2001-2008
Home
Main
- About TFT
Friday Thing Archive
- Politics
- Media
- Culture and Society
- War On Terror
- People
- Places
- World
- Popped Clogs
- Music
- Books
- Film
- Etc
Help And Info
- Contact Details
- Advertising
- Jobs
- Privacy Policy
- XML Feed

Home > Media

TOTP: RIP

23 June 2006

'They think it's all over... it is now!' ...will not feature at all in this article.

And so, we see the end of 'Top of the Pops' after a long, terminal illness; finally put out of its misery by the BBC who spent much of the last decade unable to press a pillow onto its comatose face.

In its 1970s, early 80s heyday, 'The Pops' soared. Bands fought to get on the programme, and audiences regularly tipped ten million. It was essential viewing on a Thursday evening at half seven straight after 'Tomorrow's World', itself the victim of the Corporation's confusion over what to do with its crown jewels. 'The Pops' was on a Thursday for a reason. It was an adults' show for kids, who would then talk about it in the playground on a Friday, and go out and buy the record on a Saturday with the money from their paper round.

'The Pops' could get any band they wanted, any time, and that included the Sex Pistols when they were public enemy number one. Then, they refused to play Frankie Goes To Hollywood, and the game was up. The public realised that the programme wasn't the end-all of music programming, and bands started appearing on the show only to go down in the charts the following week.

Moving the programme to a Friday, then, killed it stone dead. Putting it up against 'Coronation Street' thrust something long and pointy where the sun doesn't shine; and the subsequent arrival of MTV, back when they actually played music, meant that its days were numbered. It's just taken this long to realise that nothing was going to bring it back to life. Not even Andi Peters, bless him, fighting against the tide of the Internet and satellite channels.

And it's not just 'The Pops'. As mainstream television slides deeper into a pit containing nothing but soaps, celebrity specials and 'Heartbeat', CITV quietly shuts down its home-grown programme-making division.

'Top of the Pops' died because young people stopped watching, and adults just weren't interested. CITV is dying on its arse because, frankly, not even kids watch kids' TV these days. Recent viewing figures for ITV in the tea-time slot have been pitiful. We're talking shows hardly registering on the scale, with less than 100,000 viewers. With junk food advertising on childrens' television set to be banned, ITV is cutting its losses and getting out, condemning our kids to screens filled with imported cartoons. There's only so much Spongebob even the most hardened ten-year-old can take.

So, welcome back, then, the 'Blue Peter' badge. Not even the Internet could kill you off.



Comment on this article: letters@thefridaything.co.uk

Subscribe to The Friday Thing for free


 ABOUT THE FRIDAY THING
Bad words ahead The Friday Thing is a weekly email comment sheet. Casting a cynical eye over the week's events, it is rarely fair and never balanced.

A selection of articles from each week's issue appear online, but to enjoy the full Thing, delivered by email every Friday - as well as access to almost five years of back issues - you'll need to subscribe. It's absolutely free.

READERS WRITE
"Razor-sharp comment and gossip." - The Sunday Times

"Hilariously cynical..To describe it as 'irreverent' is to do the newsletter an injustice." - The Observer

"Sharp, intelligent, opinionated, uncompromising and very, very funny. Just like 'Private Eye' used to be." - Alec McKelland

"Wicked" - Channel 4

"Ace" - Time Out

"'We rise once again in advocacy of The Friday Thing. We realize that some of you may be unwilling to spend [your money] on plain-text comment, but you're only depriving yourself." - The Minor Fall, The Major Lift

"Subscribing to this at the beginning of the year was undoubtedly one of the better decisions I've made. Superlative, and utterly marvellous. I look forward to Fridays now, because I can't wait for the next issue. Fucking fucking brilliant." - Meish.org

"Featuring writers from The Observer, Smack The Pony and The 11 O'Clock Show... will continue to attract new subscribers sight unseen" - NeedToKnow

"The Friday Thing is so good it's stopping me from doing a bunk of a Friday afternoon." - Annie Blinkhorn (The Erotic Review)

"So now" - The Evening Standard

"Damn it, you rule. May you never, ever back down." - Paul Mayze

"Ace" - PopJustice

"Snarky" - Online Journalism Review

"Can you please stop making me laugh out loud... I'm supposed to be working, you know!" - Tamsin Tyrwhitt

"Your coverage of stuff as it spills is right on the money." - Mike Woods

"Popbitch with A-Levels." - Tim Footman

"In an inbox full of trite work-related nonsense, TFT shines from under its subject heading like the sun out of Angus Deayton's arse." - Nikki Hunt

"A first rate email. It's become an integral part of my week, and my life would be empty and meaningless without it (well, *more* empty and meaningless anyway)." - Mark Pugh

"Genius, absolute bit of class. And you can quote me on that." - Lee Neville

"If you're hipper than hell, this is what you read." - MarketingSherpa

"The most entertaining email I've had all week. Great tone." - Matthew Prior

"A massive and engrossing wit injection." - idiotica.co.uk

"I wouldn't know satire if it bit me on the arse. But I did like the Naomi Campbell joke." - Matt Kelly (The Mirror)

"Has had an understandably high profile among people who know about these things." - Guy Clapperton (Guardian Online)

"Satirical sideswipes at the burning issues of the day." - Radio 5 Live

"Puerile and worthless... Truly fabulous... Do read the whole thing." - Stephen Pollard

The Friday Thing 2001-2008 - All Rights Reserved