BBC Home
Explore the BBC
BBC News
Launch consoleBBC NEWS CHANNEL
Last Updated: Thursday, 20 April 2006, 15:08 GMT 16:08 UK
TOTP 'may breach licensing law'
Anthony Kiedis of Red Hot Chili Peppers
The Red Hot Chili Peppers played at BBC Television Centre on Saturday
BBC chart show Top of the Pops may be breaking the law by hosting live music without a licence, according to west London council officials.

But there will be no attempt to stop this week's show - even though it could technically breach the Licensing Act.

Hammersmith & Fulham Council said it depended on whether the recordings at BBC Television Centre were interpreted as public or private events.

A BBC spokesman said a licence would be obtained if one was required.

"The recording of live performances before a limited, invited studio audience has always been treated by the BBC and the council as constituting a live event not requiring a live performance licence," he said.

"In the event that a different approach is now required, the BBC will apply for the appropriate licence."

'Essential' audiences

The council's attention was reportedly drawn to the programme after it staged an open-air concert at TV Centre on Saturday featuring US rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers.

"If they didn't have an audience for Top of the Pops, it is our understanding that they wouldn't be in breach of the Licensing Act," council spokeswoman Louise Neilan told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

Her comments earned a stern rebuke from radio DJ Mike Read, who said live audiences had been "an essential part" of the show since it began in 1964.

Breaching the 2003 Licensing Act can result in a 20,000 fine and up to six months in prison.

New TOTP loses half its audience
02 Aug 05 |  TV and Radio
How TOTP lost its top spot
29 Nov 04 |  TV and Radio


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific