David Bowie performed “The Jean Genie” live on the BBC back in 1973, and the clip has not aired since its first broadcast. The video was long believed lost forever, but BBC still has a copy and plans to air it during the network’s Top of the Pops Christmas special.
Cameraman John Henshall, who worked on the show for that particular performance, kept a copy of the performance for himself, unaware how rare the clip had become, according to the report by BBC News.
What made the clip so hard to find? BBC erased most videotapes of the performance due to high costs of new videotape, in an attempt to save money for future broadcasts. It could have been a huge mistake which cost the network a classic clip forever, but now that the footage has surfaced it will air once again this Christmas.
BBC2’s Top of the Pops Christmas special airs tonight at 7:30.