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Coming up, three celebs become 12 again.
I faked the fact that I had got flu.
I was the only vegetarian in the world that didn't like vegetables.
Yeah...I know that band.
And we catch up with R&B megastar Usher.
I sang all the time. The girls liked it.
Want to find out more? Well...
Have you ever wondered what it would have been like to be best mates
with your favourite celebs when they were your age?
What did they get up to? What were their favourite songs?
And what TV shows did they watch?
Because despite the glamorous lifestyles they now lead,
once they were a kid with a dream, just like you.
This show lets you look back in time with your favourite celebs,
as they become 12 again.
Oh, Roy! Tell me you'll save me life.
He's one of Coronation Street's most loved actors.
Ever since I've been hot potting over there, we've been plagued
by kitchen malfunctions.
But back in 1987, Antony Cotton
was acting up in a different manner altogether.
12 was kind of the peak of my naughty career.
My childhood was spent trying to wind my parents up,
particularly my mum.
That's not a good thing, but that's basically how I was.
She's a Winter Olympic gold medallist who likes nothing more
than to throw herself face first down an icy slope.
But back in 1994, Amy Williams was tied up in family life.
We would just all play together.
My brother would be tying me up on the rope swing
at the top of the garden
and go off for dinner, and I was still hanging there, in mid-air.
But it was always OK. It was a happy family life.
Hello, good evening, and welcome to Top Of The Pops.
He's the smooth-talking DJ who for years was a regular on TOTP
and was the first ever voice on Radio 1.
Welcome once again to the fun-filled frivolous frolicking world of fun.
And he's never far from our screens today.
You've been a very, very naughty boy.
In fact, back in 1955,
Tony Blackburn was already on the Do It Yourself
road to DJ superstardom.
I had a microphone and I put the speaker in the hall.
I only had my mum and dad listening, and sometimes my sister.
That was the way I started DJing, to an audience of two.
Luckily, I have a slightly bigger audience now.
It may all be gold medals and red carpets today,
but that wasn't always like that.
So let's go back and find out what they were all like
when they were kids and meet their 12-year-old selves.
I was quite quiet, shy.
I was always in trouble, and I always had a big mouth.
I was pretty well behaved and always have been.
It's really boring, that, but it's true.
I wasn't really into fashion or anything.
I was quite a country girl at heart,
so I had quite straight hair, mousey brown,
pretty similar to now.
I would just be in leggings and a baggy T-shirt,
what we always used to wear back then.
I remember buying a pair of tartan trousers,
and I've got a photograph of me in these tartan padded trousers.
I just thought they were the bee's knees.
I wasn't that fat, I was just an average sort of kid.
I had sort of black hair... Blacker than it is now, obviously.
I don't think I was bad-looking, not terrific-looking.
There was nothing particularly outstanding, I don't think.
So we now know what our three celebs looked like,
but what were they up to?
When I was 12, I was really into all my animals.
Half of me was like, "I want to be a vet."
The other half was, "I definitely want to be good at my sport.
"I want to go to the Olympics."
But when Amy was at school, sport wasn't the cool thing.
Back then, it wasn't as cool to be into your sport. It was quite hard.
Being a sporty girl...
There weren't that many people who were interested in sports day.
Even in races, I would purposely slow down a bit,
cos I knew I was quite far ahead.
I remember almost being a bit embarrassed.
It was quite strange, I guess, thinking back on it now.
I went to a public school called Midfield School in Somerset,
and it's a sporting school.
I remember going there and the headmaster saying,
"I understand you're a fast bowler."
And he said, "Imagine that I'm the stumps.
He marked out a cricket pitch and I bowled this ball down,
and hit him really quite badly on the leg
And he said, "That was fast", and he gave me a scholarship.
Nobody believes the way that happened, but it did.
I went to an amazing place called Oldham Theatre Workshop,
which was out of school.
You weren't there for a hobby,
you were there because you wanted to be in showbusiness.
It didn't matter where you came from, who your parents were,
what kind of a house you lived in.
None of that mattered. None of us were interested in any of that.
Everybody was equal, we were all the same, we were all pals and friends.
Beautiful way to live, really.
