Top of the Pops 2

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Top of the Pops 2
2013–present logo, as seen on the Christmas 2013 special
Narrated byJohnnie Walker (1994–97)
Steve Wright (1997–2009)
Mark Radcliffe (2009–present)
Theme music composerCCS (1998–2006, 2013–present)
Tony Gibber (2006–2013)
Opening theme"Whole Lotta Love" (1998–2006, 2013–present)
"Now Get Out of That" (2006–2013)
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of episodes523 (as of 4 August 2012)
Producer(s)Ric Blaxill (1994–98)
Rory Sheehan (1998)
Mark Hagen (1999–2010)
Running time30 minutes 1994–2007
60 minutes 2007–present
Original networkBBC Two
Picture format16:9 576i (2006, 2010–present)
4:3 576i (1994–present)
Original release17 September 1994 (1994-09-17) –
External links

Top of the Pops 2 (also known as TOTP2) is a British television music show broadcast on BBC Two, showing archive footage from the long-running Top of the Pops show, some dating back to the 1960s when the programme first aired on British television, as well as other surviving BBC programmes.


From its debut in 1994, the show was narrated by BBC Radio 2 DJ Johnnie Walker. Steve Wright took over in 1997 and hosted the show until being replaced by Mark Radcliffe in December 2009. The presenter never appears in-vision, but provides voice-over commentary that introduces each performance.

The original show format consisted of archival footage apart from the last performance, which was usually a more recent performance or an exclusive performance recorded in the main TOTP studio for TOTP2.

For a period of time, the BBC ran a daily version of TOTP2 in which celebrities chose their favourite archive performances. These celebrities, typically comedians, have included Vic Reeves & Bob Mortimer, Phill Jupitus and Jack Dee. There has also been a number of TOTP2 specials, where a "greatest hits" show dedicated to one musician or band has aired. Examples include the Bee Gees, Shania Twain and Dionne Warwick specials which aired between 2000–2003.


In 2004, the controller of BBC Two, Roly Keating, announced that the programme was to be "rested". The move was part of a format change for the main Top of the Pops programme, which saw it being moved from its BBC One Friday night primetime slot to a new slot on Sunday nights on BBC Two. The new format merged the Top of the Pops format of new chart performances with the TOTP2 format of archival footage. This format ran until TOTP's demise in May 2006.

The last showing of the original run of TOTP2 was the TOTP2 Christmas Special shown on Christmas Eve 2005 at 19:30 on BBC Two. Repeats of edited versions of TOTP2 were shown on Dave from 2004 to 2011, and on Yesterday in 2010.

After Top of the Pops[edit]

After the cancellation of the main Top of the Pops programme, TOTP2 returned to BBC Two on 30 September 2006. The new show format was similar to the earlier TOTP2, but also included live/original BBC performances. The first 50-minute special included Nelly Furtado, Jamelia and Razorlight, before it reverted to a 30-minute weekly format at 20:00.[1]

These episodes were produced and broadcast in the 4:3 aspect ratio like the majority of its archive material, except for the first two episodes that were shown in the 16:9 aspect ratio to accommodate new performances. The BBC planned to replace the main Top of the Pops special on Christmas Day 2008 with a special edition of TOTP2, that would have included some live performances and archive footage as well as the 2008 Christmas number one UK single; these plans were later scrapped due to complaints by viewers. This led to Simon Cowell asking the BBC to buy the rights to the Top of the Pops brand so he could produce a version of it for ITV1. The BBC later refused Cowell's offer and announced that they would show TOTP on Christmas Day on BBC One as well as the TOTP2 specials on BBC Two.


Since 2008, new sporadic TOTP2 specials have aired, alongside repeats of episodes originally broadcast between 1994 and 2005.

On 27 June 2009, TOTP2 returned unexpectedly to celebrate the life of Michael Jackson, who had died two days earlier. This later turned out to be the last episode to be narrated by Steve Wright.

Since December 2009, TOTP2 has been narrated by Mark Radcliffe.

On 10 May 2010, a TOTP2 80s Special aired on BBC Two. This marked the 500th edition of TOTP2.

In May 2012 it was presumed that TOTP2 would make a return, when a new series of TOTP2 aired in a daily 18:00 slot on BBC Two for a week. However, no new series have aired on BBC Two since, though there have been Christmas specials each year.

December 2013 saw the introduction of a new Top of the Pops logo, and a presentation refresh for TOTP2. It also saw the return of the CCS "Whole Lotta Love" theme tune.[2]

In recent years, BBC Four has aired vintage editions of Top of the Pops – originally 35 years to the week of the original broadcast, starting with 1977 repeats shown in 2012 – with the renewed interest in the original shows earning ratings of up to a million viewers, prompting the channel to repeat editions of TOTP2, such as in the aftermath of the Christmas Day 2016 death of George Michael.

In addition, various performances from TOTP and other programmes have been repackaged as music specials by the TOTP2 team, such as "Disco at the BBC", "Country at the BBC" and "Abba at the BBC". Music documentaries fronted by the likes of Nile Rodgers and Gregory Porter have also featured alongside, under the slogan "Friday night is Music Night".

The traditional Christmas edition of TOTP2 was skipped in 2016, and returned in 2017 on the programme's now regular home, BBC Four. It was skipped again in 2018.

Repeats of Christmas editions are also shown each year on Dave and sister channel Yesterday.


In September 2014, the BBC accidentally transmitted an episode containing footage of prolific sexual abuser Jimmy Savile, which resulted in seven viewer complaints and a statement of apology by the BBC. The offending footage was subsequently removed from BBC iPlayer, [3] leading to the dropping of Top of the Pops repeats featuring Savile and Dave Lee Travis (due to a suspended sentence), while Jonathan King's reviews of the American charts were edited out of the repeats, due to his conviction.[4]


The graphical style of TOTP2 generally followed the style of its parent show. TOTP2 used modified versions of the 1998–2002 and 2002–2003 titles during those eras of the show. For the original 1994–1998 titles, a separate title sequence was made for TOTP2. This again occurred between 2003 and 2005, when a new style title sequence based around the 2003 Top of the Pops spiral logo was used alongside the original version of "Whole Lotta Love" by CCS.

Episode guide[edit]

This is a guide to show a list of new episodes not in a particular series of TOTP2, broadcast since December 2008.

Original Transmission Episode Runtime Narrator Channel
28 June 2009 Michael Jackson: A TOTP2 Tribute Special 60 minutes Steve Wright BBC TWO
23 December 2009 Christmas 2009 90 minutes Mark Radcliffe BBC TWO
19 February 2010 TOTP2 Goes Latin 30 minutes N/A BBC FOUR
10 May 2010 80s Special 90 minutes Mark Radcliffe BBC TWO
23 May 2010 Wham! Special 30 minutes Mark Radcliffe BBC TWO
28 May 2010 Duran Duran Special 30 minutes Mark Radcliffe BBC TWO
25 September 2010 School Days 60 minutes Mark Radcliffe BBC TWO
21 December 2010 Christmas 2010 90 minutes Mark Radcliffe BBC TWO
21 December 2011 Christmas 2011 90 minutes Mark Radcliffe BBC TWO
28 January 2012 The 60s: Episode 1 30 minutes Mark Radcliffe BBC TWO
4 February 2012 The 60s: Episode 2 30 minutes Mark Radcliffe BBC TWO
12 February 2012 The 60s: Episode 3 30 minutes Mark Radcliffe BBC TWO
25 February 2012 Boybands 60 minutes Mark Radcliffe BBC TWO
3 March 2012 Girl Groups 60 minutes Mark Radcliffe BBC TWO
10 March 2012 Pop Stars 60 minutes Mark Radcliffe BBC TWO
2 May 2012 – 1 June 2012 30 minutes Mark Radcliffe BBC TWO
3 June 2012 Donna Summer 30 minutes Mark Radcliffe BBC TWO
4 August 2012 Summertime Special 60 minutes Mark Radcliffe BBC TWO
22 December 2012 Christmas 2012 90 minutes Mark Radcliffe BBC TWO
9 November 2013 Status Quo 45 minutes N/A BBC TWO
22 December 2013 Christmas 2013 90 minutes Mark Radcliffe BBC TWO
22 December 2014 Christmas 2014 90 minutes Mark Radcliffe BBC TWO
6 February 2015 Genesis 40 minutes N/A BBC TWO
30 May 2015 FA Cup 60 minutes Mark Radcliffe BBC ONE
12 December 2015 Christmas 2015 60 minutes Mark Radcliffe BBC TWO
21 December 2017 Xmas 2017 90 minutes Mark Radcliffe BBC FOUR


  1. ^ Todd, Ben (24 September 2006). "EXCLUSIVE: TOP OF THE POPS BACK ON TV". Sunday Mirror. Retrieved 24 December 2006.
  2. ^ "TOTP2". BBC. Retrieved 17 December 2013.
  3. ^ "BBC apologises for airing Jimmy Savile appearance". BBC News. 22 September 2014. Retrieved 22 September 2014.
  4. ^ "BBC to cut a third of Top of the Pops episodes to remove Jimmy Savile and Dave Lee Travis". Radio Times. 27 November 2015. Retrieved 22 December 2017.

External links[edit]