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Top of the Pops

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      16.05.2010 13:21
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      A great programme for its day

      I think that it is a real shame this iconic TV programme is now resigned to the "christmas Special" shelf. This was compulsive viewing for more than forty years - so it couldn't have been doing too many things wrong. The format of the show was simple - select a few of the highest climbers and new entries from the chart to play "live" in the studio or in later years have their video shown. In the days before the video they had a dance group "Pans People" who were later replaced by "legs & Co" who would do some ridiculous dance for a track where the group couln't make it for the show. One of my favourite moments from the show was when Dexy's midnight runners appeared singing "Jackie Wilson said" however somehow the back drop was showing a picture of the scottish Darts player Jockey Wilson! It was these sort of moments that made the programme compulsive viewing and the fact that this was the only time "modern" music was heard on the TV. With the creation of MTV which was showing music videos 24 hours a day really did put it out of a job - shame really videos can be very lifeless at times and Top of the Pops was never that!

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        13.05.2010 14:57
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        A great musc chart show - one if not the best

        Top of the Pops must be one of the most popular music shows that ever hit our screens and also one of the most well known over the years it has been broadcast. I used to watch it religiously every week it was shown, normally on a Thursday night. As stated it started in 1964 and ran through to 2006. Until the mid 1990's for me it used be essential viewing on BBC1 on a Thursday evening each week. I really enjoyed Top of the Pops and although I wasn't always into bands growing up I still enjoyed the charts and this show was dedicated to the British music charts that changed every week and I used to look foward to seeing who was number 1 in the countdown. Each week's show was typically about half hour long and comprised of a countdown of the charts from number forty through to one and showed which songs were new entries, and which had moved up and down the charts. There would live performances in the studio and also videos too. Quite alot of the time the acts on would be those that were new entries or those that had risen up that week an number of places. There used to a number of different hosts every week as in it's day it seemed alot of famous celebrities clamoured to present the show. Although the weekly show was cancelled the Christmas shows continued for a while. It was also succeeded by Top of the Pops 2. However, for me nothing could compare to the original show as it would always be interesting and entertaining viewing. One of the things I always liked about this programme was apparently the acts were not allowed to mime the words to songs as that was the policy and this lead to some tecnical hitches but also a certain degree of reality with acts having to perform properly which is how it should be. In it's heyday this show was extremely popular and was always up there on my viewing list to watch every single week for many years. It's a shame it ended but then everything runs it's course in the end I suppose.

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        24.03.2010 04:46
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        WHY TOP OF THE POPS WILL ALWAYS BE HELD DEAR TO ME.

        When I was growing up in the 80's amd 90's there was only one show worth watching on a Thursday night on BBC1. Top of the pops. Top of the pops was a half hour music programme, shown every Thursday evening at 7pm. It was the ultimate in cool. The basic format for the show was that the weeks top 40 countdown would be announced with about four studio acts and a couple of pop videos thrown in for good measure. Any recording artist worth thier salt would appear on top of the pops. It was the ultimate recognition of success. All the famous bands would grace the stage in front of a live studio audience, who would dance along to the music being played. At the time I thought both the acts and the audience were so cool, but now looking back at old footage it is hysterically funny to see the fashions and dancing techniques of some. The show was first broadcast in January 1964. It's first presenter was none other than Sir Jimmy Saville. Throughout the next four decades the show would see a huge variety of presenters. When I was growing up the presenters were always radio 1 dj's but throughout the 90's it seemed that anyone could have a blast at presenting the show. I remember one show being co presented by Jeremy Clarkeson!! I think this was around the time when the show began to loose popularity and credibility. With the invention of digital television and whole channels being dedicated to music, Top of the pops began to loose viewers at a considerable rate. The once high energy show was now declining into a half hour slot for wierdos and videos as more and more artists distanced themselves from this show. In July 2006 the plug was finally pulled on Top of the pops, an hour long show charting its success throughout it's three decade run was shown to a massive audience. One of the most memorable moments in tv history for me was when Sir Jimmy Saville turned off the studio lights at the end of the show, marking the end of an era. No more were we going to see dodgy boy bands mime along to a cover version. Gone were the days when shock horror there would be a boy performer in a dress. (run of the mill now, but huge shock then!!) But more than anything, gone were the days of moving back the settee and turning the tv up to full blast and dancing away to wham! or Yazz and the plastic population. Then your mother would come in and clip you around the ear for having the tv on so loud. ahhh those were the says. Top of the pops can still be seen on an annual basis on Christmas day. When the years most popular songs will be performed in the studio. With a run down of the Christmas week top 40. This is usually presented by Fern Cotton. I like Fern I think she has a young and quirky persona. There is often a great show I love to watch on bbc2 which shows old footage of bands that have performed throughout the years on Top of the pops. This rather retro programme is great to watch, although it does make me shudder in horror when I realise that a song I thought was out a couple of years ago turns out to be 16 years old. I really loved Top of the pops. It is a programme that reminds me of growing up. Of first boy band crushes, of first discovering what was hip and cool in fashion and trying to replicate it. Such a brilliant cutting edge show of its time. I used to love it's young and cool edge, its enchanting atmosphere oozing from the studio audience into my living room. I do think that top of the pops went at the right time. I think if it had stayed on our screens it would have turned into a flop. By going when it did it remained a great music programme that will be remembered fondly by generations.