Whilst it was all peace,
love and group hugs for Antony in the early '80s,
back in 1955, things weren't quite as harmonious at school for Tony.
When I was at school, when I was 12, it was compulsory to box.
I didn't think anything of it. Now, you'd think,
"There's a lesson where you're actually hitting the people
"you go to school with."
Back in the 1950s kids used to box regularly in clubs and schools.
(VOICEOVER) Meet six-year-old Billy May,
making up in enthusiasm what he lacks in boxing finesse.
I would it would be wise if you kept on Billy May's
best side at school.
In some schools it wasn't an option. You were forced to don gloves
and enter the ring with your fellow classmates.
(VOICEOVER) In boys' boxing clubs,
many parents are adamant that the sport is a good thing,
What sort of damage do you get?
Muscles...and I've got one black eye.
You've had black eyes?
I found it really started hurting.
There were people there who could box far better than me.
I remember, I was in for this boxing match
and I faked the fact that I'd got flu.
I remember getting off doing that, and I gave it up eventually,
cos it was just too hard.
Obviously lying to your teacher is bad,
unless you're trying to avoid getting smacked in the face!
In 1987, when he was 12, Antony was taking hide and seek
just a little bit too far in my opinion.
My mum would take us out shopping,
and we'd go on the train and then we'd hide on the train,
but we'd hide so well that the police would be called.
And they'd find us two hours later, and we'd be hidden in a luggage rack
behind suitcases, with my mum literally half dead on the floor
When I was that age... I was quite naughty.
Antony, you naughty boy. Your poor mother.
Now we know what our celebs were like at 12,
but the important question is what were they listening to?
Music was never something that I was massively into.
When I got to school, you kind of had to pretend quite a lot.
"Yeah...I know that band."
You know, and just go along with the flow, just to kind of stay cool.
So what was the music that Amy pretended to like?
One of the biggest hits of the year, when I was 12,
was Wet Wet Wet - Love Is All Around.
# I feel it in my fingers
# I feel it in my toes... #
What a tune.
Wet Wet Wet first became famous in the '80s,
but it wasn't until the '90s that they really hit the jackpot
with this song taken from the British film of that year -
Four Weddings And A Funeral, starring Hugh Grant.
It was MASSIVE.
# It's written on the wind... #
I remember everyone talking about it.
It was number one for 15 weeks.
Now, a brand-new number one record.
It's Wet Wet Wet...
And it's seven weeks at the top for this song from Wet Wet Wet.
So it's nine weeks for the Wets.
15 weeks at number one.
It seemed as though the song would be at number one for ever.
There was no let up.
Love Is All Around has become the biggest selling pop record
of the decade in Britain.
For the last 15 weeks, there's been no escape.
It seems everywhere you go you hear the number record
Love Is All Around.
Finally the end came and when it did,
what was the masterpiece that knocked
Wet Wet Wet from pole position?
MUSIC: "Saturday Night" by Whigfield
Now, this is Whigfield who, when not dancing around in a towel,
was out dancing around on a Saturday night.
# Saturday night, I feel the air is getting hot
# Like you baby... #
Yeah, that definitely reminds me of back at school parties.
# Dah dah dah dum dee dee dee dah dah dah dah dah... #
The dance with the twiddly bits
It was always sort of a happy one that you'd have to get up
and dance and do the little routine.
Well, if it makes you happy, Amy, I guess it can't be that bad.
Hang on, it definitely is that bad.
So while Amy was pretending to like the big radio hits of 1994,
in 1955, for Tony, getting to hear new music wasn't so easy.
When I was 12 years old, the only way I could listen to music was
on Radio Luxembourg.
That was the only way I heard up-to-date music.
Back when Tony was 12, there were no British radio stations
playing pop music.
So the kids of the day had to tune their radios to
a station from a tiny European country called Luxembourg.
This is Radio Luxembourg, your station of the stars,
broadcasting on 208 metres medium wave.
Cool Radio Luxembourg was a far cry from what the BBC
was like back then.
Once again, we stop the mighty road of London's traffic,
and from the great crowds we bring you some of the interesting people
who have come by land, sea and air to be in town tonight.
It's not hard to see why people tuned into Radio Luxemburg instead.
