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Top of the Pops

1990 on BBC Four

SW
Steve Williams
There was a series of TOTP2 in 2006/7 too, after the main show had ended, which had a fair few new performances on it, mostly made for the international versions which were still in production at the time.


When Top of the Pops ended in 2006, TOTP2 was recommissioned and sold as a continuation of the brand, in that it would have new performances on every week. I wouldn't say most of the performances were from the international versions, pretty much all the bands were British and filmed on the old TOTP set, I remember bands like Maximo Park on it. Obviously they weren't keeping the set standing permanently but they were still doing regular recording sessions.

That run of TOTP2 was on Saturday evenings on BBC2, although it was booted around any time from 5pm to 9pm, and even had a top ten rundown on it for at least the first few weeks. It was a bit of a disappointment, though, it was only a half hour show so they could never appeal to all audiences in that time. It ran for six months between September 2006 and March 2007 at which point it was "rested" as a regular series. There were various specials over the next twelve months but never again was it a weekly series.

The other occasions it came back for a series of episodes was when it was stripped late at night over Christmas 2008 (where it was initially announced it was going to be instead of the Christmas Top of the Pops, but they did one anyway) and then the two weeks in 2012 as mentioned.

It's easy to forget now but in 2012 it genuinely felt like Top of the Pops might come back as a regular thing, because the BBC4 repeats were doing good business, they had that series of TOTP2, the At The BBC compilations would be on BBC4 every five minutes, they'd just discovered a load of lost footage like David Bowie doing The Jean Genie which had got in all the papers and they announced they were going to do a live stage show under the brand, plus the sixtieth anniversary of the chart was coming up and there were various things announced for that. So it felt like Pops was becoming a big brand for the Beeb again and I genuinely thought it might come back. But unfortunately Savile happened and it became a totally toxic brand and that was the end of it.

I'd like to see them repeat some of the original TOTP2s- from the first few Johnnie Walker series where they included some performances from that week's TOTP as well as archive ones. I don't think they've ever been shown since original broadcast, unlike the Steve Wright episodes, which have had plenty of repeats on various channels down the years.


You'd struggle to get much interest in the earliest Walker episodes because they're so unlike the TOTP2 that people remember, it was pretty much all new music. For the first two years or so, the archive stuff only featured in two specific sections, The First Time where they'd feature the debut of a notable act, and Recorded For Recall where they'd show clips from two specific episodes, but not full performances (of course in those days they'd have to ration anything pre-1976 as we didn't really know how few of those existed). The rest of it was all new music, and Ric Blaxill launched it as a magazine show for older audiences, so there would be three or four performances from that week's Pops of the songs of interest to older viewers (which was useful if you'd missed it) and three or four videos of records that were going to be in the next week's chart, plus any interesting videos (I remember on the first show they showed a Rolling Stones video which, Stardust-style, hadn't been finished before the record fell out of the charts). So it was a very topical show, based very much on the current charts, and one seemingly unsuitable to repeat.

Over the years Recorded For Recall was extended to include full performances, and Top of the Pops itself being repeated from 1996 meant there was no need to show extracts on TOTP2, so there was much less new music, and by the time Steve Wright took over in 1997 it was pretty much non-stop old records with a single new video at the end, which was the format people came to know and love. The high water mark for TOTP2 was in 1999, just after the first showing moved to Wednesday teatimes (with a repeat in the old slot on Saturday teatimes), when that November Top of the Pops and TOTP2 were both on BBC2 one week and TOTP2 got a bigger audience.
BU
buster London London
I used to like the top 10 countdown on the early TOTP2 format because they actually showed the “1” graphic rather than handing back to the presenter. I was an odd child...
RD
rdobbie
But unfortunately Savile happened and it became a totally toxic brand and that was the end of it.


Not entirely, though. They've been happy to place the brand in front of family audiences every Christmas Day since, together with the Savile-era neon circle logo as a prominent part of the set.
BR
Brekkie Recently warned Wales Wales Today
There was a series of TOTP2 in 2006/7 too, after the main show had ended, which had a fair few new performances on it, mostly made for the international versions which were still in production at the time.

