When Jocky Wilson went from double tops to Top of the Pops
Fifedartslegend’s appearance was a deliberate joke
It was the moment Fife’s world darts champion took his place in pop folklore.
The gap-toothed Kirkcaldy-born darts legend’s smile was seen by millions of music fans on the world’s longest running weekly music show.
On September 30 1982 Dexy’s Midnight Runners appeared on Top of the Pops to perform Jackie Wilson Said, a tribute to the soul legend written by Van Morrison.
Appearing on the screen behind them, however, was a giant picture of Jocky Wilson, a deliberate joke as requested by the band.
The performance 35 years ago has subsequently achieved cult status and is still fondly remembered today as one of TV’s more surreal moments.
Wilson was the reigning darts world champion while Dexy’s were enjoying great success and performing the follow up to Come On Eileen.
Lead singer Kevin Rowland recalled: “For a laugh, we told the producer to put a picture of Jocky Wilson up behind us.
“He said ‘but Kevin, people will think we made a mistake.’ I told him only an idiot would think that.”
The story of the “embarrassing mix-up” became part of the TOTP narrative to the extent that, when Jocky Wilson died in 2012, the incident featured prominently in his obituaries.
Dexy’s guitarist Billy Adams added: “We were perceived as such a serious band few people expected us to have a sense of humour. People would rather believe it was a mistake than think we might be having a laugh.”
A short, tubby man with very few teeth and a passion for lager, Jocky Wilson was one of Scotland’s most unlikely sporting successes.
The two-time world champion made his final televised appearance at the PDC’s World Matchplay event, before finally retiring from the sport in 1996.
Legendary darts commentator Sid Waddell once said of Wilson: “He’s going like the Loch Ness Monster with a following wind!”
The now-famous “mistake”, when Jackie Wilson became Jocky Wilson on Top of the Pops.