The Smiths appeared on the show: February 12, 1985.
Morrissey mentions the show in Autobiography:
"With relief, I catch the Dolls on their now-famous Old Grey Whistle Test television appearance, and whereas both of my parents watch unimpressed, pride and joy electrify my body as the revenge motif dates every other modern pop artist in an instant."
"When the Old Grey Whistle Test includes a Smiths ‘video’ in their phone-in popularity contest, the Smiths shrink against the titanic bands of the day. ‘Of course you won’t win,’ smiles Geoff, ever hopeful. When it is eventually announced that the Smiths have won, Geoff climbs back into his pen, saying nothing."
The Old Grey Whistle Test (sometimes abbreviated to Whistle Test or OGWT) was a British television music show. The show was devised by BBC producer Rowan Ayers, commissioned by David Attenborough and aired on BBC2 from 1971 to 1988. It took over the BBC2 late-night slot from Disco 2, which ran between September 1970 and July 1971, while continuing to feature non-chart music. The original producer, involved in an executive capacity throughout the show's entire history, was Michael Appleton. According to presenter Bob Harris, the programme derived its name from a Tin Pan Alley phrase from years before. When they got the first pressing of a record they would play it to people they called the old greys – doormen in grey suits. Any song the doormen could remember and whistle, having heard it just once or twice, had passed the old grey whistle test.On 23 February 2018, a one-off live three-hour special of The Old Grey Whistle Test was broadcast on BBC Four, hosted by Harris to mark 30 years since the final episode aired.