Talk:Top of the Pops

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Former good article nominee Top of the Pops was a good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
June 22, 2006 Good article nominee Not listed

Altered sentence[edit]

I have altered the sentence "The show's relaunch with Andi Peters as producer was widely considered the point where Top Of The Pops was Jumping The Shark" because although "Jumping the Shark" was linked to its respective page to inform people what it meant, I felt that particular phrase is not widely known or understood in British English. After all, the "Jumping the Shark" article does state that it was popularised by US TV critics. Therefore, I feel my decision is justified. --Chriskirby 20:36, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

TOTP Plus/@Play[edit]

No mention of TOTP Plus or TOTP@Play spin-offs. I'm afraid I don't really know much about them but I think all the other spin-offs are mentioned.--Kevin Judson 23:59, 24 June 2006 (UTC)


MUSIC SHOW BEGAN 1964[edit]

The article says "In 2002, BBC America presented the BBC version of Top of the Pops as part of their weekend schedule. The network would get the episodes one week after they were transmitted in the UK. BBC America then tinkered with the show by cutting a few minutes out of each show and moving it to a weekday time slot. Viewer interest was gone and the show was taken off BBC America's schedule."

I don't think tinkering is a neutral term here. BBC America has commercials, so the 30-minute program was shown as 40-minute program, including commercials. Later, performances were cut to fit the program into a 30-minute slot on BBC America.

It might be worth writing to BBC America to get an official statement from them, but it seems that this music program didn't really fit in with the rest of their programming. BBC America has really never shown a large amount of music-related programming

Yeah, I don't really understand the statement "Viewer interest was gone." I seem to recall quite a bit of flaming going on at the BBCA message board for at least a year afterwards, decrying the loss of TOTP in the States; there was even a FAQ entry from the BBC basically telling people to stop asking if they'd bring it back. So I'm not sure it was cancelled due to lack of "viewer interest." Maybe I'll add a citation request. Free-world 03:12, 25 September 2006 (UTC)

[edit]

Shouldn't the current TOTP logo be at the top as people might think the one currently at the top is the TOTP logo. British TV

  • Much Better now that the current logo is at the top

Trivia - Bis[edit]

I have some vague memory of hearing that this is a factoid as Suede hadn't signed a deal when they first went on TOTP. But I may have dreamt that.

Bis definitely weren't the first despite the outright lies of the BBC publicity machine. They only hand a "handshake" deal with Chemikal Underground at the time, but if you accept that as unsigned, then New Order also had a handshake deal with Factory when they performed Blue Monday on ToTP in 1983. (For that matter, I wonder whether Renee and Renato were under contract to the tiny independent label Hollywood Records?) Another thought: ToTP traditionally featured the winning entry from A Song for Europe. It is possible that some of these acts were also unsigned when they first appeared. --Bonalaw 11:58, 15 March 2006 (UTC)


Guys, I have no idea how to wikify a page but there are two problems on the page. One, both Status Quo and Cliff Richard are cited as appearing on the show the most times... so which is it?

Also, Judas Priest's performance of "Take On The World" in 1979 is clearly live vocals over a prerecorded track of the rest of the music. This does not jibe with what's written about when this procedural policy was in place. Judas Priest's performance in 1980 muddies the issue further by being a completely mimed performance.74.32.80.33 03:51, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

Sorted it, someone sneaked the errornous Status Quo trivia into the history section presumably when no one was looking. Status Quo are often quoted as being on the show over a hundred times, a figure in the 80s is actually more accurate (87 are listed on the TOTP website performance database). Sir Cliff holds the title of most appearances totalling at least 150 (156 listed in the database).
Explaining your query about the no-miming policy; the policy was only ever enforced in 1991. Before that year artists had the freedom to choose whether they mimed, sung live to a recorded score or even if they wanted to use their instruments live... as indeed they do now as the rule has long since been dropped. --Peteb16 19:50, 30 May 2006 (UTC).

Added the Steve Archibald appearing twice on the same show fact. Statto74 12:06, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

Agree with the above statements that "unsigned" is probably not sepcific enough a term to amke the claim. Bis probably signed some sort of contract even if it only covered one release. However, I think they were the only band ever to feature without making it into the top 40, which was normally the rule. --78.151.57.26 (talk) 19:16, 15 September 2008 (UTC)
That's not true either. Plenty of acts appeared when their singles were outside the Top 40. MFlet1 (talk) 11:28, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

First Show[edit]

"Top of the Pops began on New Year's Day 1964 in a studio set in a disused church in Salford."

