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Pop / Rock 12/09/2002

Timeline: Top of the Pops (TOTP)

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LONDON, UK (Top 40 Charts) - The theme tunes. The logos. The dancers... Top 40 Charts traces the history of UKs' best loved music programme

1 January 1964: The very first episode is broadcast. The show is presented by DJ Jimmy Saville. The Beatles perform their No 1 hit I Want To Hold Your Hand.
In the days before the advent of music videos, problems with the availability of artists led to the introduction of dancers, to provide the visual entertainment. The very first troupe were called The Go-Jos but many others came and went - most notably Pan's People.

1967: Between 1964 and mid 1967 the show was broadcast live from Manchester, however it was difficult to get many bands to make the journey north, so the programme is relocated to London.
The Go-Jos are replaced by Pan's People, and up-and-coming DJ John Peel presents his first show.

1969: TOTP broadcasts in colour for the first time, with new titles and graphics to honour the occasion.
Radio 1 DJs Jimmy Saville and Tony Blackburn become the main presenters, and the format is extended from 25 to 45 minutes to allow for a chart rundown of the top 30 singles.

1973: TOTP's 500th show is marked by performances from heart-throbs The Osmonds and David Cassidy, with Slade bringing a more working-class hero appeal to the show.
To reflect rock's popularity in the charts, a version of Led Zeppelin's Whole Lotta Love becomes the theme tune, which remains unchanged for the next eight years.
The programme moves to Fridays, but a drop in ratings sees it move back to its traditional Thursday evening slot.

1974: TOTP is affected by industrial strikes and is off air for 10 weeks. Dave Lee Travis makes his first appearance as a presenter.

1976: The enormously popular Pan's People are replaced by Ruby Flipper, and shortly after by Legs & Co.

1979: A strike at rival channel ITV brings TOTP its highest ever viewing figures of 19 million.

1980: TOTP goes off air due to industrial action by the Musicians' Union. Steve Wright presents his first programme.

1981: The theme tune Whole Lotta Love is finally laid to rest as electro-pop becomes the genre of choice and a new theme tune, Yellow Pearl, written by Thin Lizzy's Phil Lynott and Ultravox's Midge Ure makes its debut.
Dancers Legs & Co make their final appearance and are replaced by Zoo.

1983: TOTP's 1,000th show features a performance by Spandau Ballet.
The rise of the music video signals the end of the TOTP dancers, and Zoo dance off stage for good.

1984: The chart run-down is now extended from the top 30 to the top 40 singles.

1985: The TOTP slot is reduced from 40 to 30 mins.

1986: Another logo and new theme tune as Lynott's Yellow Pearl is replaced by Paul Hardcastle's The Wizard.

1989: New graphics and logo.

1990: Two more graphics changes.

1991: The Wizard theme tune gets its last airing, and Now Get Out Of That by Tony Gibber is introduced. Yet more graphics changes.
The did-they-sing-or-where-they-miming debate which had dogged TOTP since its outset is finally laid to rest with a ruling that acts should perform live.

1992: TOTP celebrates its 1,500th edition with performances from Charles & Eddie and Boyz II Men.

1994: The live performance rule is revoked. TOTP2 is introduced as a seasonal series on BBC2.

1995: Last use of the 1991 logo and Now Get Out Of That theme tune, which is replaced by Red Hot Pop by Vince Clarke.
TOTP branches into publishing with the first edition of TOTP magazine.

1996: Last ever Thursday evening showing of TOTP, which moves to a new Friday slot, with a repeat showing late on Saturday nights.

1997:Steve Wright becomes the presenter of TOTP2.

1998: Red Hot Pop gets its last airing, and the BBC attempts to bring about a return to traditional values with a reworking of the Led Zep classic Whole Lotta Love.
TOTP2 gets a repeat showing on Wednesdays.

1999: TOTP2 becomes a year-round programme.

2000: To compete with ever-growing competition from cable channels, the BBC launches two new spin-off programmes: TOTP Plus, a Sunday show on BBC2, and TOTP@Play, a three-hour daily request show on cable/satellite channel, UK Play.

2001: The venture fails to attract audiences, and both shows are scrapped.

2002: TOTP2 becomes a twice-weekly, 25-minute programme.

TOTP celebrates its 2,000th edition on Friday September 13 2002.






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