“We All Thought We Were Going to Be Noel Edmonds”

Graham Kibble-White interviews Andy Crane

First published December 2005

At 9pm on 22 November, 2005, former Children’s BBC presenter Andy Crane was en route to Salford Quays in Manchester, heading for the studios of Century FM where he would be hosting his evening phone-in show, Love Lines. It was while he was making this journey that he spoke to OTT about his career in children’s television, and where life had taken him since he bade farewell to Edd the Duck.

OTT: How did you end up working for the BBC in the mid 1980s?

ANDY CRANE: I was working at Piccadilly Radio in Manchester and a girl called Debbie Flint was there with me. She’d gone off to do cover for Phillip Schofield on Children’s BBC and when she came back she said, “You’d be good at that”. It was as simple as that. I’d never heard of children’s continuity before, but I rang a chap called Pat Hubbard – then the head of presentation at the BBC, who’s sadly no longer with us – and I sent him a photograph, a CV and a demo tape and he asked me to come and do an audition. I did, and it was rubbish, but then we went to the bar and he said, “Would you like to do three weeks on BBC2?”.

OTT: Were they actively looking for other presenters to work alongside Phillip?

ANDY CRANE: I think they wanted Phillip to either go off and do another series of Take Two, or it was summer holiday relief. I started to do summer mornings on BBC2 and Phil was still on in the afternoons. When he went off to do other shows, I took over his role. But my first job was summer mornings. We did three weeks on BBC2, but I can’t remember the year … 1986?

OTT: That sounds about right. What sort of preparation did you do?

ANDY CRANE: The very first time? Probably not enough, to be honest. You had a producer and you might go over what you want to talk about. The thing I learned was 10 seconds is a very long time. They might just say, “There’s a 10-second break between two shows”, but when you watch that go on a clock – one … two … three … – it’s a long time. You’ve got to prepare more material than perhaps you think you need and then after that … once you’ve got the kids sending stuff in and you’re showing their pictures, then you’re fine, you’re off and running. The material is self-generating. You have the whole of Great Britain to go at and if a 0.0001 percentage point of the population writes in, you get a sack-full. That’s going to help you fill a couple of minutes. So at first you think of subject that people might want to send you letters about, like pictures of things in the shows, you know, fairly standard stuff, and you just hope they write in, which they did in those days. Nobody writes in to anything anymore, do they? Except the Blue Peter competition.

OTT: Was there any direction or guidance laid down from the people in Presentation?

ANDY CRANE: Er, yes and no. I think the complaint was always from the children’s department, who I never worked for. The people who make the programmes and the people who did the bit between them were two separate departments. Children’s were always complaining that you weren’t promoting the shows enough, and did too much stuff. They would rather you talked about their programmes all the time, but Presentation wanted you to do an entertaining job. I watched Phillip and learned, really.

It was in its infancy in those days. You look at it now and it’s a really sophisticated system with loads of staff and multi cameras. Back then it was me and a locked-off camera. If you think about it, when I was doing the afternoons on BBC1, they gave me three and a half minutes on BBC1, an audience of 13 million tuning in for Neighbours, and let me get on with it. It would never happen now, it would just never happen. They would not give you three minutes of network airtime and let you talk about Edd the Duck’s jumpers. There were no rules, then, because it was new.

OTT: Do you remember doing your first live telly?

ANDY CRANE: No, I don’t remember the day or the first link or show I introduced or anything like that. I vaguely remember being on with Phillip and him introducing me as the guy who was going to do summer mornings, and being nervous as hell. But the actual first link I did, I have no recollection of what it was. Why? Are you going to tell me?

OTT: Alas, no, I just wondered if it stuck in the memory. I would have thought going live on TV for the first time would have been a real pant-wetting moment.

ANDY CRANE: I’d done a lot of radio at this point, so being live wasn’t so bad. The thing about television is, you can’t see the millions of people watching. If you stood up in front of an audience of 5000 people you’d piss yourself wouldn’t you? But if you’re in a room on your own with a camera and you make a mess of it, nobody’s there to jeer, or cringe, or not laugh at your jokes. Nobody’s there at all. I remember painful moments of not having enough material to fill the time on one or two occasions. That’s my abiding impression of those first three weeks.