Wasn't the first show from a converted church in Dickenson Road in Manchester i.e. not Salford? --jmb 21:57, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
What? How did that get in there? Dickenson Road's about 5 miles away from Salford! Thanks for spotting that! I'm surprised no one, including myself, has spotted that before. The BBC have mentioned lots of times in various literature about the show's Manchester roots. Maybe it was vandalism. ~~ Peteb16 22:21, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
There was a discussion about the subject yesterday in uk.tech.broadcast, apparently the BBC News pages were saying Salford for a time. Perhaps they used Wikipedia for their source! --jmb 07:42, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

Chronology[edit]

The section "All New TOTP" was a bit of a mess as various editors tried to update the various changes that have taken place since the move to Sundays and finally, the cancellation. I have ordered the events chronologically and rendered all verbs in to the simple past tense (since it is now history). --Oscar Bravo 12:22, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

I have grave doubts as to the repeated assertions that The Beatles were on TOTP edition 1. At the time, they were in their christmas show at the Finsbury Park Astoria, later the Rainbow, and simply could not have got to Manchester (and back) for the show and met their commitment to the nightly show in London.

I'm checking this a bit deeper with Bill Wyman who was on the show!

The Beatles were not on the first show in person, their song was played to specially edited news footage. In fact, of all 20 appearances on the show, only one was a performance and that was 'All You Need is Love', shown on Boxing Day 1967. All other appearances were either news footage or a promotional video. ~~ Peteb16 15:03, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
That contradicts information that a clip of the Beatles on TOTP is in the 1965 Doctor Who serial The Chase, which is apparently the only surviving TOTP Beatles footage - but apparently the Boxing Day 1967 episode exists in full, so surely it'd be on there too? BillyH 20:02, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
Well my information comes from the performance database on the website and also the book. I'm guessing the book is correct that they weren't in the first episode, but I am aware there are mistakes in the database - you'd think they'd get something as important as that right though? ~~ Peteb16 20:45, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
I have a VHS copy of said Christmas 1967 show and The Beatles contribution is a recording of their "Our World" contribution, originally transmitted live from Abbey Road. Yes, they were performing live and it was in front of an (invited) audience, but it was not performed in front of a TOTP audience. I've yet to be convinced that they ever appeared live in the TOTP studio (although John Lennon did with "Give Peace A Chance" Neillp88 18:51, 31 January 2007 (UTC)neillp88

Bill Wyman has confirmed that the Rolling Stones WERE on the first show, that the Rolling Stones did not open the show, and that the Beatles were NOT there in person, so can at best only be described as being featured, and NOT as being **ON** the show.

By any chance Did Mr Wyman say who did open the show? ~~ Peteb16 10:30, 30 July 2006 (UTC)


Sorry, no. But he has re-confirmed what I have said. I've also had some exchanges with someone called Tae from TOTP Online who seems to accept that The Beatles were not physically there for the first show, but given that Jimmy Saville read the script at the last TOTP without comment, seems to accept that the Stones were on first - apparently believing Sir Jimmy more than Bill Wyman's diaries! Tae has not (I gather) made any reported (to me) attempt to actually contact Bill for him/herself to verify it. So, whilst the record here at Wikipedia will be OK, the BBC's as-good-as-official account will be flawed.

Well no offence to Sir Jimmy, but he is getting on a bit and can't fairly be expected to remember something that happened 42 years ago. He probably would've believed the autoqueue if it said Girls Aloud opened the show. However, what shouldn't have to be disputed is the book written and published in 2002 which documents the first episode as beginning with The Rolling Stones. If this is wrong, this apparent sloppiness is not something that should be easily excused... although it is becoming quite consistant, especially when we're now talking about a show with a very final 'last episode' that will be somehow be back at Christmas as if it hadn't happened. I hope someone does come forward with some accurate information. If there's no proper documentary evidence, and there's no one left alive that can remember, they should be honest and say that. ~~ Peteb16 15:10, 6 August 2006 (UTC)
The Beatles DID make some live appearances on the show. I will add sources for this when I find them. MFlet1 09:18, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

Missing episodes[edit]

Recent changes regarding this section don't seem to ring true and as such I've requested a citation for it.

