Page last updated at 10:54 GMT, Sunday, 30 July 2006 11:54 UK

'Our first night on Top of the Pops'

Members of the Dooleys
The Dooleys line-up before their first appearance in August 1977
In June, the BBC announced that its flagship music show was to be axed after more than 42 years.

Jim Dooley was a member of The Dooleys, a band which appeared on the show 21 times. Here, he remembers what it was like to perform on Top of the Pops for the first time.

After seven years of playing the live circuit in Britain we got the call that we'd waited so desperately for.

We were booked to appear on Top of the Pops.

I remember us dancing around in our underwear in our bedsit in Worsley in Manchester.

We were a band of three brothers, three sisters and a brother-in-law.

Our first appearance on the show in August 1977 was a life-changing experience

On 4 August 1977 we were to appear with our first single "Think I'm Going To Fall In Love With You".

It was the first of seven appearances we were to make that year.

Overnight sensation

In the 1970s everyone watched Top of the Pops and the programme had the ability to quite literally turn you into an overnight sensation.

Dooleys perform on Top of the Pops
Jim (right) and the band appear for the first time on the show

The condition for appearing was simple. You had to perform if you were a British act and available in the UK at the time.

In those days the show was broadcast on a Thursday so we had to be in London on a Tuesday to start our preparations.

First we'd have to record the track which was to be played on the show.

At the time facilities at the BBC were pretty archaic so we were allowed to use a proper recording studio in Willesden in North London.

On Wednesday we had to be at BBC Television Centre in West London to start the studio rehearsals.

The morning session was for us to practice our dance moves and for the cameramen to plot how they were going to film us.

Wednesday afternoon would be a full dress rehearsal and and that evening the show would be recorded. Our first appearance was alongside a band called The Floaters and The Jam.

Exhilarating

Top of the Pops was all about a passion for the music
We were in the North East, to play at the Stockton Fiesta, and watched the broadcast on Thursday night.

It was the most exhilarating feeling to see ourselves playing on what was the greatest music show in the world.

I still watch Top of the Pops and will be pretty sad to see it go. It was a reflection of a vibrant British music scene.

I think a lot of the people working in the industry today just don't have passion for the music anymore. That is what the show was all about.

Interview by Robert Coxwell of Have Your Say


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