OTT: When you were starting out, Debbie Flint, Simon Potter and Anthea Turner were floating around …

ANDY CRANE: Oh, they came along much later for Children’s BBC. They were around in the business, though. Debbie did the first cover for Phillip and never returned, really. She never came back to Children’s. I did my cover, and then it began to slightly expand. Simon Potter came along, I remember him.

OTT: Simon Parkin too.

ANDY CRANE: As for when they all arrived, I can’t remember to be honest. I know Simon Potter did BFT with us for summer mornings – But First This – and Simon Parkin was part of that. Yeah, Anthea Turner and Siobhan [Mayer] did some also.

OTT: Were there quite a few people in the department competing for the same presenting gig?

ANDY CRANE: You mean, did they all want the afternoon show?

OTT: Yeah.

ANDY CRANE: I had no sense of that. The summer mornings were very much a team effort because there was so much of it – one person couldn’t have done it all. The junctions were 15 minutes long, not 15 seconds. We were going out and making films, doing items and interviewing pop stars. The morning thing was more of a magazine programme than just continuity links.

OTT: When did you get wind of the fact Phillip was leaving the afternoons? And was it always the case you were going to be the next guy in?

ANDY CRANE: When did I get wind? I suppose somebody in the department must have told me, at the same time they said, “Would you like the job?” Again, I don’t have any recollection of that day, particularly.

OTT: I wasn’t sure if it was the case that Phillip was going and everyone was thinking they’d be up for his job.

ANDY CRANE: I think it was sort of understood that I would do it. I’d always covered Phillip if he’d been off, or when he went to do Take Two or any other shows. I was his holiday relief. I think the assumption was always there that I’d do it – but not by me. Producers just talked about it as if that was the inevitable consequence, and that’s what came to pass, really. Phillip left and I was directed to take on the job.

OTT: Was there any discussion about what you were going to do with the afternoons?

ANDY CRANE: I think we were probably aware that Phillip had left with his gopher and everyone expected me to bring in a puppet, which I didn’t for at least a year. Although people only remember Edd the Duck, because it was so phenomenally popular, there was loads of other crap that went on at that point. There were bubble cars, stuffed fruits – loads of things. There was the whole no nail-biting campaign that we did. It’s a bit like being on the radio, you draw on your own life and what your experience of the day is. I was a nail-biter and I tried to stop, so we did a bit of that and loads of kids related to it. Things evolve, they come out of the shows, they come out of what people send you. It was an organic thing, it evolved as people sent in stuff, whereas these days it’s very much, “You will stand here, you will promote this programme, you will talk to this guest, you will introduce Newsround“. We were a bit more relaxed about it than that.

OTT: Were you originating your own material?

ANDY CRANE: Not me personally, but me and Christine, who was the producer, and Dawn and Sylvia and the secretaries in the office – we would all make up stuff, yeah. We’d decide what we were going to do that day and go and get the props and the costumes and all the silliness that was required. It was all a self-contained little unit.

OTT: How planned would an afternoon be?

ANDY CRANE: There would be a skeleton structure. The bulk of the time to fill was at the beginning of the afternoons and the end. We knew where the big audience was, and it was 5.30pm just before Neighbours. So all the best letters, all the best entertainment, all the production value went into the afternoon 5.30pm link. There was quite a bit at the top too, and so I knew what I was going to say, but I didn’t have a script. There was no autocue. It was like radio, you’d say, “Okay, I’ll start and say ‘hello’, then I’ll do this letter, then I’ll say this, and then we’ll cut this slide up and then we should be about 10 seconds to go and I’ll trail a couple of programmes and then introduce the first programme”. It was about that structured, so you knew how much time you had for each link and roughly what you were going to promote, what you were going to do and what letters you were going to use, but in terms of absolute word for word scripting, no, it was spontaneous. If something went wrong or something happened, you had to go with it.

OTT: Were there rehearsals?

ANDY CRANE: No, it wasn’t possible. Where we sat was where the continuity announcer used to sit. The only time we got into the chair was after the announcer had said, “Now on BBC1, Children’s BBC” and then you had a 30 second trail and there’d be a frantic switchover while he got out and we got in, switched the lights and the camera on and then sat there and said, “hello”. It was just a continuity booth where, if at 6pm the continuity announcer forgot to switch the camera off, you’d see him introducing the six o’clock news. So there was no space for rehearsal because the room wasn’t available.

OTT: Was there a post mortem at the end of each afternoon to see what had and hadn’t worked?