Hi, everybody, this is your DJ BA Barry Aldis at the microphone.
It's great to be with you again...
And it had a big influence on Tony.
When I listened to Radio Luxembourg, I thought,
"This is a great way of the future...putting records on."
I loved music and talking in between them.
Right, let's fast forward to the '80s and see what Antony Cotton
was listening to.
I loved Michael Jackson. I loved...
I was obsessed with Michael Jackson.
I remember the very first playing of the Bad video.
I just remember being transfixed.
MUSIC: "Bad" by Michael Jackson
When Antony was 12, Michael Jackson was the biggest star on earth.
He was massive!
And everywhere he went, so did mobs of fans.
I love him! I love him!
His mega-selling pop songs, unique style
and amazing dance moves all helped to crown him the king of pop.
But Michael Jackson wasn't the only music that Antony liked.
I also liked The Smiths.
MUSIC: "Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before" by The Smiths
It's fair to say there is a big difference between Michael Jackson
and The Smiths, who were fronted by ultra-serious lead singer Morrissey.
Music should be used in order to make serious statements,
because so many groups sell masses of records
and don't raise people's levels of consciousness.
The Smiths were one of the biggest indie bands in Britain the '80s.
The point of The Smiths was, they told stories that weren't about
getting up and going dancing. And, you know, feeling the beat.
I became obsessed with The Smiths and the Meat Is Murder album.
The message behind Meat Is Murder reflected frontman Morrissey's
# This beautiful creature must die... #
I was vegetarian for a year but, as my mother now tells me,
laughing her head off, I was the only vegetarian in the world
that didn't like vegetables. So I ate very little.
# I would go out tonight, but I haven't got a stitch to wear... #
Being a vegetarian who doesn't like vegetables is a bit of a problem.
So, did Antony manage to keep it up?
Next thing, I was running into a McDonalds in Bury town centre,
and stuffing a cheeseburger into my mouth and phone my mum, saying,
"You'll be really happy when I tell you I've just had a cheeseburger."
My mum said, "Oh, Antony, I am glad."
I'm not sure that Morrissey would be. Cheer up, you're on the telly.
Still to come...
We catch up with none other than R&B megastar Usher
and find out what he was up to when he was 12.
I want my joint to swoop up like a ramp.
And we find out what TV our celebs were glued to when they were 12.
Metal Mickey had ears that lit up.
It always ended on a positive note. It was like, "Yay!"
Oh, you shouldn't be doing that, young man,
But first it's time to find out what news stories had a lasting effect
on young Amy, Tony and Antony.
The big news story was the Channel Tunnel opening.
There were big ceremonies on both sides of the Channel today
to mark the long-awaited official opening of the Channel Tunnel.
In 1994, the long-awaited Channel Tunnel finally opened.
There had been various plans to build a tunnel to France
for about 200 years, so it was an amazing moment.
It's terrific. Absolutely marvellous.
It's a momentous occasion.
I was hoping that I'd be able to see a bit outside, but I can't.
I don't know what she was expecting. It's an underground tunnel!
The Channel Tunnel was obviously a massive, long, ongoing process.
It took over eight years to build.
When it really happened and finally opened, there was all the problems
and the massive money loss.
The cost of the project spiralled and, in the end, nearly doubled
to around a whopping 10 billion pounds.
But maybe that's no surprise - it did after all take
15,000 workers to make it all happen.
But it wasn't just the costs that worried 12-year-old Amy.
I remember thinking, "Hang on. Are we still an island?
"Can we still claim...cos we're actually joined up."
Getting quite, "Oh, not sure if I like this."
Now, I think it's an amazing thing and people can jet off on a train.
Within a few hours, you're in Paris.
Now, around 19 million people
travel through the Tunnel every year.
That's an amazing 52,000 passengers per day.
When Tony was 12 in 1955, one of Britain's best known politicians
was calling it a day.
Winston Churchill, probably the most famous Prime Minister
of all time, who won the Second World War for us, he resigned.
Sir Winston Churchill was 80 when he finally retired in 1955,
having been one of Britain's most important Prime Ministers.
He was famous for his inspiring wartime speeches.
