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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 June 2006, 17:53 GMT 18:53 UK
Tony Blackburn's Pops memories
Tony Blackburn, one of the faces of Top of the Pops in the show's '60s and '70s heyday, told the BBC News website how he felt about its demise.

The announcement doesn't surprise me.

Tony Blackburn on Top of the Pops
The show attracted 15 million viewers in its heyday
It's a shame because it's a national institution. It's been on forever. But nothing's forever.

It just lost its relevance a little bit. There are several reasons.

First of all there are all the music channels we now have. And the charts don't mean as much any more.

I've got a nine-year-old daughter and she wouldn't know what's number one at the moment, although she loves music. Record sales for singles don't sell as much now and albums are more important.

Also I think it lost direction. They'd been trying to appeal to everybody.

It went on a little longer than I thought it would
I remember seeing Jeremy Clarkson on it and I thought he was so funny but I thought so wrong for the programme.

He had an American rap act bloke on and at the end of it he said 'God, that was awful'.

It was very funny and it made me laugh but you can't have somebody on a programme who doesn't like the music they're playing. It made all the older people watching like myself laugh. But the kids would say 'this isn't for us'.

They tried to mix current songs with songs going back in time. I remember there was an American rap act and then suddenly we saw Buck's Fizz from the '70s or '80s.

Slade on Top of the Pops
Blackburn's favourites: Slade were "made for television"
The kids won't like Buck's Fizz and the mums and dads won't like the American rapper. They're trying to appeal to everyone.

In radio, you narrowcast now. You go for your audience and you give them what they want.

Also, putting it on Sunday night was not the best thing.

I did it for about 12 or 13 years and it was very linked with Radio 1. All the people compering it were DJs.

But for some reason, they started introducing small little blondes from children's programmes. And you thought 'they're not really music people'.

Everything's moved on and Top of the Pops tried to move on.

But how can you move on a very strong chart show which was geared around the top 20 when the top 20 doesn't mean so much any more?

Tony Blackburn and Noel Edmonds on Top of the Pops
The festive edition was one of the highlights of Christmas Day
If a single got onto Top of the Pops, it was guaranteed to be a hit so all the groups were dying to go on it. Whereas now I think it became slightly uncool.

I will remember introducing people like The Beatles and the Rolling Stones - all the big acts.

My favourites were Slade - I loved the glam rock time actually. I thought it was great because it was very colourful - it was made for television really.

I have many happy memories of it and it was such an important show to be on as a disc jockey in those days.

So I can understand it why it's come to an end. It went on a little longer than I thought it would.

But it's a shame because it's a national institution and it will never be there again.


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