ANDY CRANE: Yeah. We’d always go back up to the office and watch the VHS, for our own amusement more than anything else, and to see if it was as funny as we thought it was – and if it worked. You were fairly restricted in the Broom Cupboard, so we had to be creative in a fairly small space. We were phenomenally creative, I like to think.

OTT: It was a really immediate form, wasn’t it? Just a bloke talking to the audience directly.

ANDY CRANE: It was a fantastic original idea. If you think about it, it’s the only section in television where all the programmes appear in one block. Light entertainment is all over the schedule, so is news. So it’s a block, and they said, “Okay, Phillip (or Andy, or whoever), he’s watching the programmes with you, let’s all watch it together and he’ll talk about it with you”. It was a little world which started at 3.50pm, finished at 5.30pm and it was immediate. Interactivity is commonplace these days, but that was interactive telly at its formative time, wasn’t it?

OTT: It was almost like you were messing about on the Beeb, and so were the viewers.

ANDY CRANE: Well, we were. What you saw was what you got. There was no artificiality about it. As I say, there’s not a cat in Hell’s chance they would now let me do a link at the beginning of the day where I spent my time talking to Gardeners’ Direct Line Live – or whatever it was called – which was on before us for a period. We did a live link-up from the Broom Cupboard. It’s not a children’s programme! We had our own tomato plant in the office and every Wednesday at 3.50pm they used to give us advice on growing the bloody thing. It was just me talking to a live programme in Leeds, because we could.

OTT: Did you think you were getting away with a lot?

ANDY CRANE: At the time it seemed perfectly reasonable, because nobody told us it wasn’t fine. Now, it’s looking back on it you go, “Bloody hell! They let me do what I wanted with BBC1!”

OTT: It’s weird, isn’t it?

ANDY CRANE: It’s fucking wild. Pardon my French. The more I think about it, I think they let us get on with it because they didn’t realise the power it had. Now they do, it’s been harnessed and homogenised, the way things are.

OTT: During your time there, it felt as though the Beeb were gradually becoming aware of the importance of Children’s BBC as a brand, with things like Fast Forward magazine starting up. Do you notice them starting to take it more seriously?

ANDY CRANE: Yeah, I think so. I remember, after I left and then we had Andi Peters, there was a conscious effort to introduce a rep of presenters, because when Phillip had gone it was a national catastrophe for a bunch of 10-year-olds. When I left, equally there was that period where, “Oh, he was the singular face of children’s TV but now he’s gone – oh my God, what do we do?” So, when Andi came along there was also Simon and various others. The brand arrived. They realised they could sell magazines, and there were an awful lot of Edd the Ducks and Gordon The Gophers sold. It was very powerful and, yes, I was aware of Fast Forward. I plugged it quite a lot, I talked about it quite a lot and it used to appear after us for a 30-second trail. Whereas normally you’d have a trail for a programme, you’d suddenly got one for a magazine. The rest of the publishing world saw that as an advert, but the BBC didn’t view it that way, obviously.

OTT: In 1988, you were asked to host Top of the Pops

ANDY CRANE: The first man not from Radio One to do it.

OTT: You must have thought things were changing.

ANDY CRANE: That was fantastic. That was equally as exciting as being on Children’s BBC. I’d come from a pop radio disc jockey background … and the whole thing was entirely a result of being in the bar. It was a bit of networking. I was in there for a drink after the show and so was Paul Ciani – again a man who is now no longer with us – who was the producer of Top of the Pops. He was the one who recognised the potential of using me. He said, “You’ve got a very powerful audience of young people, you could bring them to my show. Would you like to come and present it?” It took me about a nanosecond to say yes and off I went. I did my first one with Peter Powell and it was fabulously exciting and not very nerve-wracking. It was just brilliant. The studio felt a lot smaller than it looked on the telly, but you always get there and think, “Oh, I thought it was going to be bigger.”

OTT: You did a few didn’t you?

ANDY CRANE: I think I did about 10 in the end. I did some with Simon Mayo, Mark Goodier and Nicky Campbell and … I can’t remember who else. I’ll have to look back through all my old records. Quite a few people had a go after that. I think Andi Peters might have done one or two, and maybe Simon Parkin, I don’t remember. But I was the first one who was asked. I remember this press release saying, “The first man not from Radio One ever to present Top of the Pops“. And I was like, “That’s quite an achievement.”

OTT: That same year, you were gunged by Fry and Laurie on Comic Relief.

