Best moments of The Word: from grunge to gross-out

From our first glimpses of Nirvana and Oasis to worm sandwiches and a drunk soap star

Nirvana gave their first live TV performance of Smells Like Teen Spirit in 1991, prefaced by Kurt Cobain declaring Courtney Love "the best fuck in the world".

Oasis made their TV debut performing Supersonic.

First screening of Madonna's Justify My Love video on British network TV.

Donita Sparks, singer and guitarist with grungey band L7, pulled down her jeans and knickers during a 1992 performance of Pretend We're Dead. The audience got off lightly with full-frontal nudity: at Reading festival that year, she threw her used tampon into the crowd.

The Hopefuls section forced people desperate to be on TV to perform gross-out stunts – eat worm sandwiches, bathe in maggots, wear shoes full of dog dirt, lick sweat from a man's bellybutton or snog a pensioner.

In the gameshow segment Win or Weep, a contestant's most prized possession was destroyed if they failed to win. It outraged the tabloids but inspired later shows such as MTV's Trashed and Sky1's Beat the Crusher.

Mark Lamarr told Shabba Ranks he was talking "crap" in 1992 when he advocated the crucifixion of homosexuals.

An exuberantly refreshed Oliver Reed sang The Troggs's Wild Thing with Ned's Atomic Dustbin.

Lynne Perrie – AKA Ivy Tilsley from Coronation Street – massacred Gloria Gaynor's I Will Survive in a tuneless cover version.

What did we miss? Share your highlights of the show below

Contributor

Tim Lusher

The GuardianTramp

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