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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 June 2006, 13:45 GMT 14:45 UK
BBC was 'right' to end TOTP show
Dave Lee Travis  on TOTP
Dave Lee Travis was a regular face on Top of the Pops in the '70s
The BBC was right to axe flagship music programme Top of the Pops, which is to end after 42 years, say former hosts of the show and music commentators.

DJ Dave Lee Travis, who hosted the show between 1972 and 1984, said the world is "too fast moving" for the programme.

His views were shared by DJs Sir Jimmy Savile and Paul Gambaccini, who said the show's demise was "inevitable".

But Noel Edmonds called it a "tragedy". The final edition of Top of the Pops will be aired on 30 July.

In a statement, the corporation blamed the "rapidly changing musical landscape" for the end of the programme, which began in 1964.

I think it's a dangerous thing to throw out one of the most recognised brands in TV today
Noel Edmonds

The programme has come under increasing pressure as fans turn to the internet and 24-hour music channels to satisfy their musical appetite.

But Edmonds, who hosted the show during the 1970s and 1980s, said: "I think it's a dangerous thing to throw out one of the most recognised brands in TV today," he said.

"It's a huge commodity and kids are still listening to music, even if they are downloading it.

"It's a tragedy when a broadcaster doesn't understand such a powerful brand."

Travis, who has a new radio show on Magic FM, said it was a "shame" the show was ending, adding that the popularity of music downloads had led to the programme's demise.

Terrific, cancel the only chart show on terrestrial television!
Angela, Middlesex

"Top of the Pops was the simplest of ideas. The title said exactly what it was - a programme that gave everyone a chance to see the acts that were climbing the charts.

"But the world has overtaken it. People are watching music videos on their mobile phones now."

He added: "In my day the show was fun. The artists and the presenters were having a good time.

"Somewhere along the way the music business has started taking itself far too seriously."

Sir Jimmy Savile presenting Top of the Pops
Sir Jimmy presented the first show in 1964

DJ Paul Gambaccini told BBC Radio 4 that the show lost its way when spin-off show TOTP2 was launched.

"As soon as they had to have familiar loyal voices like Johnnie Walker and Steve Wright introducing oldies, that was the end of Top of the Pops - because Top of the Pops was, and should have been, a half hour of the hits.

"It was the news of pop music."

"Nowadays the major artists don't release hit records more than once every two years, consequently the news isn't very interesting."

Top of the Pops was moved from its traditional Thursday night slot to Friday in the mid-1990s and relaunched in 2003, where it enjoyed a brief resurgence in audience figures.

Pan's People

But ratings began to drop again and the show was switched to BBC Two in 2004.

Rick Parfitt and Francis Rossi of Status Quo - who appeared on the show more times than any other band, said they have "fond memories" of the show.

"We performed on it over 100 times, and at least now it has gone we know that no one can ever beat our appearance record."

Sir Jimmy Savile, who presented the first show from Manchester in 1964, told Radio 4's Front Row programme that the BBC had failed to update the show's format successfully.

"I understand why [it's being axed], because it started 42 years ago... and I don't think the BBC has progressed as it should have done.

"Top of the Pops BBC is being taken off, but Top of the Pops under a different name, on about 20 different satellite channels is still going strong."

Daily Mail commentator Ray Connolly described Top of the Pops as a "sad old duffer of a show" that has "long belonged to another age".

Music critic Neil McCormick in The Daily Telegraph said it was a "sad day for overgrown teenagers", adding that the demise of the show had been "threatened for years".

See clips from Top of the Pops through the years


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