ANDY CRANE: You’ve got a bloody good memory, haven’t you? Or you’ve done your research. I remember it very well. I remember people’s disappointment that the gunge wasn’t gungy enough. Because they built the gunge tank and it was the first year of Comic Relief. We’d been running the votes and I can wholeheartedly tell you, it was genuinely for me. We didn’t fix it or rig it. We got loads of votes for other people, but I was streets ahead of everybody else and I went along, did it and it ended up being covered in an awful lot of foam.

OTT: What about having to fill for seven minutes live on air because of a technical breakdown and reading out the top 20 letter by letter?

ANDY CRANE: I’m not sure where that story came from. I think reading out letter by letter may have been a joke, which has sort of literally been interpreted in the telling. In the old days, when we ran a cartoon it was on film, and the telecine, it just snapped. It’s not like video, it just sheared and rolled off the machine. When things broke down, they’d cut back to you, because that’s what continuity announcers do, they fill. And down by my left-hand side I used to have a box of bits: of letters, and props and crap. Could I tell you what I talked about? Probably not. You do get a bit desperate and start saying, “That’s ‘Dear Andy’, D-E-A-R A-N-D-Y.” You’re looking to your left and the network director is shaking his head going, “No, we haven’t got anything to put on the screen yet”. I have a feeling it was fairly early on during my time on Children’s BBC as well, and I didn’t have a box-load of stuff. By the end I think I could have probably filled all afternoon without any shows, because we had so much Edd the Duck stuff and all that, but initially we were fairly thin on the ground for material. Whether it was genuinely seven minutes, I can’t remember, but it’s gone down in the annals of TV history as that and I’m very happy for it to stay that way.

OTT: It’s funny, because there was only really you standing between the BBC having a service on air, or nothing.

ANDY CRANE: I suppose. I mean, if I really had to resort to it, I could have put a slide up and played some music but I would have just caved in then, wouldn’t I? That would have been an admission of defeat.

OTT: With Phillip Schofield doing Going Live, did you think your career-path within the BBC would lead to a Saturday morning gig?

ANDY CRANE: I was not expecting it. The duration you have in the Broom Cupboard is shorter than the one you have on Saturday telly, because of the amount of exposure you have. You do five days a week in the Broom Cupboard, you do it once a week on Saturday. So, you burn out faster. Phillip was always going to be on Saturday morning television longer than I was in the Broom Cupboard. There was never going to be a vacancy when I came to the end of my tenure because he was still going to be around. He had five years on Saturday mornings, I had two and a half in the afternoons.

OTT: What prompted the move to ITV?

ANDY CRANE: I originally left to do The Travel Show on BBC2. I can’t remember why I decided to, I think I’d just got to the point where we’d done it for so long, we’d done all the jokes, routines and everything we could. I just thought, “Time to move on now, I’ve finished here”. Somebody offered me a job, and I think it was prompted more by that than anything else. With hindsight it was rather foolish. I left a five days a week, 12 months of the year job, for six films on BBC2. But then, as soon as I did, ITV came knocking.

OTT: Was that TVS and Motormouth?

ANDY CRANE: It was indeed TVS. They hadn’t lost the franchise at that point. The man who employed me was actually Nigel Pickard, who now runs ITV1.

OTT: Did you think, “Saturday mornings, I’m ready for that”?

ANDY CRANE: Absolutely. Phillip had done it. It did seem, as you say, the logical progression, although I wasn’t thinking about it at the time. Remember, I’m much older, much wiser and much more cautious now, with a wife and family to feed and clothe. In those days I was young and successful and just thought, “Well, I’ll do this then”. You know, you were a bit brasher about it all and perhaps a bit glib. You’d think, “Well, I’ll get a job”, and I did. I was very lucky. But I look back on it now and I think I was far too casual about the whole thing, I should have planned it more, I should have thought about it, but I didn’t. When they came along, I thought, “Yes, that seems like a sensible thing to do. It’s what other people have done. I’ve enjoyed watching Saturdays with Noel Edmonds, I’ve enjoyed watching them with Phillip, I’ll go and have a go myself”.

OTT: Did you enjoy Motormouth?

