Top of the Pops

Top of The Pops was a weekly BBC show featuring the top sounds in the charts. With a selection of the week's top musical artists - either miming to pre-recorded backing tracks (sometimes with a live vocal) or occasionally performing live - the show kept generations in touch with the Top 40 music charts.

First broadcast on New Year's Day 1964, TOTP was only intended as a short run, but proved immensely popular, reaching its largest audiences during the 1970s, with regular viewing figures of 15 million. Presenters included Jimmy Savile, Pete Murray, Alan Freeman, Tony Blackburn, John Peel, Dave Lee Travis, Noel Edmonds, Bruno Brookes, Nicky Campbell, Steve Wright, Gail Porter, Jamie Theakston, Samantha Juste and Edith Bowman.

Viewing figures began to fall during the 1980s, coinciding with the drop in singles sales. After several revamps, audiences were down as low as three million. The show finally lost its primetime BBC One slot in July 2005. Relegated to BBC Two, the last show - an hour-long special - was seen on 30 July 2006. In all there had been more than 2,200 episodes.

Since then there have been occasional Christmas specials.

Genre: Music

4/5 Stars

When is Top of the Pops next on TV?

It's next showing on BBC Four December 24th, 9:00pm and on Yesterday December 25th, 11:00am. See more...

Main Cast

Julian Smith
Image for Fearne CottonFearne Cotton
Clara Amfo
Alison Howe
Stephanie McWhinnie
Lisa Stansfield
Shaun Ryder
Mike Read
Chris Rea
Tina Turner
Phil Collins
Jason Donovan
Image for Paula AbdulPaula Abdul
Richard Jobson
Sharleen Spiteri
Kathryn Flett
Marc Almond
Verity Maidlow Cornwell
Dione Newton
The Boomtown Rats