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TV Shows We Used To Watch - 1964-2006 BBC Top of the Pops | by brizzle born and bred
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TV Shows We Used To Watch - 1964-2006 BBC Top of the Pops

Top Of The Pops shimmied onto our TV screens on New Year's Day 1964, armed with hordes of a scary new faction called 'young people' and presented by cigar-chomping tracksuit-model Jimmy Savile (although he was relatively normal back then).

 

If that wasn't enough to scare the bejesus out of parents across the nation, the show was shot live, and in its first edition featured such greats as the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Dusty Springfield and the Hollies.

 

Top of the Pops, also known as TOTP, is a British music chart television programme, made by the BBC and originally broadcast weekly from 1 January 1964 to 30 July 2006. It was traditionally shown every Thursday evening on BBC One, before being moved to Fridays in 1996, and then moved to Sundays on BBC Two in 2005.

 

Each weekly programme consisted of performances from some of that week's best-selling popular music artists, with a rundown of that week's singles chart. Additionally, every year there was a special edition of the programme on Christmas Day featuring some of the best-selling singles of the year.

 

Although the weekly show was cancelled, the Christmas special has continued. It was also survived by Top of the Pops 2, which began in 1994 and featured vintage performances from the Top of the Pops archives.

 

In the 1990s, the show's format was sold to several foreign broadcasters in the form of a franchise package, and at one point various versions of the show were shown in nearly 100 countries.

 

At the moment, a local version of TOTP is still regularly running in Italy on Rai 2.

 

Top of the Pops began on New Year's Day 1964 in Studio A on Dickenson Road in Rusholme, Manchester, which the BBC had bought from Mancunian Films in 1954.

 

DJ Jimmy Savile presented the first show, which featured (in order) The Rolling Stones with "I Wanna Be Your Man", Dusty Springfield with "I Only Want to Be with You", the Dave Clark Five with "Glad All Over", The Hollies with "Stay", The Swinging Blue Jeans with "Hippy Hippy Shake" and The Beatles with "I Want to Hold Your Hand", that week's number one (throughout its history, the programme always finished with the best-selling single of the week).

 

For the first three years Savile rotated with three other presenters: Alan Freeman, Pete Murray and David Jacobs. A Mancunian model, Samantha Juste, was the regular "disc girl".

 

Top of the Pops facts!

 

An average show uses 1,700 light bulbs

 

There have been nine different Top of the Pops theme tunes and seven different Top of the Pops logos

 

Status Quo and Cliff Richard have both appeared on the show over four decades - 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s

 

Take That made 43 appearances during their career

 

Prince waited 15 years between his first hit in 1980 and his debut on Top of the Pops in 1995

 

R Kelly holds the record for the number of security guards to accompany him - he had 43

 

The record for the most people on stage goes to Fat Les when they had 75 people on stage to perform Jerusalem

 

Audiences have stormed the stage five times: during songs by Nirvana, Backstreet Boys, Symposium, Oasis and Limp Bizkit

 

Top of the Pops first transmitted live from a converted church in Dickinson Road Manchester at 6.35pm on BBC ONE, New Year's Day 1964. It was presented by Jimmy Savile who opened the show with the immortal line: "It's Number One, it's Top of the Pops". The Rolling Stones were the first band to perform singing 'I Wanna Be Your Man' and the full line also included Dusty Springfield, The Dave Clark Five, The Hollies, The Swinging Blue Jeans, Cliff Richard & The Shadows and Freddie & The Dreamers. The first Number One on Top of the Pops was The Beatles with 'I Wanna Hold Your Hand'.

 

There have been a total of 10 different theme tunes, the latest being Tony Gibber's 'Get Out Of That''

 

There have been 13 different Top of the Pops logos and opening sequences over the show's 42 year history.

 

The record for the most number of appearances on Top of the Pops is held by Cliff Richard who has appeared almost 160 times.

 

Over 150 people have presented the show from Sir Jimmy Savile to Robbie Williams.

 

In October 1982 Dexy's Midnight Runners appeared on Top of the Pops to perform 'Jackie Wilson Said' - their tribute to the soul legend. Appearing on the screen behind them, however, was a giant picture of Jocky Wilson, the darts player, a deliberate joke as requested by the band.

 

Status Quo have made 87 appearances on Top of the Pops and have performed over the five decades of the shows history in the Sixties, Seventies, Eighties, Nineties and the 2000's.

 

Their first performance was on 8 February 1968 singing, 'Picture of Matchstick Men' and they last appeared on 18 September 2005 performing, 'The Party Ain't Over Yet'.

 

The great miming disaster of 1988 occurred during All About Eve's live performance of 'Martha's Harbour'. A crew member tripped over the power switch in the studio leaving the singer, Julianne Regan, without her cue for the backing track.

 

Her song was being broadcast live to the nation while Julianne sat on a stool in a pool of dry ice wondering what on earth was going on.

 

In 2001 Travis decided to bring chaos to Top of the Pops and re-enact their video for their single 'Sing' by starting a custard pie fight on the show.

 

In 1967 Jimi Hendrix was seen attempting to mime Purple Haze while an Alan Price record was being inadvertently played as the backing track.

 

During the 500th edition of Top of the Pops in October 1973, Cliff Richard's performance was interrupted when the stage was showered by wigs. The culprits were The Who's roadies who had become bored and raided the props department

 

Before the dawn of the video age, dance troupes were employed to entertain the audience on the occasions when a band were unable to appear on the show themselves.

 

The first was a group of 3 girls called 'The Go-Jo's' who were replaced by 60's dance sirens 'Pan's People' in 1968. In 1976 'Ruby Flipper' took over that mantle only to be replaced later that year by 'Leg's & Co' who remained until 1981 when the reign of lovely long legged ladies was brought to an end by the debut of a troupe of 20 interchangeable male and female dancers named 'Zoo'

 

On 24 July 1975, the former Prime Minister Edward Heath arrived unannounced at the Top of the Pops studio to hear Bing Crosby perform 'That's What Life Is All About'

 

The respected folk-rock group Steeleye Span once doubled as Wombles to perform Superwomble because Mike Batt (Womble-in-chief) was short of musicians for the show

 

In 1991 Nirvana performed 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' live with lead singer Kurt Cobain singing the entire song an octave lower than normal and without the famous screams in the chorus due to problems with his voice.

 

The performance ended with what was officially the first spontaneous stage invasion. There have been four other since during appearances by Backstreet Boys, Symposium, Oasis and Limp Bizkit.

 

Madonna left a gap of nearly 11 years between performing 'Like A Virgin' on December 13 1984 and 'You'll See' on 2 November 1995.

 

The record for having the most people on stage at Top of the Pops was held by Sting, who performed 'Let Your Soul Be Your Pilot' with a nine-piece band and 43 gospel singers. This was broken by Fat Les singing 'Jerusalem' to celebrate England's Euro 2000 effort, they managed to squeeze over 70 people on stage.

 

On 24 January 2003, Flaming Lips made their Top of the Pops debut singing 'Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots' but unbeknown to the audience they were harbouring a very special guest guitarist who performed cunningly disguised head to toe in a dolphin costume. At the end of the song the mystery guest pulled off his dolphin head only to be revealed as Justin Timberlake.

 

Top of the Pops is a global brand which has transmitted in over 120 countries.

 

The final episode of Top of the Pops on 30 July 2006 was number 2204.

 

See video clip

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=ri59vTPDEQQ

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Taken on August 28, 2010