Here is your exclusive, behind the scenes look at how these posts are written (by me):

Step One: Someone (Nick Dastoor) e-mails a link to an amusing news story. In this case, the President of Turkmenistan banning lip-synching.

Step Two: Think of an amusing correlation to this. Namely when Top Of The Pops similarly banned lip-synching in the 1990’s in an equally draconian fashion.

Step Three: Try to remember the name of the producer who brought this in. Google ‘lip-synching Top Of The Pops’. Discover the current policy of lip-synching from a bored looking disembodied head of producer Andi Peters. “The policy is ‘there is no policy’. There are some artists who can not sing live. What would be the point in putting them on television for four minutes where they screech their way through a song and it embarrasses them, it embarrasses me as a producer, it embarrasses you as a viewer.”

Step Four: Click on the history link, which takes you to the TOTP2 website, which is now seemingly without purpose. Notice in the corner a searchable performance database. Put in Carter USM, because that’s what I do whenever I see a searchable band database.

Step Five: Get a list of all their appearances. Unfortunately no video clips. Probably just as well. Notice that five of the eight performances were presented by the up until now forgotten Mark Franklin. I must have watched a lot of Top Of The Pops at this time and yet cannot remember this man. Who is he? Google him.

Step Six: Google little help. All I find out is that Franklin presented from 1994-1996 and bizarrely did a voiceover for the British version of kinky anime stalwart Oh! My Goddess. Also find out that IMDB is a very funny way at looking at a long running magazine television show (Kylie Minogue – 41 appearances).

Step Seven: Remember it was Ric Blaxill after all with my head. Google to check. Find out from this very comprehensive history from Off The Telly that actually it was Blaxill’s predecessor Stanley Appel who was the Turkmenistani president of Top Of The Pops. At this point it seemed pointless to draw a comparison, except that clearly the short lived reign of Appel and the wiping out of Mark Franklin from history seems symptomatic.