We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds.
We shall fight in the fields, we shall never surrender.
And his trademark was his Victory V hand sign.
Even though Churchill's resignation was a massive event
in Britain at the time, it wasn't something that
particularly caught 12-year-old Tony's imagination.
It's because we didn't have constant news on television
or radio. It's a strange thing to say,
but the newspaper was more important than television.
As I didn't read the newspapers when I was 12,
I was much more interested in football or music,
and going out ice skating, it didn't really make an impact.
In 1988, Antony witnessed the news of one of Britain's worst disasters.
When I was 12, there was the Lockerbie disaster,
which was when a plane was blown up as it was flying over Lockerbie.
Good evening. A Pan American Boeing 747 airliner,
flying from London to New York,
crashed tonight in the Scottish borders.
Police say there have been many casualties.
They don't yet know how many, or if anybody on the plane survived.
On the 21st December, 1988, Pan Am flight 103 was
brought down by a terrorist bomb attack.
In total, 270 people died in the disaster.
It was brought down over British soil and it was something to do with
that far away land that I wasn't aware of up until that point.
It wasn't just a plane that fell out of the sky,
it wasn't just a plane that had had a malfunction,
it was something that had been planned and plotted.
Therefore, there was a sinister side to it.
A terrorist from the North African country of Libya
was held responsible.
It is believed that he wanted to target American passengers
following a dispute between the two countries.
Later, the Libyan government paid six million pounds
to every family who lost loved ones on that day.
Still to come, we ask the all important question -
what would our celebs do if they were 12 again?
This is an amazing time of your life,
you might not think so there and then,
but just enjoy your school, enjoy your friends.
I'd say, "Dear Antony, stop messing around."
I would say, "Grab every opportunity you can in life."
Before that, we've got two minutes to discover what Usher was like
when he was 12.
# If you wanna scream, yeah... #
He's the singer, songwriter, dancer and actor
with so much talent it's almost too much to take.
But what was the platinum-selling artist Usher like when he was 12?
# If you wanna... #
Man, at 12? I sang all time.
I would dance all day, all night - the girls liked it.
I wanted to be an entertainer.
Usher is known today for his super slick looks,
and even back in 1990, things weren't so different.
The one thing that I think made it all tie-in and work together
was your hair. There was a group called Kid 'n' Play at the time.
# We are Kid 'n' Play in total effect
# We get funky... #
And Kid had this...tall, tall high top fade.
Hi, this is Kid, known as the fellow with the high-top fade.
I was like, "I wanna have a high-top fade,
"but I want my joint to swoop up like a ramp."
That was my look.
MUSIC: "Yeah!" by Usher
Hmm. So what was Usher and his high- top fade listening to back then?
That was the first time that I was introduced to a group by the name
of New Edition.
MUSIC: "Candy Girl" by New Edition
Listening to New Edition kind of led me towards some of my goals
because I realised, "Wow! These are kids."
And they were able to do it, so why can't I?
If I could be 12 again,
I really would enjoy spending more time with my cousin Latoya.
I miss those times. She was one of my...best friends.
Aww. Isn't he nice?
Right, let's get back to business and find out what Antony, Amy
and Tony were watching when they were 12.
We just didn't have a TV in my family.
It was just something my parents decided not to have.
The only chance I got to watch TV would be
either going to friends' houses
and hanging out with them, or just at grandparents' houses.
I do remember watching Animal Hospital with Ralf Harris.
Animal Hospital with Rolf Harris was a hugely popular show that
was on BBC One for ten years.
G'day. Welcome to the Harmsworth.
It was presented by Rolf, not Ralf, Harris who would visit
animal hospitals to check up on sick pets.
There was everything from iguanas and rats, to parrots and swans.
And of course cats and dogs.
And sometimes it wasn't for the faint hearted.
That's moving forward.
And you reckon that's broken.
Although, throughout the programme, some of the animals would die,
and it would all be very sad. It always ended on a positive note.
It was like, "Yay!"
As you can see, Sammy's walking quite well, and it's only three weeks
since the operation.
It was just really lovely to watch. Ralf Harris was so great at it.
He really captured your heart, I guess.