"The last edition no longer in the archives is dated September 8th 1977. All editions after this date exist in full."

"There is also a widely held belief that editions from September 9th 1982 and August 9th 1984 are missing, this is also incorrect."

The BBC Top of the Pops website contains a database of it's performance history, if you look up 9th August 1984 you will find they confirm that this episode does not exist in the archives. If this is incorrect, there needs to be proof provided in some way that contradicts this information. Additionally, the term 'widely held' needs backing up, it's not something that seems to pop into everyday conversation. Thanks. ~~ Peteb16 23:35, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

(Slightly later....)

A search of the BBC's own TOTP database <http://www.bbc.co.uk/cgi-bin/totpperf/search.pl?type=totp1&mode=advanced> confirms that the Beatles did NOT appear on the show. TOTP showed a promotional film - which IMHO is not the same as "appearing" on the show. Fine, entries can say that they were "featured", but not that they "appeared". Doing a similar search for The Rolling Stones shows how entries for artistes who appeared show up more clearly.

The End[edit]

Whose going to do the chore of changing the article to past tense and the whole "TOTP broadcast its last episode on..." thing. Could be quite a task due to the size of the article. Last programe ends in 30mins.

(RuSTy1989 18:35, 30 July 2006 (UTC))

I believe the solution for this has been solved - we don't change the article to past tense. Why? Because it hasn't ended! If anyone saw the documentary broadcast at 10pm on BBC Two you would have heard Jana Bennett, (BBC Director of Television) state "Yes, there's going to be a Christmas special this year, The Top of the Pops Christmas special is here, it's not gone away." Sally Wood (Producer) also believed the show would be back in a couple of years time. Certainly by Miss Bennett's announcment it is fair to say that the show has not ended, therefore it is in the present tense. Does anyone else agree with this? ~~ Peteb16 22:32, 30 July 2006 (UTC)

It depends on whether they keep their promise. They could do a Christmas special this year and never do one again...or change their minds and not do any at all. Remember, when Tomorrow's World ended three years ago, they said they'd produce specials under the name, and we're still waiting. BillyH 23:06, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
Equally, the BBCs reptutation for actually ending something is just as bad. Doctor Who, Only Fools and Horses, Absolutely Fabulous and Last of the Summer Wine being good examples all of which have been ended at least once and then simply brought back. ~~ Peteb16 23:21, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
I would say that Doctor Who is the only one brought back completely. Last of the Summer Wine ended because of the death of one of the main characters, it returned when a way was later found around this. I think the other two have only returned as specials which is quite common after a series has ended. --jmb 09:03, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

They are doing a Christmas special. Did you see Jimmy Saville turning the lights off at the end? How sad.--Crestville 11:39, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

The BBC programmes mentioned by Peteb16 are all comedies. A far better comparison might be Top Gear, another magazine programme. This was dropped for a couple of years and then came back with a fresh new format. Perhaps some people might do the same with TOTP and revive it in a new fresh format (rather than the old format with stuff added on as happened in recent series). I believe with a Xmas Special on the way we should leave everything in the present tense. Alexj2002 18:29, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Good Article nomination has failed[edit]

The Good article nomination for Top of the Pops has failed.

As mentioned on the GA page, this article has far too much traffic to become a good article just yet, and instead should be put up for nomination at another time. Regardless, even without the breaking news of cancellation, there are many things that can be improved upon (I probably would not have passed this article anyways).

Here are some things you might do:

  • The entire "Send-ups" section should be prose, not a list.
  • "Audience blunder" does not deserve its own section, merge it with something else.
  • You need to decide which verb tense you are going to use. I understand that since the show was just cancelled things are still under the editing proces, but this is just a reminder.
  • There need to be a lot more references (inline citations are always preferable)
  • The section about the magazine needs to be expanded and an article should probably be created specifically about the magazine.
  • Lastly, the entire article needs more than one person (once it is mostly finished) to copyedit it so that the prose is much better than it is currently.