Which countries had their own version, and were they branded TOTP?
Turns out nobody had 2020 vision.
JA
james-2001 Central (East) East Midlands Today
But unfortunately Savile happened and it became a totally toxic brand and that was the end of it.


Not entirely, though. They've been happy to place the brand in front of family audiences every Christmas Day since, together with the Savile-era neon circle logo as a prominent part of the set.


Savile was on the show for half its life, so you could say all the 60s and 70s logos are "Savile era".
JA
JAS84 Yorkshire Look North (E.Yorks & Lincs)
And didn't he leave soon after that logo's introduction? It was used longer without him than with him.
JA
james-2001 Central (East) East Midlands Today
JAS84 posted:
And didn't he leave soon after that logo's introduction? It was used longer without him than with him.


No, that logo was introduced in 1973, he didn't leave until 1984 and the logo was used until 1986. Unless you're counting the (very slightly) modified version introduced in 1981, and even then it was still used longer with him than without. Though he was only an occasional presenter by the 80s.
BC
Blake Connolly Founding member London London
Looks like TOTP repeats is possibly going back to 1 episode a week format.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000n7g4


This has just changed and now there'll be two 1990 episodes that night.
SW
Steve Williams
This has just changed and now there'll be two 1990 episodes that night.


The first "they want to get the episodes out quickly before BBC4 closes down" conspiracy theory will be with you very shortly.
VM
VMPhil Granada North West Today
9th October would have been John Lennon's 80th birthday which explains all the Beatles related programming on. What have they dropped to get two 1990 episodes on - the TOTP2 Lennon special?

https://www.bbc.co.uk/schedules/p00fzl6b/2020/10/09
SW
Steve Williams
9th October would have been John Lennon's 80th birthday which explains all the Beatles related programming on. What have they dropped to get two 1990 episodes on - the TOTP2 Lennon special?

https://www.bbc.co.uk/schedules/p00fzl6b/2020/10/09


Nothing, they're all half an hour later.
AB
AcerBen Granada North West Today

When Top of the Pops ended in 2006, TOTP2 was recommissioned and sold as a continuation of the brand, in that it would have new performances on every week. I wouldn't say most of the performances were from the international versions, pretty much all the bands were British and filmed on the old TOTP set, I remember bands like Maximo Park on it. Obviously they weren't keeping the set standing permanently but they were still doing regular recording sessions.


Yeah I don't think it had anything to do with the international versions either.. it was probably partly to appease people upset that TOTP had been cancelled, and actually it wasn't a bad idea on paper to give TOTP2 some "exclusive" new performances. It would've cheap and easy to pre-record several weeks worth of performances in one sitting too.

You'd struggle to get much interest in the earliest Walker episodes because they're so unlike the TOTP2 that people remember, it was pretty much all new music. For the first two years or so, the archive stuff only featured in two specific sections, The First Time where they'd feature the debut of a notable act, and Recorded For Recall where they'd show clips from two specific episodes, but not full performances (of course in those days they'd have to ration anything pre-1976 as we didn't really know how few of those existed). The rest of it was all new music, and Ric Blaxill launched it as a magazine show for older audiences, so there would be three or four performances from that week's Pops of the songs of interest to older viewers (which was useful if you'd missed it) and three or four videos of records that were going to be in the next week's chart, plus any interesting videos (I remember on the first show they showed a Rolling Stones video which, Stardust-style, hadn't been finished before the record fell out of the charts). So it was a very topical show, based very much on the current charts, and one seemingly unsuitable to repeat.


That "new music" is now 26 years old though, so it's as retro as everything else! I am surprised that BBC Four don't find room for more TOTP2 other than the themed editions. Maybe the captions referring to "so and so died this week" or "they have a new album out next month" might make them seem a bit odd but most people would surely realise they are repeats anyway.

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