July 7, 2000 13:02
ROBBIE'S SHOCK 'ROCK..'
A celebrity audience, including [b]Posh Spice[/b] and [b]Mel C[/b], are left stunned as the promo for [b]'Rock DJ'[/b] is unveiled...
And the video - which left Victoria Beckham, Mel C, Another Level heart-throb Dane Bowers and Destiny's Child with their "jaws on the floor" according to TOTP producer Chris Cowey - was almost banned by the BBC for its horrific content including scenes of cannibalism, nudity and gore, nme.com can reveal.
After top-level talks at the station, bosses finally allowed a two-minute edit of the video to be shown on Top Of The Pops tonight (July 7), and an unexpurgated version on the show's late-night repeat in the early hours of Sunday morning (July 9).
Cowey told nme.com he had to take a copy of the video to his superiors to persuade them to let him show the clip - but he admitted he wasn't 100% sure it would get the go-ahead.
He said: "When people watch it, they go 'Ugh, gross!' but they keep watching it...We decided we could show it up to the point where he whips his drawers off (on the 7.30pm show). But I decided this (the full version) is exactly what the late-night repeat should be about. It's a ground-breaking video."
The schlock-horror-comedy video for 'Rock DJ', released on July 31 through Chrysalis/EMI, shows Robbie trying to impress a room full of glamorous girls who are roller-skating round him and ignoring him. He bumps and grinds then starts to strip, ending up completely naked, with a fleeting full-frontal shot.
He then starts pulling off his own skin, then gouges flesh from his body before yanking out his internal organs and throwing them at the models - one of whom includes Mick Jagger's daughter Elizabeth. The blood-splattered women start gorging themselves on it while Robbie is left a bloody skeleton, still singing and dancing.
It finishes with the caption: "No Robbies were harmed in the making of this video."
Director Vaughan Arnell previously made Robbie's 'Millennium' video, as well as promos for the Spice Girls, All Saints and George Michael's controversial 'Outside' film.
Last night, before and after the screening BBC's London Elstree Studios, Robbie recorded two performances of the song for future editions of Top Of The Pops. In one, he replicates the scene where he drops his trousers to reveal his tiger-print knickers as worn in the video. His songwriting partner Guy Chambers also revealed last night to TOTP producer Cowey that the song's 'Relax'-like bass line is in fact stolen from Barry White's 'It's Ecstasy (When You Lay Down Next To Me)'.
Robbie's eagerly-awaited third album 'Sing When You're Winning' is scheduled for release in September.