What was ‘Too Hot to Handle’, in 1983?

“Too Hot to Handle” was a benefit concert that took place at the Apollo Victoria theatre in London on the 10th April 1983. It was a charity performance to raise money for the stop Sizewell B inquiry fund.

Assistant producer Jenny Kirtley got in touch with her memories, see updated post – UPDATE

Who took part in the concert?

The line up for the evening was a really good mix of music and comic talents of the early eighties era:

  • UB40
  • Madness
  • Michael Palin
  • Terry Jones
  • Pamela Stevenson
  • Hazel O’Connor
  • Rik Mayall and The Young Ones (Ade and Nigel)
  • Neil Innes
  • Squeeze (Chris Difford, Glen Tilbrook)
  • Heebeegeebees (Angus Deayton, Philip Pope, Michael Fenton-Stevens)
  • Alison Steadman
  • The Darts
  • The Great Suprendo (Geoffrey Durham)
  • John Sessions
  • Tom Conti
  • Jannette Charles

And More!

Photo courtesy of the Andy Hollingworth collection


The concert was filmed and a 60 minute video featuring highlights from the evening was released on VHS in 1983 by Virgin Video Ltd, directed by Stuart Urban.

Kevin Turvey and The Bastard Squad featuring The Young Ones

During the beginning of 1983, Rik, Ade and Nigel were on the road touring and performing their show, Kevin Turvey and The Bastard Squad featuring The Young Ones, at various theatres and universities around the UK. This benefit concert came at the end of that tour and gives us one of the only surviving snippets of what they were performing on that tour. All be it here to what must have been a very different audience. ‘My Generation’, was apparently a song suggested to them by drummer of their house band, Rowland Rivron.

Kevin Turvey & The Bastard Squad featuring The Young Ones Tour

  • 23rd February 1983 – Trent Poly
  • 24th February 1983 – Cardiff University
  • 25th February 1983 – Aberyswth  University
  • 26th February 1983 – Manchester University
  • 27th February 1983 – Lancaster University
  • 28th February 1983 – Durham University
  • 2nd March 1983 – University of East Anglia
  • 4th March 1983 – Oxford Apollo
  • 5th March 1983 – Southampton University
  • 8th March 1983 – Reading University
  • 9th March 1983 – Loughborough University
  • 10th March 1983 – Leicester University
  • 11th March 1983 – Birmingham University
  • 12th March 1983 – Hull University
  • 13th March 1983 – York Theatre Royal
  • 16th March 1983 – Teeside Poly
  • 17th March 1983 – Dundee University
  • 18th March 1983 – Glasgow University
  • 19th March 1983 – Strathclyde University
  • 20th March 1983 – Sunderland Empire
  • 23rd March 1983 – Sheffield Poly
  • 24th March 1983 – Derby Assembly Rooms
  • 25th March 1983 – Ipswich Gaumont
  • 26th March 1983 – Coventry Apollo
  • 27th March 1983 – Bath Theatre Royal
  • 10th April 1983 — ‘Too Hot to Handle’, Apollo Victoria Theatre

These dates are just a guide and are taken from a publicity flyer of the time, they were very much subject to change and some were even cancelled at the last minute. As noted from the Soundmaker article, they did indeed arrive a month too early at one venue, so a radio campaign was made to drum up an audience for the that evening.

Arriving in Sheffield they were greeted with the incredulous, “but you’re not booked to play here for another month!” and only hasty local radio broadcasters drummed up an audience for the opening night of the twenty date tour.


I’d love to hear from you if you have any souvenirs or memories of seeing Rik, Ade and Nigel on this tour or if you were at the ‘Too Hot to Handle’ benefit concert.

What is Sizewell B?

Sizewell is a small fishing village in Suffolk, England. Located near the village is the site of two nuclear power stations, Sizewell A and Sizewell B. Before the construction commenced, the design of Sizewell B was subjected to a detailed safety review by the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate (NII), and a lengthy public inquiry. The Pre-Construction Safety Case was submitted to the NII in August 1981. The public inquiry was held between 1982 and 1985, and took over 16 million words of evidence, a record at the time. There was no public funding available to objectors at the time to support this inquiry and it was for this reason that an event like “Too Hot to Handle” was so vital.

The chairman of the inquiry, Sir Frank Layfield, reported in early 1987 that, subject to a satisfactory safety case, there were no substantive reasons why the project should not proceed. The Nuclear Installations Inspectorate accepted the Pre-Construction Safety Case and issued a licence to proceed with construction in August 1987. Sizewell B was built and commissioned between 1987 and 1995, and first synchronised with the National Grid on 14 February 1995.

Sizewell C

Sadly all these years later and Sizewell is still fighting another power station on their coast. Jenny Kirtley, who was involved with putting together the Too Hot Too Handle concert, now runs a group called TASC, Together Against Sizewell C.

Click here if you’d like to find out more or to get involved.


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