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Top of the Pops

1990 on BBC Four

DM
DeMarkay London London
At which point did the ‘orange’ era start in 2003?
AR
Argybargy Granada North West Today
At which point did the ‘orange’ era start in 2003?

It was the 28th of November 2003.
DM
DeMarkay London London
My favourite era of TOTP. Especially the music.
JA
james-2001 Central (East) East Midlands Today

Reminds me just how terrible the Star Bar idea was.


Completely agree with you- it was an unnecessary addition to the show and meant there was even less time available for the music. Does anyone remember how long the Star Bar lasted for? I know it had gone by the time of the 2003 revamp.


I think it still appeared on TOTP Saturday, albeit empty, for quite a while after it disappeared from the main show. I think it was even still appearing on there after the 2003 revamp. Fearne did a lot of the links from there.
JA
james-2001 Central (East) East Midlands Today
My favourite era of TOTP. Especially the music.


You must be the only person who considers the 2003 revamp their favourite era! For everyone else it's the worst era. By a significant margin.
Last edited by james-2001 on 9 September 2020 11:40am
DM
DeMarkay London London
My favourite era of TOTP. Especially the music.


You must be the only person who considers the 2003 revamp their favourite era!


I watched when Ferne and Reggie started!



Does anyone know why it was called “All New Top of The Pops?
JA
james-2001 Central (East) East Midlands Today
Because it was a major revamp. So "all new".
BU
buster London London
It was renamed the "Pops Bar" at the 2003 revamp, presumably as the press had noticed there was never anyone famous in there. They used it on the BBC3 follow-on show that lasted about 2 weeks, and on TOTP Saturday for a bit.
SW
Steve Williams
I forgot about that mini-relaunch in between the 1998 and 2003 ones, the first 16:9 widescreen edition I think - it’s hard to tell from that VHS upload but I’m guessing there was a big picture quality upgrade too, as the 4:3 episodes in Elstree earlier that year look a bit ropey even for their time.

It’s been mentioned here before but that’s a temporary title sequence which takes the 4:3 titles from 1998 and adds a mirror effect to the sides to create a faux-widescreen effect. I think the new 16:9 titles (same logo but now with various 3D shapes flying around) arrived later that year?


Yes, the new titles didn't arrive until the Christmas show. I've said it before, but given Pops went to widescreen three years after pretty much everything else on BBC1 - most programmes changing in the autumn of 1998 - you'd think they would have had enough notice to get the new titles ready.

In the summer of 1999 they did the show on tour for eight weeks and I assumed that while they were away from Elstree they'd be converting the studio to widescreen and giving it a new set, but they didn't. Remarkable how long it took Pops to go widescreen, it was one of the very last programmes on BBC1 to do it, which seems bizarre giving how in previous years it had always been one of the first to take on new developments, like stereo and the cypher graphics.

Completely agree with you- it was an unnecessary addition to the show and meant there was even less time available for the music. Does anyone remember how long the Star Bar lasted for? I know it had gone by the time of the 2003 revamp.


Before the Star Bar arrived in 2001, there was a similar set-up in Elstree for about eighteen months, where they converted the studio next door into a green room-style set-up and did a lot of links from there. That set-up worked better than the Star Bar because it was an actual studio, whereas the Star Bar was an actual real working bar with appalling acoustics that never worked on screen.

There was a crappy revamp in March 2003, when they started doing half-arsed features and longer interviews in the Star Bar, which gave it even more prominence, but I think they stopped using it when Chris Cowey left in August 2003, when all those extraneous features went for a burton and it became non-stop music again.

You must be the only person who considers the 2003 revamp their favourite era! For everyone else it's the worst era. By a significant margin.


Well, of the two much-criticised eras of 1991-94 and 2003-05, I would say the former era was worse, and I'd rather watch an episode from the latter period. There were a lot of things wrong with it, but at least they tried to make it feel like an event and have something special every week, and they seemed to know their audience a bit better than the snoozesome AOR fest of the early nineties.
JA
james-2001 Central (East) East Midlands Today
Still no sign of 1990 on the 25th September.
JA
james-2001 Central (East) East Midlands Today
In the summer of 1999 they did the show on tour for eight weeks and I assumed that while they were away from Elstree they'd be converting the studio to widescreen and giving it a new set, but they didn't. Remarkable how long it took Pops to go widescreen, it was one of the very last programmes on BBC1 to do it, which seems bizarre giving how in previous years it had always been one of the first to take on new developments, like stereo and the cypher graphics.


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.

Of course CD:UK was still 4:3 until the end of 2003, much later than TOTP. Nothing to do with the studio equipment though seeing as it came from Studio 2 at TLS which was already 16:9 capable when the show began in 1998, then the newly refurbished Riverside for the last months of 2003. There were quite a few 16:9 pre-records from around 2001 onwards though (though there were 4:3 pre-records during that era roo, in face the first performance on the first 16:9 edition was a WIll Young pre-record, which had been done in 4:3!).
TI
tightrope78 UTV Newsline
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.
Brekkie, buster and fanoftv gave kudos

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