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          02.08.2008 15:49
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          A show that had its time and has now sadly gone!

          Sadly I am old enough to remember when top of the pops was the best way to keep abreast of what was happening in the music charts and the guests used to perform live and very well on the show. Add to that the very good presenters and the excellent camera work that not only focused on the artists but also showed you round the studio and let you see the audience dancing and enjoying themselves too and you had a decent well worth watching show. For anyone lucky enough to be too young to remember top of the pops at all, It was a half hour show that would count down the top 40 singles and would have about three or four live acts singing their current hits as well as the odd video or two. The show would finish with the number one either live in the studio or their video being played. As the show nosedived quicker than a Boeing 747 with no engines they started replacing live acts with more videos and even the people that did turn up to the studio would mime instead of performing live. The presenters went from top notch to bottom of the barrel and eventually the show had ran its course and the last ever episode was aired and then it disappeared. It is sad really that such an iconic show could not have been kept afloat but I guess that is how it goes, all good things must come to an end and all that kind of thing. I think a lot of what happened to the show was to do with the fact that the newer acts were simply not good enough to perform live unlike the acts of the seventies, they were not very good singers and were relying on voice synthesizers to make them sound good and therefore would not perform live which was what top of the pops had based its success on!

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            16.04.2006 21:15
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            The BBC presentation of the top 10 singles

            TOTP 19.30 - 20.00 - Friday BBC1 and again on Saturday BBC’s TV chart run down on Friday night between 19.30 and 20.00 is normally presented by 2 people quite often male and female. Sometimes a star from the pop world. Today's show Easter Sunday guests Fearne a regular female TOTP presenter and male friend. We start live outside the BBC building with the Red-Hot Chilli Peppers, later they play their new single. The rest of the show recorded earlier is back inside. The show is organised around the presentation songs from the top 20 hits. The songs position in the chart is normally announced and displayed as an icon in the bottom left hand corner, some background information follows. After about 10 minutes the top 10 Album chart follows this. Throughout the program we have a run down of the chart in small segments. Today’s show has a variety of guests playing a variety of music, folk, rock, etc. today we finish with the top 10 singles run down and a play of the No 1 Crazy by Barkley. Normally the programmes’ includes film, video and live broadcast and I think the show is recorded a day earlier. They like to show the number 1 band live although sometimes the mime for the cameras. All in all a programme for the youngsters not the more intellectually mature Radio 2 listener. This is probably reflected by the fact that the show is repeated again the next day (Saturday) in a slightly different format. I still find it visually exciting and tune in once or twice a month to check it out and keep up to date.

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              29.11.2003 05:42
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              • "complete rip-off of CD:UK"