Yes, ROLF did! Just look at the way he cuddles that hedgehog.
When Antony was a kid it was robots, not animals,
that were on his telly.
I loved Metal Mickey, but I had no idea what it was about.
# Ready, steady, are you set
# For Metal Mickey... #
Antony was not alone. Practically everyone who saw it didn't get it.
Basically, Mickey was a robot who lived in a house with
the Wilberforce family - don't ask why -
and his number one fan - their gran.
He can't help being a twit.
ROBOT: Thank you for nothing...
The bond between Gran and Mickey was
so strong they even had pet names for each other.
Don't ask why.
-ROBOT: Hello, my little princess.
Metal Mickey had ears that lit up.
As well as flashing ears, he had magic powers. Don't ask why.
ROBOT: I will get it with my Metal Mickey magic.
But, overall, Mickey was a pretty rubbish robot,
which lead to all sorts of high jinx.
Either way, in the early '80s
Metal Mickey was the highlight of the TV week.
Each Saturday afternoon at 5.15, both kids and adults would tune in
to catch Mickey's latest antics and hear his classic catchphrase.
ROBOT: Boogie, boogie, boogie, boogie
# He's a lot of fun
# He weight a half a tonne... #
Robots were quite big in them days, weren't they?
He weighed half a tonne, that's like a car.
# So look out look out
# Here's Metal Mickey... #
Back in the 1950s for Tony, TV wasn't quite the same
HD experience as you have today.
The television itself was very, very small,
little postage-stamp size,
but you could by a magnifying glass
that actually fastened on to the front of the TV,
and it made it look bigger.
The only problem was,
if you sat at the side you couldn't see the picture properly,
so you had to sit quite well in front of it. So that was that.
By today's standards, these TVs in the '50s were not so good.
But even on a tiny screen, there was one show that Tony still loved.
The show that was really big when I was a youngster
was Dixon Of Dock Green.
You'd have the opening sequence, where there'd be this copper,
the friendly copper, all dressed up, and he'd say, "Evening all".
Ah, good evening, all...
Dixon Of Dock Green was a drama that ran for over 20 years on the BBC.
The main character's a warm-hearted police officer called George Dixon.
And sometimes, when you do get to the bottom of a case,
you get a Dickens of a surprise.
He was the kind of copper everyone want wanted in their neighbourhood
and, as a result, the series was hugely popular.
Thank you very much. I'm sorry you've been troubled.
It wasn't violent or anything like that.
It was, "Oh, you shouldn't be doing that, young man."
Come on. Look, I don't want to get tough with you, soldier,
-but if you make me...
-Don't make trouble here, Doug.
It was all terribly gentlemanly and there was no violence.
Oh, my dear chap. I haven't been near the place.
I hate the neighbourhood.
A really big show. Those of us who had televisions,
we never missed that.
See you next week.
Those were the TV memories of our three celebs,
but what do they remember most about being 12?
If I was to reflect on when I was 12,
I think I was just really lucky. I had a very happy childhood,
very close family.
The best thing about being 12 is knowing you've got the whole
of your life ahead of you. You don't know that at the time.
I suppose that's why, when you're 12, you live with this boundless energy,
where every day is a new day and every day is exciting.
The best thing about being 12 was looking forward to being a teenager,
as all 12-year-olds do.
This is an amazing time of your life.
You might not think so there and then,
but just enjoy your school and just be strong to who you are.
Don't worry about what other people are thinking and, like me,
you might suddenly become amazing at a particular field
that you didn't think you would've.
If I would give any advice to a 12-year-old now,
and a 12-year-old would never take my advice,
cos you never take the advice of parents,
I would say, "Grab every opportunity you can in life."
That's something I have done.
If I could write a letter to my 12-year-old self,
I'd say, "Dear Antony, stop messing around,
stop feeling sorry for yourself.
It'll all be all right. Life's amazing.
So, what've we learnt?
Sometimes just liking a pop star is not enough.
I love him! I love him! I love him!
Never take dance lessons off a Robot.
And if you've been number one for 15 weeks,
watch out for the woman in bath towels.
# Dee-dee-nah-nah-nah! #
Subtitles By Red Bee Media Ltd