. well, make your own mind up. Certainly explains a few things ! 

Finally it pays off 

The writer is Robert Greenfield a music journalist and writer. Google his name, he's no hack guys and gals, this guy knows the business. 

So, howz about that then ?  

Next Time, Payola the real 'scandal' that was NOTHING to do with Top of the Pops but is certainly an interesting tale that resonates with recent events very very well, as it happens !


  1. That'll be the show recorded 21st April '71 then - tx'd 22-4-71. So near yet so far - the show from the week after survives in the archive.

    Incidentally, about death & TOTP, how's about this list of the conveniently deceased from the past 10 years who may well have had something to say about their legacy being defamed:
    Johnnie Stewart (producer 64-73, 76) 2005
    Alan 'Fluff' Freeman (Host 64-69) 2006
    Bill Cotton jr (Head of BBC LE 70-77, worked there 56-88) 2008
    Simon Dee (host 66-67) 2009
    Flick Colby (Dancer/Choreographer 68-84) 2011
    Robin Nash (producer 73-80) 2011
    Cecil Korer (Floor Manager 64-68) 2011
    Jimmy Savile (Host 64-84) 2011
    Michael Hurll (producer 80-87, 91) 2012
    David Jacobs (host 64-66) 2013
    Harry Goodwin (photographer 64-73) 2013

    1. Indeed, especially the aged Harry Goodwin who had to fight off the press just before he died ! Thanks Chris

  2. Regarding the sudden interest in 2011, and just in case you missed it Rabbitaway, I mentioned over at Moor's that the blog mentioning Claire's death, and which was contacted by Sunday Times (the day after a Mail article) had apparently made a 'Leeds connection' as far back as May 2012:

    Crystal ball head-scratcher...

    I'm still puzzled by this!

    P.S. Harry Goodwin's photo archive was auctioned just a couple of months ago, proceeds to charity. I had a peek in the catalogue but didn't find anything relevant, but interesting nonetheless:
    Goodwin's goodies

    1. Something appearing in May 2012 would make sense because the media had already reported, albeit cautiously, the existence of allegations. But November 2011 ? that seems a tad early for the Mail to be sniffing around ??

    2. Aha! Being overseas has its advantages, then - I missed all the build-up. The Guardian states that:

      2011: the scandal breaks
      29 October: Jimmy Savile dies.
      Early November: A Newsnight investigation into Savile begins. Reporter Liz Mackean and researcher Hannah Livingston make contact with former Duncroft pupils.

      What a brave choice they made there, eh?!?

    3. That "crystal ball head-scratcher" moment is deceiving. The article was first written in May but I think that Leeds addition was the "update" on October 7th. Would come under the heading of "joining the dots" after the event I would have thought. When I looked into Samantha originally she was said to be getting more "regular" work in local theatre shows, but I can imagine she might have been trying her hand at any TV openings she could too, so a trip up to Leeds might have made sense as she'd face far less competition for camera attention than she would in Lonfon-based studios. She was probably just trying to become a pro-dancer more than anything else but obviously her adoptive parents didnlt agree with her ambitions.

    4. 'Bout time you showed up, Moor. I hope you're suitably refreshed...

      I think Bandini's right about that being in the May edition. The October update was a separate post. Which is not to say that the original post couldn't have been changed...but it appears that it was there in the first place, even if we're reading something else into it now.

      Either way, it's interesting that this group of pictures seems to have been uploaded so early.

      With all the girls discussed in this sequence of posts, I had a hunch (really only a hunch) that you might see some connection to, say, Val and Angie. I don't know quite why, but this whole thing of people who seem to be telling other people's stories, but all seem to be tied together...I just thought there might be an outside chance you might recognise someone.

    5. That site seems to have quite an interest in all things gay, but the twitter feed stops in May 2012.

      There's always a gay subtext in this paedo-conspiracy larkin'. Mark my words.

  3. That article's a great find, Rabbit!

    And, apropos of nothing, I see Thursday 4 Feb 1971 was the day Rolls Royce went bankrupt and was nationalised.

    1. Thanks Misa, and I have another. Next time, what one American made of the payola thing in 1973. His name PAUL GAMBACCINI !!!