Archive episodes of the onetime flagship BBC music show Top of the Pops are set to continue on BBC Four despite falling ratings and a number of former presenters currently under the spotlight for ‘sexual offences’.
BBC Four have so far screened in original transmission order episodes from 1976 and 1977 which survive in the archive. The corporation have stated they also plan to continue with episodes from 1978.
Episodes hosted by two TOTPs presenters Dave Lee Travis and Jimmy Savile are currently under controversy with the accusations, unproved on both figures, of sex offences. And while it may be innocent until proven guilty* the beeb have already dropped one edition featuring DLT.
Channel Controller Richard Klein had been reportedly undecided on continuing with re-runs of the chart countdown programme which ran from 1964 until 2006 as a weekly series and currently airs annually as a music highlights special showcasing the best songs of the year.
The BBC has confirmed they will continue broadcasting episodes from 1978. Savile and Lee Travis were presenters on Top of the Pops until the mid-1980s.
Magician Paul Daniels recently suggested some of the accusations may have been blown out of proportions recalling the ‘teenage groupies’ in the 1970s were often to be found ‘throwing themselves’ at famous faces as seen in footage of hysterical girls from the era. How many have changed what actually happened to an incident in the hope of making money remains to be seen.
It isn’t clear whether DLT/Savile’s remaining episodes will remain un-aired, however TOTPs fans appear in the main to be keen to somehow at least see the music performances from these editions.
“The media frenzies and witch hunt against celebrities leave the BBC in an awkward position with archive repeats. Do you really want to start hacking history because that is a dangerous president to start setting, history has to be seen as it was. Which is rightly why, whether we like it or not, Gary Glitter remains being aired in top ten count downs and on Top of the Pops, whatever he is now cannot change the success he unfortunately had at the time.” says showbiz reporter Vivian Summers.
*Savile cannot be tried, which will mean some hard evidence, difficult for such a long period of time, will have to be found to be beyond doubt.