--SomeStranger(t) 00:40, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

Requested section split[edit]

For the request for the split of the section List of performers to List of performers on Top of the Pops

  • Support - Even if I continued to split the list into columns by the time it reaches 43 years worth of performers it will outsize the rest of the article many times over. ~~ Peteb16 21:42, 22 August 2006 (UTC)
  • Support - Yes, you should definitely make this a new main article. It's a mammoth undertaking! chapwithings 13:34, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

Okay I'm going to action this, feel free to vote against this decision and we'll discuss a re-merging, but as it stands, we seem to have a very eager contributor who seems oblivious to the effects of the rapidly expanding list on the rest of the article. No offence to them of course, I just think by the time we've discussed it, it will be too late. ~~ Peteb16 21:31, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

Send-Ups[edit]

The last item in the send-ups list just says "Singer Les Gray of Mud went on s." Anyone know what "s" Les went on? Syxx 03:16, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

The entire second half of the article got blanked, presumably accidentally as he also added a bit to the intro, by an anon. Now restored, and incidentally, Mr Gray went on s"tage to perform with a ventriloquist dummy during the performance of Lonely this Christmas and had the dummy lip-synch to the voice-over in the middle of the song.". BillyH 04:27, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

Without verification, such as from biographies of band members, isn't it impossible to tell if many of the listed "send ups" were really deliberate "send ups"? Were they all genuinely done on purpose as a protest against the show's format which forced musicians to mime? It seems quite possible to me that a lot of those in the list were just examples of unintentionally poor performances.Simon Peter Hughes (talk) 14:01, 12 September 2009 (UTC)

The Stranglers did perform many times on TOTP (28 I think). However, the send up referred to on the main page is actually referring to their "Top Pops" (Dutch TOTP spinoff) performance and not their TOTPs performance of No More Heroes. Incidently, in the Stranglers TOTP performance of No More Heroes Hugh does send up the guitar solo (by playing the notes in the air) and JJ (bassist) starts the performance by wafting the dry ice with a newspaper. Most of the Stranglers TOTPs performances were some sort of send up from their first performance (Go Buddy Go in 1977) where Hugh and JJ switched bass and guitar to their last performance (96 Tears in 1990) where Jet Black sneers at the camera every time it's pointed in his direction. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 90.210.146.58 (talk) 21:26, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

Origins[edit]

There is a letter in the September 2006 issue of Prospero from Kenneth Lawson, the designer of the first Top of the Pops set. He makes a few comments that someone might like to incorporate into the main article.

  • He complains about the failure by the BBC and media to give enough credit to the late Johnnie Stewart who was the original source of the show.
  • He says that the BBC's "London management had no interest in the prospect and they eventually thought, let him try his idea in Manchester's small and awkwardly-proportioned Studio A in Dickenson Road. They gave him six weeks to prove it".
  • "From Day 1 it was a roaring success with millions viewing and increasing every week to the total amazement of the top executives in Television centre who could not believe their eyes and decided to visit the studio on transmission where it went out live - just to see how this success was achieved".
  • "They did not want this type of programme originally as it was not quite BBC - too loud and noisy etc."

Continues about how it stayed in Manchester for three years before being moved to London. --jmb 10:43, 8 September 2006 (UTC)


The Pogues?[edit]

It says that shane mcgowan fell over a drumkit, which is completely untrue,i'm changing it.

Lip Synching[edit]

I have never seen this show, but from the myriad descriptions of all the ridiculous jokes artists played to point up the fact that they were miming the words, it sounds like a total joke - did this play as badly as it sounds from all these examples? --Dmz5 03:50, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

In fact incidents such as these added to the show's appeal, in my opinion. Also the fact in the old days (1970s/80s) it was always presented by Radio 1 DJs. Radio 1 is supposed to be pop music station, but back then many of its presenters were people over 35 who didn't have a clue about youth culture. So you always got a certain satisfaction from seeing someone like Simon Bates introducing The Smiths, when you knew he was really more of a Chris de Burgh man himself. I was tempted to include this in the article but it's probably a bit too POV-ish. MFlet1 14:01, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

The main article makes it sound like there was no miming of vocals, just instruments until 1991. This simply is not true as Morrissey mimed all his solo performances until they switched to a live vocal, pre-recorded backing track.

I just don't really know the facts to make it right.