ANDY CRANE: Very, very much. I hit it off immediately with my co-presenters. Yeah, Neil [Buchanan] and I got on really well, and likewise with Gaby [Roslin]. They were just a really fun team to work with. It was brilliant doing proper items. These were the days when Saturday telly used to have a seven-minute animal item. It wasn’t just pop stars and throwing shit at each other, not that there’s anything wrong with that, because TISWAS used to do it, and it was a great show. But we did proper item-based telly. So you’d do seven minutes on a leopard, and a bloody big one would come into the studio and you’d sit there with Terry Nutkins. I loved it.

OTT: Did you have an appetite to do chunkier, meatier broadcasting?

ANDY CRANE: I think you’re always looking for new challenges, aren’t you? I thought, “Yeah, this is something different, new and interesting to do which will challenge me as an individual, and who knows where it will go?” We all thought we were going to be Noel Edmonds in those days, and hosting Saturday nights. In the years since, none of us have done that except for Ant and Dec, who are half our age.

OTT: Motormouth actually started to beat the BBC, didn’t it?

ANDY CRANE: Motormouth might have done. You know more than I do. We had some particularly good periods. I think What’s Up Doc? might have done quite well too. I was very proud of it.

OTT: Why did Motormouth finish and What’s Up Doc? start?

ANDY CRANE: The franchise was lost by TVS. The package was then taken on by Scottish Television. They already had a deal in place with Warner Brothers and they came to the production team who had been making Saturday morning telly, which again was Nigel and Vanessa [Hill] and Ged [Allen] – they do Ministry of Mayhem now. They had the expertise, the studios and the experience. In its original conception, What’s Up Doc? was going to be a bit more, you know, straight children’s presenting and cartoons, but it develop into a strange world of peculiar characters, didn’t it? Simon Perry, Pasty the worm and Billy Box. It all got very peculiar, but I tell you what, guests loved it. The pop stars thought it was great because it was so different, odd and surreal. Rather than going on a standard magazine show and talking about the artwork for their new album, they got to do sketches, messed about and took the mick out of themselves.

OTT: Did you enjoy it as much as Motormouth?

ANDY CRANE: It was quite a different show. It was far more structured and there were sketches. We had to rehearse and rehearse and rehearse. They said to the guest either last minute on a Friday night or first thing on a Saturday morning, “Here are your lines, stand here, say this, look at me and hopefully we’ll do it live and it’ll work”. That was a much more structured programme than either Motormouth or the Broom Cupboard, because it was effectively a live sketch show.

OTT: What about Bad Influence? How did that come about?

ANDY CRANE: I was approached by Patrick Titley because he thought I was the sort of bloke who might be interested in that sort of thing [computers] – and he was right. He’d seen me do my items on the telly and he thought I was interesting and capable, and asked if I would like to come and do a programme about computer-games. I was aware that we were riding the crest of the wave with the show at that time. It was just when – what was it? – the Megadrive and the …


ANDY CRANE: … the SNES, were absolutely huge. Bad Influence was the number one Children’s ITV show for at least three series. Every time we were on it was number one that week. It wouldn’t be now. There are so many computer game shows everywhere, but ours was the first of its kind.

OTT: So you were interested enough in computers …

ANDY CRANE: I was interested enough. I was not a massive game-player, and never really made a pretence of that. I didn’t claim to be an expert or an enthusiast. I was employed as a presenter so I was given the information and communicated it. Violet Berlin was hugely into her games, and still is. She was the one who was the expert.

We also did computer-based items. I remember going to Blackpool Pleasure Beach and interviewing the guy who built the Pepsi Max roller coaster. It was all operated by computer, so we showed how they make it work. Really, I was just doing TV items in the same way I had on Motormouth.

OTT: That ended round about 1996, which is also when What’s Up Doc? stopped.

ANDY CRANE: What’s Up Doc? had a final series when it was moved to Scotland, but it wasn’t the same show at all. All the characters disappeared, the whole thing changed.

OTT: So you went up to Glasgow?

ANDY CRANE: Yeah, the programme went up to Glasgow for its demise. I didn’t mind flying up there at the weekend. It was a nice hotel, a lovely studio complex, but the show wasn’t the same. It was me, Pat Sharp, Jenny Powell, and none of the characters. It became a very standard Saturday morning magazine programme.

OTT: What was your next move after that?

