It was with some sadness today that I read that the BBC’s weekly music show, Top of the Pops, is to end its run of 42 years.
Top of the Pops was without a doubt one of the programs I watched the most as a child. My sister is 7 years older than me, so in 1983 when she was entering her teens and I was 5 I was surrounded by the Thomson Twins, Adam and the Ants, Duran Duran, etc. There were certainly darker periods (the late 80s and an excessive amount of Stock, Aitken, Waterman come to mind), but TotP was the one time of the week where I could sit for half an hour and actually see the bands I liked perform (I was a big fan of No Limits on BBC2, but that only had a brief run, and later on I quite enjoyed Chris Evan’s TFI Friday)
I’m surprised the BBC haven’t found a way to keep ratings up. Sure, the internet and satellite TV offers ‘yoof’ (like the Janet Street Porter reference there?) a million different ways to see and hear bands, but there was always something magical about artists getting up on stage and actually performing live (and in periods of TotP’s history often not miming.)
ITV’s similar CD:UK show remains and I now hope that it will keep going. Yes its for kids, but so was Top of the Pops, and I hope the internet doesn’t kill off all these kind of shows.