You're right - miming of vocals was definitely in place all through the 1970s and 80s, as can be clearly seen from various clips on YouTube etc. I've corrected the text to reflect this. MFlet1 11:20, 1 June 2007 (UTC)
Several editions exist in the archives that illustrate this fact - one 1984 edition that was broadcast uncut, for example, featured OMD performing Locomotion - the lead singer knocked the mic off the stand - and could still be heard singing with no loss of volume. Another edition that had to be re-shot, saw Tommy Vance introducing Dead Giveaway by Shalamar - the camera panned round to see three mics and no Shalamar. Another out-take proved that the whole act was mimed - not sure of the song, but Brotherhood Of Man performed one of their hits - and the record got stuck! Arthurvasey (talk) 14:01, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

New Zealand[edit]

I'm not a very good writer so i wont change it, but here are a few things to note under NZ:

  • New Zealand was the first country to be awarded the franchise outside the UK.
  • TOTP was filmed at the Transmission room (http://www.transmissionroom.co.nz) not the TVNZ studios as stated. Transmission room is owned by Satellite Media, the shows NZ Producers.

-- Matt

'Miming' & Sound on the show[edit]

A couple of comments from ex-BBC staff who worked on the programme (via http://www.tech-ops.co.uk) :

  • "I was quite upset regarding the comment that 'most artists mimed' ! Although I never worked on many TOTPs I'm sure that there are many others who could put Wikipedia right on that. I certainly remember the Johnny Pearson orchestra in the studio and of course the absolute legend when it came to re-creating the original record-sound in a live performance; that lovely, lovely man Dickie Chamberlain. Much of the success, for me at any rate, of the programme was due to the absolute dedication and expertise of Dickie in producing perfect live versions of the hits".
  • "I was disgusted to find absolutely no mention of the Camera and Sound crews who made that programme the success that it was. I was particularly saddened to see no mention of Dickie Chamberlain who did the sound on TOTP for over twenty years, reproducing sound studio recordings live on air with such success".

I agree that Dickie contributed greatly to TOTP at TVC, but more BBC[1] staff should contribute to Wikipedia too [2]Zir 13:54, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

Very pleased to see that Neillp88 has now done thisZir 11:45, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
IIRC, artists and bands were given the option of playing live or miming to a backing track of the single. This was done because many bands had had extensive studio production added to the single recording and in many cases this was not reproducible live. It was nothing to do with misleading the public (although it may well have done) but more for technical reasons. Also, for many of the newer bands it may well have been their first time outside of a small venue and the prospect of being seen by literally millions of viewers may well have given some of them stagefright or resulted in an attack of nerves leading them to perform less well than on the record. The more seasoned performers always had the option of performing truly 'live', it was up to the artist/band which they chose. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.112.60.128 (talk) 19:22, 25 January 2011 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Totp old.gif[edit]

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Image:Totp old.gif is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

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If there is other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images uploaded after 4 May, 2006, and lacking such an explanation will be deleted one week after they have been uploaded, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.

BetacommandBot 05:03, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Totp old.gif[edit]

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Image:Totp old.gif is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to insure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

If there is other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images uploaded after 4 May, 2006, and lacking such an explanation will be deleted one week after they have been uploaded, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.

BetacommandBot 20:36, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Totp old.gif[edit]

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Image:Totp old.gif is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to insure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

If there is other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images uploaded after 4 May, 2006, and lacking such an explanation will be deleted one week after they have been uploaded, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.

BetacommandBot 05:23, 14 July 2007 (UTC)

The Jackie/Jocky Wilson incident, Christmas episodes and truncated or unusual editions[edit]

In the main article, there's a a reference to Dexy's Midnight Runners performing their 1983 hit Jackie Wilson Said, in front of a TV screen with a still of darts player JOCKY Wilson.

The show - especially from the early 80s onwards - kept getting re-vamped to suit both the music style of the time and new additions to the Radio 1 DJ line-up - at this point, the performers were placed in front of a TV screen that projected still images which had something to do with the song - unfortunately, the producer at the time had never heard of soul singer Jackie Wilson and instead put up a picture of Jocky Wilson.

As far as Christmas episodes were concerned, there used to be two put out - one on Christmas Day and one later in the week (no chart was compiled over Christmas) - they were usually presented by nearly all the Radio 1 jocks, as opposed to the one, each edition running for an hour and playing the hits opf the year just gone - by about 1985, only one Christmas edition was broadcast.

In about the mid-80s, some editions were broadcast that only lasted 15 minutes, before settling for a half-hour slot, as opposed to the 50 minutes of the 70s.

There was an industrial dispute by the BBC in 1978, which resulted in certain programmes not being broadcast - it affected that week's edition - viewers were instead treated to an edition from a year ago (1977), presented by David Hamilton, who, by this time, had moved to Radio 2.

