Footage of The Thin White Duke performing on Top Of The Pops in 1973 that was thought to have been lost forever will be aired tonight on BBC 2.
Fans will be able to see the rare four-minute clip of David Bowie singing his UK #2 hit ‘The Jean Genie’ tonight (December 21) at 7:30pm on BBC 2 in a Top Of The Pops Christmas Special.
Mark Cooper, executive producer of Top Of The Pops 2, said to BBC News: “Bowie singing ‘The Jean Genie’ is electric and the kind of piece of archive that not only brings back how brilliant Top Of The Pops could be, but also how a piece of archive can speak to us down the years.”
He added: “I can’t imagine what other piece of TOTP from the early ’70s would be as extraordinary a find.”
It was thought that every copy of the performance had been destroyed, but John Henshall, a retired TV cameraman who worked on the show, came forward with this rare clip that he had made for himself.
Mr Henshall said that he was unaware until just recently that the BBC had not kept a copy: “I just couldn’t believe that I was the only one with it. I just thought you wouldn’t be mad enough to wipe a tape like that.”
The clip emerged earlier this month when it was screened at the Missing Believed Wiped event at London’s British Film Institute and have not been broadcast on television since January 4 1973.
Other rare footage being screened in tonight’s 90-minute show include songs from the likes of Wham!, Pet Shop Boys and Slade.
To end, a timeline from 1972 to 1979…
And a video:
Starman – Top Of The Pops (1972)