              Every generation has its own memories of 'Top Of The Pops'. For some there's Jimmy Saville introducing Gary Glitter in a retrospectively sinister way. Imprinted on the memory of others is the be-maned Bruno Brookes and his chunky yellow microphone, reeling off statistics about Five Star and Wham! with the enthusiasm of a tartrazined-up toddler. And then of course there was that moment of organisational genius where the lisping Chris Eubank was the guest presenter when Suggs's was on the show performing his track 'Cecilia'... However, the 1990's and early 2000's have seen TOTP rebranded time and time again in an effort to remain the flagship music television programme. Whilst it was still getting twice the number of ratings as ITV's nearest rival, 'CD:UK', youth TV guru Andi Peters was put in charge of rebranding the show in an attempt to gain back its declining audience. Launching after a blaze of publicity this week, we were promised a new theme tune, new studio and an actual live show rather than the pre-recorded version that had been the norm for the past decade. It was also announced that the latest Michael Jackson video would be screened and that Victoria Beckham would be singing two songs (live!) that the viewers would have to vote on to see which one they preferred. There were to be backstage gossipy bits, celebrity interviews and on-location featurettes as well as all the biggest names in music performing (live!) in a spectacular hour-long special. Oh dear. The new theme tune was, er, a remix of the old one from the 80's, replacing the remix of the 60's tune that had been its signature for the last 5 years. Fresh, huh? Also devoid of creativity was the studio, which looked just like that of SM:TV's with its metal minimalism - perhaps a retro refit with flammable looking curtains and health-and-safety rule-breaking open stairs a la circa 1985 would have been better... The 'new' format of the program couldn't have been more carbon-copied from CD:UK if they'd have transplanted Cat Deeley into the studio and made her bark into the camera. Pretty much every new segment had been directly imported rather than any new ideas being presented. There is also a new presenter. 22 year old Tim Kash seemed an oddly anonymous choice to front the show. Possibly installed a dangling carrot for pre-pubescent girls to tune, he's still one of the biggest character vacuums on the gogglebox since Twiggy's ill-fated attempt at presenting on 'This Morning'... Just as Cat Deeley still looks like a deer in the headlights without Ant & Dec, Kash's recruitment appears like a naïve attempt at seducing a youthful audience. Getting all acts to sing live is a good concept - music video TV has become so omnipresent these days that yet more airtime devoted to the mostly bland music promos seems pretty pointless. However, whilst there was an absence of miming, the idea that acts would perform in real time was something of a fallacy. Elton John performed 'Your Song' (which obviously deserves its place on a contemporary chart based show seeing as it was released 30 years ago) 'live' from Atlanta. He even said so himself. However, bearing in mind it was shown at 7pm in the UK, would it not have been a bit odd for Elton to be playing to a packed concert audience at what was lunchtime in America? A little white lie told methinks... The live acts shown too were an unusual choice. Mis-teeq opened what was supposed to be a legendary show with a medley of an old song and their current song which bombed at #13. Lisa Maffia, was also tossed a medley into the arena, although was surely a last-minute replacement considering that she is hanging onto her record contract by the skin of her teeth thanks to some poor sales. Kylie played an album track, whilst Will Young proved to be one of the few highlights of the night by giving a controlled performance of his soon-to-be-#1 track. However, considering it was a chart show there was a distinct lack of current chart music. Only two acts played a pure song that is actually in the Top 40 at the moment, and one of those, (Blazin' Squad's unintentionally homoerotically titled 'Flip Reverse') has been falling down the Hit Parade quicker than one of Zola Budd's rivals... Back in the day songs had to be climbing the charts or be at number one before they were even considered to be allowed to appear. Now it's just a free for all. The planned spectaculars also failed to happen. Jacko's video wasn't shown as it was apparently 'incomplete', although it was more likely that the show didn't want the featuring of the scandal-ridden superstar to dominate the coverage of their relaunch. Vicky Beckham decided to put in an appearance, although she just sat on the sofa for 90 seconds of pointless chit-chat with Kash rather than singing two songs as we had been promised. Next week we get to see a couple of her videos apparently. Woo. Another added feature was a viewers vote of 5 videos from upcoming releases. Yet another idea borrowed from CD:UK, the use of SMS text messaging in every programme under the sun is really getting tiresome now - what next, interactively choosing the colour of the end credits? However, all that investment and hype obviously caused the show's makers to neglect some of the more simplistic aspects of a live TV show. When viewers were presented with the question of 'What was Robbie Williams' first UK #1 single?' to win the prize of a lifetime, the correct answer of 'Millennium' wasn't given as one of the multiple choice options. When the lucky winner came on air (sounding as though he'd won a cabbage on 'Crackerjack' rather than about to fly across the world to mee t a superstar), the question was hastily reworded by the presenter with the '#1' omitted. Best be sacking the researcher then... 'Top Of The Pops' withered on the vine long ago, and the decreasing sales of singles and the rise of music TV has made it increasingly irrelevant. No relaunch is ever going to cover up the fact that it is a limited television format that won't ever appeal to the cross-section of the country that it used to simply because pop music now has a very limited cross-sectional appeal. Perhaps there is an irony in the first ever TOTP viewer's video vote being won by a song called 'Shut Up', and this week's chart-topper being entitled 'Leave Right Now'...