Arthurvasey (talk) 14:38, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

The 15-minute episodes were to make way for coverage of FA Cup Final replays, which always happened on a Thursday evening - the same night as TOTP was broadcast - and which happened for three years in a row in the early 80s (1981-83). Normal episodes were always 40-50 minutes until about 1985, when EastEnders was moved to the 7.30 slot and so TOTP moved to 7.00-7.30. MFlet1 (talk) 19:58, 24 July 2009 (UTC)

Specials[edit]

More information about the christmas specials and ratings for each are needed.--Cooly123 02:01, 30 January 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Cooly123 (talkcontribs)

Son/daughter of Kenneth Lawson - please read![edit]

The information you added to the section "The first show" was very interesting (to me, at least). Unfortunately it is not suitable for Wikipedia in its current form. Firstly, it is written in the first person ("My father Kenneth Lawson...") and there are more exclamation marks than in most encyclopaedia articles. Secondly, it consists of claims made without any references to back them up. If you can add references to published biographical accounts then this interesting information will survive - otherwise it will most likely be deleted fairly soon. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Daniel Earwicker (talkcontribs) 16:48, 27 November 2011 (UTC)

Good Call, Daniel. There is a whole section of what appears to be original research, some of which may not be material. I have pulled it out to below, where it can be examined for veracity and style, and then re-included, perhaps in its own section, or even another article. Wwwhatsup (talk) 07:02, 28 November 2011 (UTC)
'Top of the Pops' followed on from another music programme from the very same BBC Dickinson Road TV studio (known affectionately within the BBC by the name“Dickie Road!”). This previous show was called “6.5 Special” named from a steam train featured in the opening shots, and the fact that it was on BBC TV at 6.05pm evening time slot. This TV music programme featured a live band with a musician called “Don Lang”, who played somewhat what was then, in a far more traditional music style, with a touch of Jazz aimed at a more general BBC TV audience.
In both cases these 2 BBC TV show’s broke what was at that time revolutionary new ground, with the very simple fact that all of the previous TV programs were all largely made in the flat, much like the Music Hall and Stage had been doing for many years previously.
My father Kenneth Lawson was the first Senior Designer appointed by the BBC who later became Head of Design for BBC TV North Region. It was Kenneth Lawson who pioneered a new way of setting the studio out, working within both the odd shape and the limited space available, also the very large and heavy old style TV cameras. These types of TV camera’s originally only had one or more fixed focal length, with some camera’s being fitted with more lenses only able to be changed via a turret which turned around, ideally when the camera was momentarily turned off, unlike today with all zoom lens shots we all take for granted, when we see a lens zoom in or out, that option just didn't exist at that time technically!
Kenneth Lawson very carefully worked out all of the technical capabilities of all the various camera lens angles and their various field of vision and then managed to make some of; “the world’s first TV shows in the round,” with the TV camera's being at the center of the studio and rotated around with each of the various TV sets around the edges of the TV studio. Much today as we all take for granted, when we see it in BBC TV shows like the very successful BBC TV show: “A Little Later with Jools Holland” which very well uses, a similar studio layout of TV in the round very successfully to good effect.
The old Dickenson Road BBC TV Studio's, do no longer exist on the A6010 Rusholme, Manchester, M13 in what was the even older Wesleyan Church. The old stone building was knocked down to make way for a block of social housing. All that now remains there to commemorate the world ground breaking history of both Mancunian Film Studio's and then later the first North West region BBC TV studio's, and all that occurred here, is a small oval green plaque set high up on one of the end walls, for those with eagle eyes to spot it!
Although the local pub "The Welcome" which was frequented by so many of the BBC staff for light refreshments (!) along with so many of the world’s top pop and other entertainers, still does exist by some miracle! There is a now a small selection of photographs on the wall in the pub to prove its still cherished history there. For those who wish to visit the area The Welcome Pub is located in Hythe Close, which is just Off the Dickenson Road, Rusholme, Manchester, M14 5AT.


