On the 1st January 1964, Top Of The Pops made its television debut on BBC TV. The music show was only intended to run for six weeks, but it became a fixture on British TV screens for over 42 years and was one of the most influential TV programmes in British history, changing the way we consumed music, and becoming the world's longest running weekly music television show. Weekly editions of the iconic music show stopped on the 30th July 2006, and until December 2021, the show returned every year for a traditional Christmas end of year show, celebrating the best music from the past year.
Top of the Pops survives today in the form of BBC Four documentaries and episode repeats ranging from the late 1970s to the mid 1990s.
Sadly the BBC is not commemorating 60 years since Top of the Pops aired on BBC TV. So instead, we here at the Top of the Pops Archive are celebrating 60 years of the iconic music TV show with some highlights from the past six decades. Episode content from 1964 to 2021.
"It's still number one! It's Top of the Pops"
60th Anniversary of TOTP: Featured Artists
4000+ artists have appeared on Top of the Pops over the past 60 years, from mimed performances to music videos. Check out who appeared the most times on the show.
Rockin' all over the world.
Making their debut in 1968, and their last appearance in 2005, Status Quo appeared on TOTP the most!
60 YEARS OF TOTP
Cliff Richard made the most solo TOTP appearances. Check out his TOTP appearances.
60 YEARS OF TOTP
The Beatles made many appearances in the early TOTP years. Check out their TOTP appearances.
60th Anniversary of TOTP: Featured Presenters
Over 200 people have presented Top of the Pops over the past 60 years. Artists, celebrities, and radio presenters. Check out our favourite presenters below.
Gone but never forgotten. We remember the BBC Radio, TOTP & TOTP2 legend, who sadly passed away on 12th February 2024.
The first new presenter since the show's cancellation in 2006. Clara is the current presenter of TOTP.
We remember one of our favourite TOTP presenters, Janice Long, who sadly passed away in 2021.
The Story of Top of the Pops
Check out the milestones of world's longest weekly music TV show. From it's humble beginnings to it's final farewell.
In the beginning.
Back to when it began. 1st January 1964. Check out the first opening titles which were used until 1966.
January 1966 saw the introduction of another new TOTP logo and theme tune.
Colour TV comes to TOTP.
November 1969 saw the introduction of the first colour opening titles.
Whole lotta love countdown.
May 1973 saw a presentation refresh, and the introduction of "THE" logo, alongside CCS' "Whole Lotta Love".
On the 900th episode, 9th July 1981, brand new opening titles, theme tune and the legendary TOTP neon logo debuted on screen.
40 YEARS AGO
On 5th May 1983 TOTP celebrated its 1000th episode. Featuring clips and personalities from the past 19 years, plus a look at the current chart hits.
Computer generated titles.
April 1986 saw the introduction of the first computer generated TOTP opening titles.
30 years of TOTP.
On January 1st 1994, TOTP celebrated it's 30th anniversary, with a Smashie & Nicey hosted special.
Red hot pop.
February 1995 saw another TOTP visual overhaul. New studio, new presentation package, and Vince Clarke's "Red Hot Pop".
Whole lotta love. Remixed.
It was all change in 1998, when Chris Cowey commissioned a remixed version of the CCS' track for the 1998 TOTP rebrand.
Get Out of This (and that)
November 2003 saw TOTP have a last ditch attempt to reinvent itself, refreshing the sets and presentation one last time.
17 YEARS AGO
The final countdown.
On 30th July 2006 the last episode of TOTP aired on BBC Two. Check out who appeared on the last weekly show.
TOTP2 tries to replace Xmas TOTP.
The BBC tries to cancel Christmas TOTP with TOTP2 specials in 2008. Public outcry & Simon Cowell's intervention reverses their decision... thankfully!
Last *proper* Christmas special.
In December 2021, Clara Amfo & Jordan North host the last traditional TOTP Christmas special in a studio.