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Last Updated: Friday, 28 November, 2003, 20:20 GMT
BBC's revamped Pops is launched
Kylie Minogue
Kylie sang live on the show
BBC One has re-launched veteran music show Top of the Pops with a new look and format to boost ratings.

The new, longer live show was kicked off by girl group Mis-Teeq and also featured performances by Will Young, Elton John and Gareth Gates.

The re-launch was hit with the late withdrawal of a Michael Jackson video because it was not ready for broadcast.

And the show ended in embarrassment when wrong answers were shown on screen in a Robbie Williams competition.

In a heavily publicised competition, offering a trip to see Robbie Williams in Australia, the viewers were asked to choose between three answers.

They were asked to name the singer's first number one single in the UK, out of a choice of three: Freedom, Angels and Old Before I Die.

In fact, Williams' first UK number one was Millennium in September 1998.

Later, the question was re-worded to "first solo hit" and a viewer rang in and said Freedom and was rewarded with the trip to Australia.

Top of the Pops through the years

The programme was fronted by new host Tim Kash, who introduced the show, saying: "Good evening and welcome to the first All New Top of the Pops."

The revised format included the singles and album chart, studio interviews, music news, competitions and 15 different performances.

In a throwback to the show's roots, audience members featured heavily, although they often seemed more startled than excited by the cameras.

The show was a mix of live performances and pre-recorded material.

Before the start live guests were paraded along a red carpet, with attendant paparazzi , in attempt to give the show a more glitzy, "event" feel.

Will Young
Will Young performed his song Leave Right Now
Sir Elton John performed Your Song, "direct from Atlanta", in a clip of a recent concert he performed in the US city.

There were also live performances in the studio from Pop Idol Will Young.

Victoria Beckham appeared on the show and told host Kash: "It looks fantastic. The BBC budget has gone sky high."

BBC executives will be hoping the show will be able to claw back viewers and return to the days when the show had audiences of six million.

The new show is the vision of executive Andi Peters, who was brought into the BBC to give Top of the Pops a change of image after viewing figures halved to three million since 1995 amid competition from other music shows.

He said the fact that singles sales had fallen sharply in recent years showed there was a need to offer different types of music, including album tracks and unreleased tunes.

"I felt that we had to broaden the appeal to make it more popular to more people," he told BBC Breakfast.

"There are a lot of people who do not buy singles but buy albums and so by reflecting the album chart it will help us keep our market share."


Did you watch the new Top of the Pops? This debate is now closed. Please see below for a selection of your views.

The presenter was irritating and puts no personality on the show! Anyone can stick to a script... A waste of an hour!
Jeremy, UK

Erm, music show, but where's the music? Where were the Darkness? Oops, i almost missed the 35 second "interview". In an "all new" show, Kylie looked more 80s than ever, and we had to put up with the same teeny bopper music as before? How about some quality bands, who even perhaps, (shock horror) play instruments?? Hard idea to grasp nowadays I know but please. We have some really great bands at the minute, Kings of Leon, Strokes, Thrills, etc. WHY NOT PLAY THEM?! Bring on MTV, and please, someone pull the plug on Blazin' Squad, we've all suffered enough.
Matt, UK

Good host. Good music but not enough. Competitions, chats, repeated and repeated. Rubbish - more music less chat and great that they sang live. Hopeful that it can improve. Stop trying too hard. Simply, charts stars equal good TOTP.
Allister Murdoch, England

After all the hype, this was a real let down. Might I suggest that an hour is too long for this new format, I just got bored! Kylie's performance was just dire and even Westlife didn't look inspired by their own singing.

Bring back the old format. Whose bright idea was it to hire Tim Kash? Does our licence fee pay for his teeth-whitening?
John, UK

The presenter was annoying - typical Andi Peters though - sensationalist and copying CD:UK and other so-called modern pop genres - boring and tired!
Neil Hardy, Wales, UK

Whilst the BBC screen TOTP in the same time slot as Coronation Street, you'll never get the same number of viewers, no matter what is changed. The programme needs to go on after EastEnders...
Paul Harris, UK

Thank the Lord for Blazin' Squad who injected some life and excitement into the whole thing, they were by far the best thing of the whole evening. The format is rubbish, the presenter was like a rabbit in the headlights, and isn't Victoria Beckham miserable?
Katie, UK

What have they done to TOTP? They've gone and ruined it with this revamp! The graphics were distracting and didn't even look good...Tim Kash was cute to look at, but hell he couldn't even figure out which camera he was meant to be looking at and another thing: it's not a good idea for a flagging TV show wanting a revamp to invite a flagging wannabe-pop star whose out to revamp herself on the show! It doesn't do you any favours TOTP!
Les , UK

