On 23 April 1979 Bowie performed new single ‘Boys Keep Swinging’ on ITV’s ‘The Kenny Everett Video Show’.
‘The Kenny Everett Video Show’ was conceived in 1978 when Philip Jones, Thames Television’s head of light entertainment, asked his son who he would like to see on television – he replied “Kenny Everett”. The show’s format was agreed over lunch and a walk between producer David Mallet and Everett himself, having decided that they could not watch on television what they wanted to watch. David Mallet went on to direct many of Bowie’s videos, including ‘Boys Keep Swinging‘, ‘DJ‘, ‘Look Back In Anger‘, ‘Ashes To Ashes‘, ‘Fashion‘, ‘Wild Is The Wind‘, ‘Let’s Dance‘ and ‘China Girl’.
Originally, the Video Show consisted of Everett in the role of a visual DJ linking studio performances from bands, singers, and the show’s resident dance troupe Hot Gossip, along with occasional sketches and Captain Kremmen cartoons. As the series grew in popularity, the linking material became longer and more varied – to such an extent that the final series, renamed The Kenny Everett Video Cassette, focused far more heavily on the comedy with just one musical guest per week.
The Video Show was also noteworthy in that the sketches were performed to the studio crew and technicians with their laughter heard on the finished programme, unlike Everett’s later BBC series, The Kenny Everett Television Show, which used a live audience. Bloopers were often not edited out of sketches.