Top of the Pops (UK)

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BBC (Holiday Event 1964)

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Top of the Pops (UK)

Show Summary

"It's still number one, it's Top of the Pops!"

On Wednesday 1st January 1964 at 6.35pm, the BBC Television service (now BBC One) broadcast the first episode of Top of the Pops live from a disused church in Manchester. The show was only supposed to last a few episodes. Instead it exceeded all expectations, revolutionised music fans lives and become the longest running music show in the world.

The original format of the show was of live preformances from the music artists headlining the charts of that week. The show always ended with a performance of the number one song. When artists were unavailable, dancing troupes were seen performing routines to the songs.

40+ years on, after several image changes the show still follows a similar format, with the exception of the dancing troupes which have long since been made obsolete by the ability to pre-record artist performances and also the invention of promotional videos. In its final year the show also began to focus more on performances of upcoming releases rather than what was currently in the charts, reducing the amount of 'repeat performances'. Regardless, the show always ended with the 'number one' song.

The show is currently being rested following low ratings with the Christmas specials remaining intact. Speculation was rife at the time of its weekly show axing that the show may, at some stage, return.

Spinoffs

As well as rival shows appearing over time, there have been many spin-offs from the show itself..

Top of the Pops 2 Top of the Pops 2, had the voice talents of Radio DJ, Steve Wright, classic archive performances would be shown. Sometimes artists would film special clips to be shown throughout the 45 minute programme. Now that Top of the Pops has moved to Sundays on BBC 2, Top of the Pops 2's idea of archive performances has been mixed in with live new performances.

Top of the Pops Plus Commencing October 2000 and running for two years, Top of the Pops Plus aimed to be interactive, letting viewers of the show on BBC TWO and UKPlay, to choose the playlist and vote for their favourite artists.

Top of the Pops Saturday (click here for the guide) Originally airing as part of CBBC's The Saturday Show, Simon Grant & Fearne Cotton presented the 45 minute competition to ITV's CD:UK.

Top of the Pops Reloaded Commencing Saturday 10th September 2005, a new look Saturday morning version of Top of the Pops featuring artist interviews, live perfomances and a behind the scenes look at the filming of the previous weeks Top of the Pops. In March 2006, Reloaded ended after a run of 28 weeks.

The BBC has also licenced the name and branding of Top of the Pops to many different countries including USA, Germany, France and The Netherlands and offers the show as a package deal to any other countries interested in having their own slice of Top of the Pops.moreless

Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 12/25/2011

Season 43 : Episode 46

  • THE ANNUAL CHARITY EVENT THAT ASKS YOU TO 'PICK YOUR NOSE' RETURNS THIS WEEK IN ANOTHER BID TO REDUCE POVERTY WORLDWIDE. THIS YEAR THOUSANDS OF FUNDRAISERS HAVE GOT INVOLVED, INCLUDING POP STARS WHO'VE CLIMBED MOUNT KILIMANJARO AND SINGERS WHO'VE DRESSED IN DRAG. CHECK OUT OUR COMIC RELIEF HIGHLIGHTS TO SEE WHAT ELSE TO EXPECT…

    Comic Relief: 2009 Highlights

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    Christmas Crackers 2008

  • Fearne Cotton

    Fearne Cotton

    Presenter [2003-]

    Jamie Theakston

    Jamie Theakston

    Presenter [1997-2003]

    Zoë Ball

    Zoë Ball

    Presenter [1997-1998]

    David Jacobs

    David Jacobs

    Presenter [1964-1966]

    Anthea Turner

    Anthea Turner

    Presenter [1988-1991]