5
Feb 01

Top Of The Pops relaunch.

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Top Of The Pops relaunch. Of course ver Pops (I refuse to call it TOTP as the fashion has had it since five years ago) has had more relaunches than the Ark Royal – and this news is merely news by its lack of newsworthiness. The important factor is moving its time slot. Its current Friday 7:30pm slot was a strong slot from a “flagship televsion” point of view (Friday is the best night of TV in Britain) but completely missed its target audience. Your pop-centric youth – and I am basing this mythological creature on myself here – is never in on a Friday night.

Thursday at seven o’clock was the heydey of the show, and any return to this slot can only be seen as a good thing. A stronger slot for its late night repeat as well (BBC1 would be missing a trick if they did not put it on for the post pub Friday audience). But what does it all mean? Top Of The Pops is now marketed as primarily a kids show which is perhaps as it should be, this is pop after all, and in relation to their other flagging output in this area it is about the only successful brand they have. And with the advent of TOTP 2 (a hangover from another heyday eight years ago) and TOTP Plus it certainly is a brand.

For a measure of how important Top Of The Pops is, the focus group would almost definately not have had Kernkraft 400 as its number 3 if it were not for their stupendous performance on the show. And before those of you who cannot watch it squeal at this assertation, there is no way it would have been on the focus group at all if a beered up Top Of The Pops session (one of the few I have had in the last five years) had not had Zombie Nation as a drop jaw classic performance.

On a personal note though I will be sad to see the Pops leave Elstree (home of Star Wars, Indiana Jones and the Spice Girls), Borehamwood – my home town. Wednesday night trips home would always be enlivened by tarted up – and I mean the strict derivation of that word – fourteen year olds who had saved a weeks worth of piss to wet themselves to Boyzone. And there is nothing more frightening to a 22 year-old bloke on his way home from his first ever job than a carriage full of said pubescent whores enquiring whether you are a virgin or not and which – ahem – door you prefer. Joseph Mengele had nothing on these girls.

The Riverside Studios: doesn’t the ghost of TFI Friday – and hence Ocean Colour Scene – still haunt that place?

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