“The reason we said we was going to do it [appear on The Kenny Everett Video Show, 1979] was because we were asked by Thames Television to do it, and they said it would be for the New Year’s Eve show.
“We then went and filmed it and spent a whole day on it. I was dancing for about eight hours without a break filming the bloody thing, and there were promises all round that I could go and help with the editing.
“It was definitely going to be on the New Year’s show because it was ‘Looking into the 80s’ and there was going to be people from the 70s like Bowie. And as if it was going to be New Year’s Eve, it was going to show what was happening in the 80s, that sort of thing. That was going to be us, that was our part in it.
“I went down to watch Bowie do his bit after we’d done ours, and I got thrown out. I was told by the director that Bowie didn’t want me there, which was fair enough, I suppose.
“[It was] me to start with and then apparently he was upset by it and then everyone had to go. Later on he stormed off and wouldn’t do a sketch with Kenny Everett. The next thing we heard was, we were not being used at all.
“Then we were told that what we did and what Bowie did was not working well together. That was rubbish because I saw what Bowie did, because I was there, and they are nothing like each other at all. There is no way that they could not have gone on together.
“They said that they wanted us to do the show in the first place because it would have been good to have a confrontation between David Bowie and me on the very last programme of the year, just to compare if nothing else.
“And I was all for that, because it would’ve cleared the air once and for all, and hopefully people would have realised, seeing us side by side, that we are really nothing alike at all. The way Bowie moves and songs and his music, is nothing like the way I move and sing my music!
“Now the fact that he wore a black leather jumpsuit – and I wouldn’t dare say that he was copying me by wearing black – I wouldn’t dare say that!
“Anyway, to go on from that, we found out later that the man who directs the Everett show also works with Bowie during the year on his own videos, so obviously there is a big cash involvement.
“And then we all came to the same conclusion, which wasn’t denied at the time by the producer of the show, that Bowie didn’t want us on it and he had pulled the cash lever with the director to get us off it. And that seems to be what happened.
“The last thing we heard from Thames was that they had changed the format of the show and instead of looking into the 80s, it was now decided to look back into the 70s. But that was still not a good enough reason to take us off it because we were the last pop stars of the 70s, so we should have been on it for that reason, more than any other.
“So whatever reason they said, the fact is we were not on it and there was no reason for us not to be on it, except that Bowie didn’t want us on it and he used his influence with the director to get us off it. Now that may or may not be true.
“…I look at [Bowie] in a completely different light now, to how I saw him before. I’ve lost a lot of respect for him because, if that’s how he got where he is today, by doing that sort of thing to other people, then he’s a shitbag!
“…I don’t expect [people] to be taken off shows just because he’s worried about opposition, especially as I’m considered by the press and most Bowie fans alike to be just a cheap Bowie rip-off anyway. If I am a cheap Bowie rip-off, why is he scared of having me on the same programme?
“Obviously I’m not a cheap Bowie rip-off and I must be the biggest competition he has had in the last seven or eight years, and what’s more, he’s worried about it!
“I’m pleased! I’m just disappointed that he should have to resort to such measures because I would like to have spoken to him and met the man. I’ve idolised that bloke for seven years and the first chance I get to meet him, he decides to do that.”
Gary Numan, Smash Hits, 20 October 1980