A comment above quotes a Lawson letter, which might include some details, from 2005 without giving a full reference. Lawson died in 2008. His obituary notes "Tall and distinguished-looking, Mr Lawson was extremely modest and rarely sought the limelight." and indeed there doesn't seem to be that much around. It would seem he probably merits his own article if enough can be found. Wwwhatsup (talk) 07:14, 28 November 2011 (UTC)

Episode lists[edit]

I have the ability to add fully tabled episode lists for Top of the Pops to Wikipedia. Here's an example from my sandbox. The information is all in a database file, which I can use to produce a report of all episodes per year which has all the table formatting placed around it. I just copy and paste the exported report document into wikipedia. I can produce one of these for every year of Top of the Pops, which would then be transcluded to an overall list for a whole decade, which in turn would be transcluded to an overall episode page. The database reports aren't perfect, so a bit of tidying up would be needed, but generally it's all good to go. However! I have one problem which makes me uncertain of whether to proceed - verifiability. My source of information is largely based on two BBC databases that no longer exist online, even in archive form. These are the BBC Progamme Catalogue and the database that once appeared on the now defunct Top of the Pops website. While there are a few websites that give some information about random episodes, there will be literally hundreds of episodes that will not have a reference. Should I give up hope now, or should I add the lists and see if anyone else can provide sources? Any thoughts people? ~~ Peteb16 (talk) 17:03, 13 September 2012 (UTC)

Yes; you should get out more. — Preceding unsigned comment added by You Can Act Like A Man (talkcontribs) 19:31, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
Nah, it's cold outside. ~~ Peteb16 (talk) 01:35, 30 December 2012 (UTC)

Unexplained removal of image from infobox[edit]

An IP address has twice removed the image from the infobox with no rationale:

Here, and here

As you are not leaving edit summaries, I ask - why? What is your reasoning behind this removal? Chaheel Riens (talk) 22:21, 5 August 2013 (UTC)

I'm assuming vandalism, however it might be because it's an older logo. What's happened to the 2003-2006 one? ~~ Peteb16 (talk) 09:23, 7 August 2013 (UTC)

Send-ups[edit]

The send-ups section is a complete mess, just a load of people churning out the same old stories to make their favourite musicians look all cool and crazy. A summary along the lines of "Several bands disagreed with the idea of miming in studio and made it clear they weren't playing live by purposefully doing it badly" and flagging up the handful of genuinely famous instances (Jocky Wilson, Mud) rather than a repetitive list. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 79.79.103.157 (talk) 14:29, 2 November 2013 (UTC)

Broadcast Center Studio??? Suggestion[edit]

Can anyone say which studio/s TOTP occupied??? Would be interesting to know.

ANSWER= TVC Studios 5 & 2 (sometimes), and Lyme Grove in busy periods — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2.26.231.204 (talk) 22:28, 2 October 2014 (UTC)

Needs updating[edit]

Article needs additional updating regarding Savile and the status of the archive, given the latest scandal where an iPlayer stream of an episode had to be pulled recently due to a brief piece of footage of Savile appearing during a performance. 68.146.52.234 (talk) 23:44, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

This has really become ridiculous not that anyone seems to care.Wotthefuccc (talk) 13:29, 24 June 2016 (UTC)

List of Main Presenters[edit]

How about a list of the main/regular presenters in chronological order (1st = co-presenters Freeman/Saville. The latter being the longest presenter for 20 years. Incredulous that this is not mentioned. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2.102.14.59 (talk) 17:00, 31 December 2014 (UTC)

There's a reference to a comprehensive list in Performers, performances and presenters.Wantley (talk) 08:01, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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External links modified[edit]

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Edited shows[edit]

Increasing shows are being either removed or edited according to any recent media gossip. Would Cliff Richard have been removed if the false accusations had gone further? Michael Jackson?Wotthefuccc (talk) 13:27, 24 June 2016 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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BBC Edits[edit]

This BBC censorship is dreadful. Do the removed Pops shows still exist or are they totally erased like the late 60s ones? Are we now left with historical episodes removing Savile, DLT, King, Glitter, Harris and so on and no real ones? What about pending cases and future ones featuring stars to be found guilty of historical crimes? And which crimes? If they start doing elderly persons for speeding or drug use 50 years ago will convictions lead to eradication from history? Is this acceptable by a news organisation? Wotthefact (talk) 08:41, 27 June 2016 (UTC)

That's not a matter for this article unless it's reported in reliable sources. I suggest you find an appropriate chatroom somewhere else, or start a blog. Ghmyrtle (talk) 09:05, 27 June 2016 (UTC)

Mike Smith[edit]

It's been suggested by numerous people on social media that it was Mike Smith himself who requested that his shows be omitted from BBC Four's repeat run. However I haven't as yet found a reliable source for this. MFlet1 (talk) 16:44, 22 February 2017 (UTC)