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EDITIONS
Monday, 17 February, 2003, 13:03 GMT
Arabic Top of the Pops is a hit
Razan presents the Arabic version of Top of the Pops, with Gareth Gates
Razan is the face of the show's latest incarnation
An Arabic version of Top of the Pops has been broadcast for the first time across the Middle East.

The show was beamed from a Bahrain transmitter on Sunday night to a potential audience of more than 130 million Arabic-speaking people.

Hosted by presenter Razan, it went out on pan-Arab broadcasting group MBC's new English language entertainment channel, 2.

The move follows a deal struck between MBC and the BBC's commercial arm, BBC Worldwide.

Top of the Pops logo
Top of the Pops is a world-leading music brand
The UK version of Top of the Pops is broadcast in 112 countries in Europe, Africa, Australasia and the Americas.

"Localised" versions using Top of the Pops branding are also shown in Germany, France, Holland, Belgium and Italy.

The shows are filmed in recreated studios yet aim to reflect the individual culture and character of the region.

From November MBC will produce its own fully-localised editions featuring Arab artists and an Arab pop chart.

DLT and Jimmy Savile in 1976
The show has been on air in the UK for 39 years
Razan, who is MBC's star presenter, is fronting both versions of the show from a stand-alone slot within her weekly Razmania programme that goes out on Sunday nights.

She hosts it from a specially branded Top of the Pops area of her studio in Beirut.

She will also make regular trips to the Top of the Pops studio at BBC Television Centre in London to record links and interview features for the show.

Razan said it took her "about three seconds" to agree to present the programme.

"Top of the Pops is an incredible, fast-moving show and I know that our Arabic audiences are going to love it," she said.

In its 39-year history Top of the Pops has become one of the world's largest music brands, with a fan base of millions.

It is the UK's most successful music TV show and in September it celebrated its 2,000th edition.

See also:

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