NewsGush: TOTP Unlikely To Return


A sad day(?) as the BBC confirm they won’t be reanimating the twitching, half-rotten corpse of their once-flagship music half hour, Top Of The Pops.

Do you miss TOTP?

The BBC seem to have noticed the affection the public hold the anachronism in and take every opportunity to milk that nostalgic twing. The Comic Relief Does Top Of The Pops resurrection was a self-indulgent outing, spoiled by those flailing smarm-mistresses, Winkleman and McCall, dancing like uninvited, pissed spinsters.

“It’s got a mythical status… but I don’t think we should get hung up on that one programme.

“We are a long way from [BBC1 controller] Jay Hunt recommissioning Top of the Pops in its old-school form on BBC One,” said Andy Parfitt.

“The days are gone when we can make a programme and just put it out there,” he added.

The Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve programmes attracted around four million viewers.

Personally, I don’t miss it.

Maybe the thirteen year old me would like to see it return, but as I’m a thirty year old with a broadband connection, I’m happy looking at music videos on Youtube (while we’re still allowed to ) rather than watching a band – hungover and miming – going through the motions on TOTP as some confused teenagers make an effort to look interested on the floor in front of them.

There’s not really a place for Top Of The Pops on TV any more unless it ups its game a little and takes itself a little bit more seriously – but that would be at the expense of the pop-fluff that made TOTP what it was.

Clearly, the future for the disposable music show is online. A TOTP website is the only way forward – hosted by Jimmy Saville and DLT, forever trapped in the matrix of the interweb.

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62 Responses to “NewsGush: TOTP Unlikely To Return”

  1. Swineshead Says:

    Quick update on Napoleon Cockaparte – he’s not very well.

    He sends his regards and hopefully will be back soon. Told him you were all asking after him.

    Get well soon Nappers.

  2. Do I Not Like That! Says:

    TOTP is perhaps anachronistic, and personally speaking it’s heyday was in my youth. It was a window onto the current popular music. Mind you this was before the digital revolution. The best music show was The Tube, that really was ground breaking, The Old Grey Whistle Test was pretty good too.

    RE: Nap…did piqued try to eat him?

    btw…Exclusive story on my blog.

  3. Swineshead Says:

    I was running around in short trousers for The Old Grey Whistle Test but I can remember the tail end of the Tube era. Piqued’s more of that generation. For me, it was all about sticking a VHS in the machine and waiting for my favourites to come on TOTP, The Chart Show, Naked City, The Word and The White Room. And occasionally The Late Show. I’ve still got scores of videos filled with badly timed 2 minute clips – the beginnings and endings of songs cut off.


  4. Do I Not Like That! Says:

    Yep, the tube was in my teens and it was really good. I wonder why it has not been resurrected.

  5. Swineshead Says:

    It was too chaotic Mikey – these days productions are sleek and non-descript. Truly, TV these days is not as charmingly unruly as it was in the 80s…

  6. Nick T Says:

    TOGWT was the best. I have a few and there are loads on youtube.
    I’m still reeling from the traffic on my cakes blog yesterday……

  7. Do I Not Like That! Says:

    There was an episode of the OGWT that featured a band called James King and the Lone Wolves. Andy Kershaw reckoned if they did not get into the charts he would eat his hat. (They did not make the charts and have seem to have dwindled into ignominy). I thought they were good too, and bought their 12 inch EP and saw them in concert. I have not been able to find clips of them on the old www to this day.

  8. Mel Says:

    Aaah, the Chart Show – i would prefer to see that come back than TOTP, especially the Andy Peters produced pap.

    Swines – I may have a very short ‘just a thought’ for you. Do you want it, and do you need links etc to illustrate the poiint?

  9. Swineshead Says:

    What cake blog?

    You should try the new WWW. It’s much faster.

  10. Nick T Says:

    How many April fool gags ARE there?

    Good grief….

  11. Swineshead Says:

    Go on then Mel – send it to the email address on the front page. And let me know when you’ve sent it.

  12. Do I Not Like That! Says:

    Actually just googled Jame King and the Lone Wolves and it seems there is quite abit about them. Hmmm.

  13. piqued Says:


    I got into the Whistle Test in the last days of it’s broadcast but I devoured The Tube…

    Having said that I always kept my eye on TOTP. In its later days it became unwatchable but I’d keep an eye on what was going down as it were.

    It’s a bit like reading The Sun, utter shit but good to have an idea of what the majority are consuming for the sake of misanthropic discourse if nothing else.

  14. Do I Not Like That! Says:

    When the dreadful Fearne started compering TOTP, is when it became unwatchable.

  15. indy Says:

    hey. i remember when they showed performances from totp on swedish tv. the performances were always “exclusive”. i liked totp and whenever i get the oppurtunity i like to watch totp2. the old stuff is often more interesting than the new.

  16. Swineshead Says:

    Nick – I deleted your last comment because you’re an arsehole.



  17. Mel Says:

    Swines – i have sent it. Hope you like it/ can use it. I will not be around to answer to it today though, because i have loads of meetings today to pay the bills. This probably gives you all cart blanche to shoot it down, but i guess that is what we are all here for.

  18. Mel Says:

    Also, i forgot an image – do you want one? Not sure how all that stuff works…

  19. piqued Says:

    Indy, how did you do that? One minute you’re like, here, and now you’re kinda ‘there’

  20. Excelsior! Says:

    Indy – agreed TOTP2 is/was far superior to vanilla TOTP.

  21. indy Says:

    piqued: teleportation.

    excelsior!: totp2 is “the sh*t”. being totp2-producer is something of a dream job… the trivia that turns during the totp2 performances, was that a concept that started before or after the vh1 pop-up video?

    omfg. i am a dinosaur rock bore.

  22. Mel Says:

    Indy – wasn’t that all kicked off with Network 7 in the 80s?

  23. Swineshead Says:

    TOTP2 is special interest though – and it’s allowed to wander from the original remit of TOTP – which is to showcase the new and the trendy. A remit it failed to fulfil towards its end, what with the internet rendering it obsolete.

    Nick – I was only playing, you’re not really an arsehole. Though you are an ignoramous.

  24. Nick T Says:

    I know, I was busy sending you an email.
    Artistic it is …..
    Why aren’t we talking about cakes?

  25. Who Says:

    Ah, I would be happy to watch old re-runs of classic TOTP in the Thursday night slot, (say 1981 to 1987). Being old and confused, the Beeb would easily get that past me.

  26. Excelsior! Says:

    the original remit of TOTP – which is to showcase the new and the trendy

    In the end, that was what did for TOTP really. It was just the dross of pop left – The Fast Food Rockers anyone? – instead of actually cool new music.

  27. indy Says:

    mel: you tell me, i’ve never heard of network 7. i like the concept though. there was a swedish ’90s chat show that heavily overused the function with rolling celebrity guest trivia and no swedish television show could use that function without being reminded about the crapness of “svepet” as the show was called. but then came the txt-your-opinion madness and the crimes of “svepet” were forgotten.

  28. Mel Says:

    Network 7 was famous ground breaking ‘yoof’ magazine programme on in the late 80s/early 9os. It was famed for its very fast captions and snippets, as well as for starting the affair between Janet Street Porter and Normski. Iconoclastic in its day…

  29. Nick T Says:

    1981 to 1987 “classic?

    Oh dear….

    I’ve got some fantstic OGWT of Bob marley’s first British television apperance doing “Concrete Jungle” with the wonderful and mad Lee “scratch” Perry.

    Don’t you want that baby?

  30. indy Says:

    i spent 5 days in london and all tv i watched was a short bit of “shipwrecked” and then i spent one morning/lunch zapping between the bbc morning news show (about the armours of henry VIII), the wright stuff (about buying porn movies) and loose women.

  31. Mel Says:

    bloody hell indy , how did you manage to miss all the fucking property shows that seem to be clogging up the airways? Well done for doing that. On behalf of my nation, i can only apologise about Loose Women

  32. piqued Says:

    He was dancing, Mel. Dancing for his life

  33. Mel Says:

    yes piqued, but last week i flicked on the telly for all of about 20 minutes and everything was property shows and Jeremy Kyle. Even the adverts. Well, the ones that did not have Carole Vorderman in them.

