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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 June 2006, 15:03 GMT 16:03 UK
'I was in TOTP's audience 43 times!'
Paul Crossley on Top of the Pops in 2004
Paul's last visit to the studio was in 2004 when Tim Kash presented
Music fan Paul Cooksley, 34, went to see Top of the Pops being filmed 43 times.

On each of his visits, between 1988 and 2004, he was accompanied by his schoolfriend Colin Moon.

He recalls the excitement of visiting the studio.

I grew up in the 1980s and Top of the Pops was a show I watched religiously, week in and week out.

I never dreamt I would get on. I assumed it would be booked up for years.

But I applied for tickets when I became 16 - when I was technically old enough to get into the audience.

Paul Crossley on the Top of the Pops stage
Paul managed to get on stage during a BBC open day in 1994
I remember, when the tickets first came, jumping up and down and telling everyone about it, like a little kid. I was really excitable.

It was April 1988, and that was the very first edition I went on.

It was fascinating to see the studio - to see how small everything looked in real life.

Bananarama were the very first act I saw in the show, and I got to meet them afterwards, albeit very briefly.

I think it was just like: "Hi!", "Hello!". I think we were so much in awe of the whole experience we were a bit lost for words.

HAVE YOUR SAY
I lived around the corner from the studio on Dickinson Road, and in the 60's met most of the stars
SDJ, Manchester, UK

In all, bar about three or four episodes, we managed to get on camera with the presenter. We were regulars!

It was quite strategic-type thinking - if you got to the back of the audience when a group was performing, that was when they would take you away to be in the crowd for the next link.

Paul Crossley on Top of the Pops in 1991
Paul met both Lenny Henry and Simon Mayo when they hosted TOTP
We used to get very over-excitable because of the way they would warm you up, so you would scream and shout and clap your hands above your head.

I wasn't the most fashion-conscious person, but we would always wear things like bright shirts where you would show up on the screen.

Although it's a programme I've always been very passionate about, because of the way I've been connected to it, I think the Beeb has made right decision.

People knew when it was moved to BBC Two last year, it was the final nail in the coffin.

If I had been in charge, I would have moved it back to Thursday evenings and brought back the atmosphere that it had in the 80s.

Whether that would have worked, who knows?



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