The demise of Top of the Pops, which came to a head last week, was a long, slow one. The wind had so long ago been knocked out of the show that there was relatively little fanfare when it wheezed its last. Everyone had their eye on MySpace, iTunes, last.fm or some other Internet-age innovation of the sort that has rendered the show redundant. Either that or they were all on holidays.
TOTP for me, as for many people I think, was defined mainly by how it was between the ages of six and thirteen. Therefore it was the Paul Hardcastle theme, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Cyndi Lauper, The Cure doing Lovecats, The Smiths, The Jam, Dexie's, Phil Collins, no doubt. Just after the Happy Mondays started appearing on the show and slagging it off, I, as a typically snooty teenager had begun to question the show's integrity. The fact that The Clash and The Pistols had always refused to play on it combined with the lip-syncing that was OK for the likes of Milli Vanilli but hardly for the seminal bands like Ned's Atomic Dustbin that I was listening to at the time, hardened my resolve against TOTP. I'm sure that, had Ready Steady Go, The Tube or even The Old Grey Whistle Test enjoyed the same success, I might have been equally unforgiving. The best, perhaps only way I can pay homage to the show is by going to YouTube, as ever, to dig out a band that marked their only ever appearance by taking the piss. Royally. Ladies and gentlemen...Nirvannnaaaaaaa!!!!