Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Where are the Mini Pops now?

I WATCHED a very scary programme on Channel 4 last night ‘What ever happened to the Mini Pops?’. Do any of you remember that awful programme?

Mini Pops

I was about 10 years old when it was aired and I remember the albums plugged all the time and to a 10-year-old I admit it looked like mighty craic.

However so was Belfast (what we called knock the doors and run away game, ring bell, run fast), doing the backs (where you ran, jumped, climbed and scaled along the backs of everyone on the streets house until you reached the bottom or were caught whichever came first) and kissy-catch, though I still like kissy-catch.

What kid wouldn’t enjoy dressing up and pretending to be a pop star which was the essence of the programme. However it went wildly askew.

The girls were dressed up to look like little mini-women and the words I would use now to describe it include sinister, frightening and disturbing.

Describing the children as little women isn’t actually even going far enough, they couldn’t have been tarted up anymore. But I don’t feel comfortable using the words that spring to mind for children.

However this didn’t stop the viewing public using such words to absolutely lambaste the show that amazingly ran for more than one season. Jaysus the paedophiles must have thought all their birthdays came at once.

The programme researched where the children are now and how they feel about taking part in the programme. None of them had anything bad to say and were bizarrely confused about the reaction they got.

MiniPops reunion
Watching themselves

One, Joanna Fisher, was just mad. I mean Charlie Manson crazy eyes ‘I’ll be back’ mad. She actually said she would be back, from what the abyss of what appears to be crazy plastic surgery (though I could be wrong, but those cheekbones looked like they could have a show of their own).

We saw her sing Karaoke and then were subjected to her singing along with her child-self singing Sheena Easton’s ‘My baby takes the morning train’. Feckin frightening.

Singing Along
Catch yerself on!

Sheena Easton

To see a child, tarted up, looking into the camera singing ‘slowly we make love’. WHAT!

And this was broadcast and even today these people think this was okay.

Though it is quite sad that Joanna had all this fame(!) and popstar-ish status before the age of 10 and it appeared that she is waiting for it to happen.

But she’s not the cutie pie blonde child that she was, so its just not cute anymore.

It was frightening to see her sing along with herself with no reaction to how sexualised it was, and it was.


She hit one of the high notes only for one of the others to remind her that it was actually herself who provided the high note. I laughed heartily.

At one point in another song a little girl wearing a very short skirt is trying to jump up onto a countertop and still the choreographer tried to claim that there was nothing sinister in it.

Even worse was the head of programming who while watching it back now was saying there was nothing wrong.

Toyah Wilcox who was also shown the clips was horrified.

Toyah's reaction
a normal reaction

Apparently the Mini Pops did well touring Canada where there was no such talk of kiddie porn.

The mind boggles. So back to my question, where are the Mini Pops now? Not far enough away from me.

After that programme there was a top ten singles of the year in 1981 with the lovely Suggs, doesn’t he look as great as he always did?


Technorati Tags:


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Doris said...

On the technical side how do you do it.... do you take photos of the TV when something controversial like this is on?

I too saw the prog.... and thought it was the only way to reshow it by criticising the whole thing.

It was fascinating to see that the adult children really didn't see the implications of the other side of it all. Scary. And I too wondered about Joanne... and what was going on with her face. I hope she is alright.

To have that sort of exposure as a kid and then not to have it materialise into much more must be quite crushing or a lot to deal with. As obviously the one who died might have felt.

I didn't watch the programme when it first came out as I was a bit older and found it distasteful even then.

Emma in Canada said...

Any memories I have of a mini pops program are hazy at best, in fact I don't remember one at all, though I must have watched something because I certainly remember my album with that Sheena Easton song. And I loved that album. I don't recall them touring Canada either, but I remember listening to them with my cousin on my Mickey Mouse record player. Ach, those were the days.
But what was with the TV they gave them to watch themselves on? You'd think they would have provided a big screen and if they couldn't spare that expense, they should have at least been able to put the TV on a table instead of a stool. And yes, I think it is all slightly sad and if they weren't talking about kiddie porn in the early 1980s in Canada, I'm sure they would today. You can't escape it in the news these days.
Sorry about the babblerama. Not even sure if this makes sense, too tired to check.

Red Mum said...

Doris, I nearly always have my camera to hand, I carry it in my bag all the time, its one of the benefits of digital. So I was watching the programme in bewildered awe and knew that I would write about it so I started snapping the screen. Thats why some of the pics have a dark band on them.

I don't plan to watch a programme to take pics its more how interested I am while watching it. And I do like to illustrate posts when I can, preferably with my own stuff. In cases like this I'll use TV screen captures to do it.

I was also flummoxed that the participants didnt see anything wrong with it at all. There was one who seemed quite sensible but was still defending it. Bizarre stuff but maybe she felt compelled to defend something having put so much time into it, particularly after the publicity they got.

And yeh Emma something like this wouldnt be broadcast or you would hope. Although the American little miss beauty pageants are more than a little scary, though I suppose it is some of the mothers who are the most scary.

Anonymous said...

I stumbled upon this 2 year old post - in trying to find some 'mini pops' to download! It came up in conversation at the office today - and I couldn't resist. I would have been about 7/8 in their heyday - and let me tell you - I thought they were the coolest and luckiest kids alive!

But I also thought that about anyone who had 2 cabbage patch dolls ;)

It's really interesting to see this other perspective - that I had no understanding of then.

Now I want to find them more - particularly videos - to see what I see in them now!