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Top of the Pops

1990 on BBC Four

SO
Soupnzi London London
I've always liked 'Now Get Out of That' as the theme. Funny that Andi Peters chose that as the theme for the 'All new' TOTP as it wasn't particularly fondly remembered.

Me too. Without triggering a poll, it’s not even in the Top 3 of TOTP themes, but it has a real charm and somehow felt fairly contemporary and appropriate in both eras it was used (it would never have worked in the Britpop/post-Britpop years).

Great visuals in the 1991 titles too- filmed at the Brentford Museum of Steam no less! I think the music, titles and graphics were the only things that worked in the 91 revamp.
VM
VMPhil Granada North West Today
I don’t think there’s a TOTP theme tune that I don’t like to be honest.
buster and tightrope78 gave kudos
VM
VMPhil Granada North West Today
Someone's uploaded the "return to TV Centre" edition on YouTube.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VAINnieBIaE

Reminds me just how terrible the Star Bar idea was.

Looks like it actually could be repeated if BBC4 gets to 2001. Though Popscene lists Jimmy Savile as a presenter, it seems his only appearance is as they walk past him during the opening link, could be easily edited out (or even just zoomed in, like Jonathan King on the closing link of the 1985 Christmas special, as he's on the extreme left of the frame).


Wonder if this sign is hanging about somewhere? Possibly in a BBC staffer's man cave

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DE
DE88 UTV Newsline
Great visuals in the 1991 titles too- filmed at the Brentford Museum of Steam no less! I think the music, titles and graphics were the only things that worked in the 91 revamp.


Shame about the logo, though...

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Obviously, a fair amount of effort was required in crafting it, shooting it on camera and keying it into the titles - and that effort wasn't for nothing as it was used until early 1995. But if you didn't already know what the show was called, I'm not sure you'd have the easiest time working it out...
"What is two plus two?" "Rather more than three." "Yes, but can you be more specific?" "The Belgians."
SW
Steve Williams
Me too. Without triggering a poll, it’s not even in the Top 3 of TOTP themes, but it has a real charm and somehow felt fairly contemporary and appropriate in both eras it was used (it would never have worked in the Britpop/post-Britpop years).


I always liked it too, though I would say the original version was superior to the remixed version they used in 2003. In those days, as you can see on YouTube, they often wouldn't introduce the programme over the globe but straight off the back of a trailer, and the intro always sounded quite good in that context.

Stan Appel was clearly a fan of Tony Gibber's work as he also commissioned him to do the theme tune for the short-lived Les Dawson quiz Fast Friends that he produced in 1991, and the two themes are not dissimilar - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLPc4eFH6hk Fast Friends was a big flop, in Louis Barfe's Les Dawson book Appel says the whole thing was acquired, piloted, recorded and broadcast within about three months, so it was a bit of a frantic production. I love how Les is blatantly superimposed into the titles.

There's various reasons why they could have happened. The main ones I can think of would either be connected to making it easier to share footage with the international versions, or that the cameras and the likes they were using weren't near the end of thier life and they didn't want to spend money on replacing equipment which still had several years of useful life left.


As I've said before, one issue they had in Elstree is that the gallery for their studio hadn't been refurbished since the ATV days, and so initially Pops would use the gallery from another studio, but towards the end of the nineties that studio went on long-term hire to Kilroy and so the gallery was in use every day and they couldn't use it anymore - so instead they used an OB truck parked outside the building, so it does sound like they were using rather limited facilities in the last few years. Even so, seems bizarre there wasn't a better option.

As I've also said before, Richard Marson talks in his book about filming a Blue Peter item on Pops and seeing that, as they were at Elstree away from all the other programmes, Chris Cowey had total control over the whole thing and everyone would defer to him at every opportunity - "I'll just check that with Chris", all that - and it had turned into totally its own self-contained empire.
CO
Colm Anglia (West) Look East (West sub-opt)
A possible development - yet TBC officially, should be by Wednesday.





Update: Confirmed and now listed on the BBC website.

1990 Big Hits, Friday 2-10-2020 at 8.00pm

The Story of 1990, same Friday at 9.00pm.
Last edited by Colm on 16 September 2020 6:09pm - 2 times in total
BR
Brekkie Wales Wales Today
So "On This Day in History" on the menu page says that in 1976 "The 1,700th edition of Top of the Pops airs on BBC One."

That can't be right surely.
Turns out nobody had 2020 vision.
JA
james-2001 Central (East) East Midlands Today
Seeing as the 1,000th didn't air until 1983...

Might mean the 700th. But I'm not sure even that aired as early as 1976.
SW
Steve Williams
Might mean the 700th. But I'm not sure even that aired as early as 1976.


We did see the 750th edition in the repeats, it was in August 1978 (they didn't do anything particularly special, but Peter Powell made reference to it and they had a big cake at the end). The Kaleidoscope Pops guide suggests the 700th was in August 1977, so it's not that either.
RW
Robert Williams Founding member London London
So "On This Day in History" on the menu page says that in 1976 "The 1,700th edition of Top of the Pops airs on BBC One."

That can't be right surely.


I think it should be 1996 not 1976.

Seeing as the 1,000th didn't air until 1983...

Might mean the 700th. But I'm not sure even that aired as early as 1976.


I've got the 700th noted as being aired on 25/08/77. TOTP episode numbering is all over the place anyway - for example I can never understand how they managed to make the 1000th episode follow only 97 episodes after the 900th...
SW
Steve Williams
I think it should be 1996 not 1976.


Yes, you're right, because I remembered that weekend they did a special edition of TOTP2 which featured the number one from every hundredth episode. Obviously they had to use rather lateral thinking for some of the older ones where the relevant episodes had long been wiped, so there were a couple represented by performances from Christmas shows and other programmes instead, and they had nothing at all for Sugar Sugar by The Archies so they did a montage of shots of the audience dancing from various episodes around that time.

That was just after they'd moved it to the 7.30 death slot, and as well as that, they also had highlights of the one and only Top of the Pops Weekend which was a pair of Smash Hits Poll Winners Party-style concerts at Wembley Arena, seemingly just to emphasise it was still a major brand for them despite its unhallowed new slot.
JA
JAS84 Yorkshire Look North (E.Yorks & Lincs)
Aren't The Archies a cartoon band? They're based on the Archie comic book. Even if the episode that song was on wasn't wiped, there could be rights issues with the footage, which probably came from the cartoon the song is originally from.

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