My Mother's Eyes by Rikki Arnot: Young Talent Time, 1988
Rikki Arnot joined the Young Talent Team in 1987 and was with the show until it finished in 1988.
The show regularly includes behind-the-scenes vignettes like this one illustrating the team members' hobbies and introducing their family and pets.
Designed to enhance the family feel of the show, it also encourages fans to choose their favourite team members to emulate and identify with. Clare Atkins' short story I Am Rikki (2021) dissects this phenomenon, with Clare offering the perspective of a young girl who felt like she couldn't belong to the team she adored because of her ethnic background.
In the clip we see Rikki after school and with her family. She then performs 'My Mother's Eyes’, written by Abel Baer and L Wolfe Gilbert.
The song has been covered many times, but it was famously performed by Frankie Valli in 1953 (credited to 'Frankie Valley'). Young Talent Team member Sally Boyden released a cover version of the song in 1976.
Johnny Young's comment about Rikki's fondness for sweets belying her 'slim' appearance illustrates cultural expectations around women's weight and appearance, which still persist today but are sometimes expressed more subtly.
This excerpt comes from episode 14, which was produced on 17 April 1988.
Notes by Beth Taylor