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                03.11.2001 01:58

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                This is a music program and they play music on it. It last for 30 mins which is the biggest waste of air space ever seeing as they don't even let D-12 say words like FUCK and SHIT. This is stupid. I think that Top of the pops should be replaced with something more approriate such as Mastermind. What happened to Bottom of the Pops, now that was a program. Thanks for readin, plz rate and comment. Wot u on about, this ain't 75 words

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                30.09.2001 22:53
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                Top of the Pops has changed dramatically thoughout the years. It used to be an extremely entertaining programme which everyone could enjoy, and was quite funky! Unfortunately, more childish bands appeared around the globe and the perfomances are almost dominated by the likes of Steps, Westlife, and more recently The Tweenies. The more serious aspect of the show seemed to disappear! I have quite recently noticed a change in the show again, with more bands like Ash and other alternative bands performing. The show is beginning to cater for everyone's taste in music. More bands sing live nowadawys, now that the technology is available and stable. This is a great improvement of the show. I think the show is quite classy and one of the best music shows on terrestrial television. Before investing in extra channels such as MTV, the show was a definite watch for me and if it still possessed the magic it used to own, it would still be a definite must-see for me. The presenters of the show are generally pretty cool, such as Gail Porter and Richard Blackwood. Jamie Theakston also presents the show occasionally. The lighting effects and the stages are quite well-done, and are all quite different! Top Of The Pops - Worth watching, but don't stay in especially, as that would be rather sad.

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                  06.08.2001 17:41

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                  Most music lovers will save half an hour of their time on Friday nights to watch Top of the Pops. It has been going for years and during that time has had thousands of pop acts perform for the nation. Every week it pays songs from the weeks charts and a few new ones. Then at the end of the show they play the number one for that week. But over the years the show has got worse and worse, it's variety of good songs has deteriated and is almost not watchable anymore unless you are very in to pop music. This is not a show I watch regularly anymore though I did a few years ago when the whole show had songs I liked on it. It is a good programme and it does gave a range of artists. Top of the Pops is a good music programme for the younger ones as it does have a lot of their kind of music on it. Although I don't like it that much anymore there's no reson why you wont.

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                  27.06.2001 02:52
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                  From my earliest days of watching television, one program that has followed me as I have grown up is 'Top of the pops'. Back then though (the 70's and 80's), it all seemed so exciting and real. Unfortunatly these days something has changed a little for the worse :- The presenters - Seems anyone can host the show if they can speak these days. Half of the time I have never even heard of whoever it might be, (and why is there always a crowd of uninterested people stood around the presenter like he is giving away gold?) The bands - Sometimes quite decent bands frequent this show more than once, but I have noticed that if the same song stays in the charts for more than a week then the same performance is broadcast the following week and every week there after.(I'll not go into our licence fee and how it is spent on this op!) And do they all perform live? I'm not entirley satisfied afetr hearing such bands as 'Hearsay' and 'Atomic Kiten', the words and music went a bit too well together for my liking for a 'Live' performance. Its perhaps not about performing live, but it would just show the real talent about these days, and not thrown together boy bands, girl bands and wannabe bands. The time it is shown - Once upon a time it was always on on a Thursday evening, now its on on a Friday evening.....so what u might think? .. well the vast majority of people the show is aimed at are probably in the shower or just about to get in a taxi and go out drinking. The camera angles havent changed much either, we still get the old perv of a camera man zooming in on cleavage and bottoms, once a novelty in my younger days, but now quite annoying ! Other choices of music shows on terrestrial television include such shows as the 'Pepsi Chart Show' and CDuk on a Saturday morning. Both of these shows take the roughly the same format as ToTp, but somehow I find them much more watchable. As for Satellite television, then it completley blows ToTp out of the water. Its a show that the Beeb are hanging on to, and why not, there are people still making it a one of thier regular viewings, but unfortunatley they lost me some time ago. Its time the BBC ripped up the old format for the show and let MTV and other specialist Television stations get on with it or came up with something a bit more up to date and realistic.