It was ok, but I think too much emphasis was put on designing the graphics and the set. It seemed a little bland, I cannot actually recall and significant parts of the show that I really enjoyed, not seeing Michael Jackson's video was also a disappointment. I think that the show will probably improve when it goes back to its 30 minute slot.
Alex Berrisford, UK

If we want to see interviews, we'll watch Parky. If we want pointless phone-in competitions, we've got daytime TV. Stick to music, please!
Niki, UK

Thought the new format was fab - especially catching artists live, mid-concert in other parts of the world. Good to see features like Craig David's in South Africa too.
Sarah, UK

I watched for a total of ten minutes, and all I was treated to was one and a half live performances, 60 seconds of an awful Gareth Gates video, and a woeful presenter who couldn't even look into the right camera. Come on BBC, you can do better than trying to rip off CD:UK!
James, UK

A bit of a curates egg - some good bits and some awful. Seems to be aimed at young viewers, but surely they are well catered for on Saturday mornings? Hopefully Andi Peters will take a critical look at this first show and make suitable adjustments for the future. Only time will tell if he gets it right.
David Elsey, England

Too much talking, not enough music. Why not just call it TO:TP, show it on Saturday morning and kill two birds with one stone?
George Stevens, UK

My kids, 8 and 14, hated it. They said it was rubbish. They'd rather go upstairs to listen to Dad's Dark Side Of The Moon.
Jane Turvey, UK

An awful piece of work. How annoying putting the chart run down over a performance. Also surely the number one should end the show and be shown in completeness? Very tacky. Makes the old format look professional. Reminded me very much of a poor version of the chart show but with live mimers on stage.
M Cooke, Uk

I thought the new show format was great. However, until the show is put on at 7pm it will never attract the big audience that it deserves.
Dave Holmes, UK

It was really just a re-hashed version of what was there before. The font used for the words on-screen was absolutely terrible, too small and almost impossible to read. It seemed like the designers had substituted the need for a clear, accessible format with a "funky" new look that was far too orange.
Zoe, UK

Must be time for some good brainstorming to produce a NEW music show. I'd say that will be money better spent. TOTP is tired and should be canned!
Sam Prosser, UK

It's got a much fresher, sharper feel than before. It had become almost unwatchable before with the ridiculous star bar and dated theme music - now I'll probably have it on if only in the background each week. Although hopefully someone will do something to make it look slightly less obvious when someone is holding up signs to the crowd saying "scream and applaud". And please...put it back on Thursdays before EastEnders.
James, London, England

They say less is more. Surely, the original formula is what makes TOTP? Anything else is just another mediocre show.
Kelly, England

How many times can we say "new" in a minute! Rubbish. Could have put money on Peters filling the screen with logos and annoying "coming next" - we don't all have attention spans of seconds. Can't say I'll be watching again.
Philip, UK

Why do we need that logo in the corner of the screen?
Graham Kirk, uk

What the hell is the logo doing in the top right hand corner? It didn't work for T4 and it won't work for TOTP.
g lane, uk

I'd like to see some other genres played - how about some more rock or metal, since that is usually always pushed aside for what pre-teens dictate for everyone else as "popular" music?
Svend "Dreadknux" Joscelyne, UK

Yet again the show has missed the chance to show which artists are truly talented by making them play their songs live with real musicians and no backing tracks. Go on I dare you.
Andy, UK

I'll stick with the specialist music channels, thanks all the same.
Jim, UK

TOTP is my favourite programme. Revamping the show is cool because albums will be explored.
Mo Bangura, UK

I have avoided totp for years now. It is aimed at a childrens market.
bob, UK

Since when has "backstage gossip" supplanted music as a subject worthy of the channel's attention?
Sky Holden, uk

"It's NEW, it's ALL, it's ALL NEW Top of the Pops! Coming up next on ALL NEW Top of the Pops, is ALL NEW Top of the Pops acts and ALL NEW Top of the Pops songs that are ALL NEW (Top of the Pops)..." [repeat 400 times without blinking] Erm yeah, think we got the message...
Stuart Manning, UK

A phone-in competition where none of the answers shown on screen is the correct answer!
Richard, UK

Having an impossible to win Robbie Williams competition may have saved us some licence fee, but unfortunately they incorrectly said Freedom was his first number 1! I wonder if they can really mess up so badly or was it just a stunt to make the papers tomorrow? Apart from that, the new format was an excellent carbon-copy of CD-UK.
Simon Chiplin, UK

Come back Pan's People - all is forgiven.
Dominic Carman, uk

The music was the same as ever, but the "new look" made it look like CD:UK; TOTP should be innovating, not following its rivals. Don't start me on the presenter - all the personality of Will Young's microphone stand.
Stuart Taylor, UK




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