ANDY CRANE: That’s a very good question. I think I did a series of live Sunday morning religious programmes with Gloria Hunniford, which included an outside broadcast from the VE Day celebrations, or VJ Day – God knows. I’m not very good on my history. I remember being in Hyde Park with a load of people doing a live OB on a Sunday morning. I think I then went back to Maidstone to work for Nigel again, who by that point was running something called the Family Channel. That then metamorphosed into Challenge TV, which I launched for him. I think it was ahead of its time. We were playing games on the phone, interacting, and offering up prizes. It was doing all right, but not with phenomenally huge audiences because the penetration for satellite and cable wasn’t what it is now. Yeah, that was live telly, three hours a night, 5pm till 8pm, or something.

OTT: You did a game show too.

ANDY CRANE: I did a game show for Challenge, yeah, called Say the Word, which I enjoyed. I was doing lots of other pieces too. I got back into radio and then I was invited by Central television to be a consultant and oversee their pitch for continuity links for CITV, because the channel had put it out to tender. So I wore a suit for a while, wrote pitch documents and coordinated events to woo Nigel and make him give the links back to Central.

OTT: How did you do?

ANDY CRANE: We got it.

OTT: You did a stint on Shop! too.

ANDY CRANE: I did. That wasn’t very long, because they went and closed the bloody channel. I enjoyed that as well. It was another stint of live television where I had to use all the skills I’d gained on Saturday morning. I wasn’t embarrassed by it. It was a channel that was owned by Granada and run by Granada Facilities. It was proper high quality TV, and all the items on it were brand names. I was selling Dyson vacuum cleaners and Sony tellies. It wasn’t fantastic, but I wasn’t flogging “wonder knives” from a warehouse in Milton Keynes.

After that finished I was back on the radio. I’d been doing the Century FM breakfast show and the Jazz FM breakfast show .. and what happened after that? Do we get to Channel M at that point? I can’t remember.

OTT: Don’t you read the news on Channel M?

ANDY CRANE: I do at the moment, yes. I’m now a newsreader. I’ve completely grown-up and I now wear a suit every day at 5pm. I read the bloody news!

OTT: Do you prefer TV or radio, because a lot of the stuff you do nowadays is radio?

ANDY CRANE: I still love the immediacy of the radio. The best telly I’ve done, in terms of its immediacy and spontaneity was the Broom Cupboard. It was the nearest thing to being on the radio you’ll find on TV. That was why I liked it, because it was just you and the camera, live. Radio is like that. With telly, you’ve got to book a crew, get a filming permit, go out, spend a day shooting, get 15 different angles, get it lit, then bring it back, edit it and dub it. By the time it’s gone out, the idea is flat. It does take a long time, sometimes.

OTT: It’s plain your association with children’s TV isn’t something you want to live down.

ANDY CRANE: Live down? God, I’ve been trading on it for the past 15 years. I am, for a generation, what Noel Edmonds was to me. I’m hugely proud of that. I’m privileged to have been such an integral part of the childhood of a good part of the nation. Children’s telly is something you watch, and you feel it’s yours and it’s a club. What’s adult telly? Everyone watches it. There’s nothing gang-y or cliquey about it. If you were watching me, it was also John Leslie, Caron Keating (God bless her), Yvette Fielding and Mark Curry on Blue Peter, and Phillip on Saturday mornings. For a generation, that’s about three years of their life mapped out.

OTT: Is there anything you’re still itching to do now in your career?

ANDY CRANE: I’d like to be the voice of an animated character.

OTT: Really?

ANDY CRANE: It’s the one thing I’ve never done. I’d like to be in a cartoon. But, that’s just because I quite fancy the idea.

It would have been nice to have done a big light entertainment show, but what you realise when you grow-up, watch your career and see what you’re good at and what people ask you to do is that there are certain things you excel it, and certain things you don’t. Ant and Dec are made for their show, absolutely made for it. And, much as I’d love to do it, I couldn’t do the Takeaway like they do. You’ve got to accept that about yourself. I think it would have been great to have made a film, but that’s not going to happen. So I’ve done all I could hope to achieve and do well. The other things I’d love to do, well, I’d probably make a dog’s breakfast of them.

OTT: Finally, do you own a copy of the Tribe of Toffs’ single, John Kettley is a Weatherman?

ANDY CRANE: No. One of my great regrets is their record went down in the charts the week I was going to present Top of the Pops. I would have been able to introduce the Tribe of Toffs with the famous line “Andy Crane has got no brain”, but because they only put things on the show that were going up, they couldn’t come on. I was gutted. It’s a great song, and every word of it is true.