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                    16.06.2001 15:53

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                    I was fan of top of the pops when I was younger, I’d never miss the music programme, which features top videos, and has all the latest bands performing live. These days it comes on Fridays, and sorry to say but it has lost all the appeal. Like today’s music, this programme is fast losing popularity. It has still has the same basic outline it had years ago, but with the constant changing of time it’s on, and the various music channels available on digital, the channel with me has lost it’s cutting edge. Before you’d have to wait for this programme, to see an exclusive video, but now you can just watch it on the music channels if you have them. Before it used to come on Thursdays but now it has changed to Fridays, which I don’t like as I work then. The programme does not have one settle presenter but thy have rotational policy where they use different ones each day. So far I have criticised the programmes, so I should say some good things about it like, not everyone has access to the music channels so it can be good for them. As it may be the only time they get to see certain bands perform. This programme comes on BBC1, and features a lot of pop bands and sometimes other bands, but mostly pop bands, so that may b another reason why I don’t like it because they don’t feature any bands not making the top twenty. Some of the singers when performing decide to mime the words which is not very good. At least they could do is sing.

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                    05.05.2001 04:28
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                    You can accurately age a person by the number of performers they can identify in one edition of Top of the Tops - I average around two so there is some life left in me yet !! The format hasn't changed since this show was introduced decades ago. Whilst TOTP may be unchanged the way we watch and buy music certainly has. We now have four variants of MTV plus the interactive channel The Box, in addition to these are Q and Rapture. All these specialise in one genre of music - TOTP doesn't and this is it's weakness. The programme still tries to be all thing to all music fans and insists on showing the number one song regardless of its musical merit (I'm thinking Bob the Builder here !!). The BBC have all but given up on TOTP - it's now scheduled against the ratings puller that is Coronation Street and the show airs a full five days after the chart is announced. How long I wonder 'til TOTP is pushed from BBC1 to a didital BBC channel?

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                      11.03.2001 19:42
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                      I used to watch top of the pops when ever it was on but now I am usually putting my children to bed when the programme is starting.This programme is a music show on bbc1 showen every friday night at seven thirty and repeated late on saturday night. Top of the pops has been going for thirty years now and is still going strong. Some of the presenters over the years have been members of bands and actors such as take that(a boy band from the early 90s)and sir jimmy saville.Some of the singers/bands who have been on top of the pops are oasis,madonna,westlife,boyzone,kylie minagoue,jason donavan,shaggy,maya and robbie williams. Top of the pops used to be on a thursday night but was moved to a friday night at the same time as coronation street. Top of the pops have also released albums which contain singers/groups who have been on the programme.There are so many music shows now but top of the pops will always be top of the pile.

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                      10.02.2001 01:38

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                      Yes I am watching TOP of the POPS and the Manic Street Preachers sang live, and then Anastasia did as well Is this a new record? Do you think all the dancing bands should be forced to sing live, cause a few of them can sing, but hey can they sing and dance. It would be funny to see, don't you think. Top of the pops is still a classic show. It has its up's and down's, and they are running low on decent DJ's for the last few years. But maybe this singing live revival might actually do the trick. Oh no and the third group seems to be singing live as well jj72(the band that sounds like placebo), shame not all of their guitars aren't pluged in. Oh my and now MYA is singing live. I'm going to faint. And now a very live croacky Ash, hey you never know next week they might even plug in their guitars exciting stuff. Charlie V

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                      22.01.2001 02:58

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                      Top of the Pops has been around for years, but is no longer, as they say, 'number one'. If you watch an episode these days you will find pop groups (see also: crap groups) such as Steps, Westlife, etc. and the odd popular dance track, recently David Morales and Rui da Silva. And that's it. Fair enough, these singles did well in the charts, but the people who buy the pop songs are mainly children, and TOTP used to appeal to adults too. To be fair, the other day I did see Ash and Texas on, but it's still a rarity. The only way a non-pop/dance act can be sure of being featured is my getting to number one. It's a pity that a once-great show has become so tired, boring and at times cringe-worthy. Then again with channels like The Box and MTV there isn't much room for music shows on terrestrial channels these days anyway. Steer clear of it.

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