  34. indy Says:

    mel/piqued: yes. i was dancing. dancing the mussolini. dancing the amin. dancing the thatcher. etc

  35. Mel Says:

    Oh, and at last someone has answered the question Are we Human or are we Dancer? At least in Indy’s case

  36. piqued Says:

    But when you’re dancing Mel, and you should know this, your eyes are, like, closed as the groove and rhythm kinda takes you away and takes you to a place far, far away from porky mathematicians bursting out of a dresses two sizes down from common sense.

  37. piqued Says:

    ‘mel/piqued: yes. i was dancing. dancing the mussolini…’

    that was good that bit, that was right nice so it was

  38. Mel Says:

    Depends if you are on anything that might chemically alter your mindssss piqued. I went to one of them discotheques the other day, and all the kids had eyes like saucers, except the ones that claimed to have fallen into a big hole.

  39. Nick T Says:

    Russell Brand at G2 protest at bank of england.
    Wonder if he’ll take his clothes off again?

  40. indy Says:

    mel: when it comes to human/dancer etc piqued is clearly “robot”. yes. some impressive body popping moves there.

  41. Swineshead Says:

    Brand Twittered that he was going to storm the BoE and demand a ‘shining sixpence’. One feels he’s into anarchy for anarchy’s own sake.

  42. indy Says:

    Nick T: G2? has the economic crisis hit us so hard that it’s only 2 of them left. oh my.

  43. breeks Says:

    i didn’t grow up with totp (obv) and when i got to the UK its status was legendary so i watched it (circa 2001) and didn’t get it.

    miming? s’not singing, innit.


  44. indy Says:

    morning breeks.

  45. Nick T Says:

    Yeah but you had Molly Meldrum breaks….

  46. breeks Says:

    molly. legend.

  47. Nick T Says:

    Beats Jimmy Saville…actually he probably did, for kicks

  48. indy Says:

    only been able to see the exclusive short bits from totp on swedish telly i must say that i got three totp favourites:

    slade – merry x-mas everybody
    everything about eve (?) – (the one where she forgets to mime)
    smiths – the boy with the thorn in his side

  49. Mel Says:

    Indy – Everything but the Girl, or All About Eve? What song was it?

  50. piqued Says:

    All About Eve wasn’t it? Bloody awful they were

    *does robotic dance*

  51. indy Says:

    it was all about eve

  52. Mel Says:

    And in exciting news (for me) my meetings have been postponed by an hour.

    *Does floppy-haired shoe-gazing dance*

  53. indy Says:

    *does perfect impersonation of brett andersson ’92 dance (fact)*

    *receives applause*

  54. indy Says:

    “The last act ever featured visually on a weekly Top of the Pops was Girls Aloud, as part of the closing sequence of bands performing on the show throughout the years. They were shown performing “Love Machine”.”


  55. Who Says:

    Of course, I meant classic for all the wrong reasons, Nick T. But I am going to see Spandau Ballet…

    *waits to (deservedly) be put on some sort of list*

  56. breeks Says:

    i’m afraid 80s music passed me by. i was caught in a whirl of amy grant, evie, cliff richard and 60s classics.

  57. indy Says:

    i got to admit that i am a bit confused by this spandau ballet reunion hype. in sweden they are more or less considered a one hit wonder band (“gold”) and people that say that they prefer “true” are considered indie snobs.

  58. Who Says:

    Hate to say it Indy, but it’s purely a sex thing for me. I fancied them all rotten as a teenager and I wouldn’t say no now (to any or all of them).

    I think I’ve just qualified as this week’s WWM Weekly Bastard…

  59. ugeine Says:

    Ah! The same reason I’m such a huge Status Quo fan.

  60. Do I Not Like That! Says:

    Good point about the miming from Breeks. I guess it was a sort of rite passage when you discovered that TOTP was mimed. OK, when you discovered this fact, you were probably still in shorts, but yes it was one of those discoveries that we all have to go through. I’m right aren’t I?

  61. Excelsior! Says:

    I remember working at a Wetherspoons when a Status Quo gig finished nearby. The amount of denim was unreal.

  62. Nick T Says:

    Listen to ” Down down, deeper and down” and you no longer have to listen to anothe SQ tune. It’s got it all.

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