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Page last updated at 15:01 GMT, Wednesday, 21 June 2006 16:01 UK


TOP OF THE POPS has fallen off its platform boots and is heading for the great tape archive in the sky.

Altogether now. It's Thursday night, it's BBC One. Enter an irrepressibly enthusiastic man with a Kevin Keegan haircut. Duh duh di duh duh duh duh, duh duh di duh duh duh duh.

Once the Top of the Pops theme tune, a re-working of some bike-revving old Led Zep track, was the definitive sound of pop culture.

But after 42 years, it's time to switch off the music. But the show's demise has been a gradual fade-out rather than a chord-crunching finale, much like an aging rocker playing to an emptying hall.

For the music landscape has changed and TOTP - like that aging rocker - now appears out of place. A singles chart show in an era where singles charts have lost their relevance. A 30-minute weekly showcase up against 24/7 music channels.

But there's no denying it gave us good times. Younger readers might rub their eyes in disbelief, but in TOTP's heyday there were only three television channels.

Even for those who thought it awful, it was a must-see. When there were no DVDs, no videos, no internet, there was almost no other way of seeing what a band looked like (apart from seeing them live).

Dave Lee Travis and Peter Powell
Crazy guys being crazy together
And its awfulness was part of its charm. Bands mimed. Decent bands made it obvious they were miming. And the presenters looked like they'd been dressed by people having acid flashbacks. Being a chart show, there were the strangest juxtapositions - a crooning suntan in flares followed by sulking suburban punks, watched by the same shuffling girls in pencil skirts.

Even when credibility-conscious bands like the Clash and the Arctic Monkeys refuse to play, it's a Top of the Pops story - the equivalent of turning down an OBE.

For the story of pop is interwoven with the show. The kaleidoscopic explosion of glam rock arrived about the same time as colour TV, and pop videos eventually overtook Legs & Co "interpreting" the music when a band couldn't be there.

But after a four-decade run - almost as long as a prog rock guitar solo - it's all over for the great warhorse of pop television.

No flowers. Just wear them in your hair.

Add your tributes using the form below.

And another one bites the dust.
L Towner, Tregaron, West Wales

Those were the days my friend - oh yes those were the days
Norma Whelan, Wallingford UK

Stop of the pops
James, Lancaster

Music was my first love and it will be my last
modern music killed me but don't forget my past
Jim Logan, Bathgate

Now......then, Now......then!
Nick Hill, Prestatyn

Top of the Flops?
Danie Jones, Cambridge, England

Mimefield cleared
Kevin, Great Ayton, UK

Pops taken a hit
Gary Morrow, Glasgow

Pop has eaten itself.
csrster, Denmark

Too old to rock and roll and too old not to die!
Lynn, Lewes

Lip synching from view.
Anthony, London

Vinyly left us.
Mike Brimacombe, Devon

Download killed the video star
Callum, London, UK

Ashes to ashes, funk to funky
Andrew, Manchester

As Jim Morrison once said
"This is the end
Beautiful friend
This is the end
My only friend, the end"
Andrew, Portsmouth

Popped off
Simon, St Albans, UK

Pops sickle
Candace, New Jersey, US

Their final countdown
Stephen Buxton, Coventry, UK,

I really can't be bothered to go through the whole "Ashes to ashes, dust to dust..." speech. Does anyone mind if I mime it?
S Brass, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire

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