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Trivia / Top of the Pops

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  • Banned Episode:
    • Famed glam rock musician Gary Glitter appeared as a guest presenter on multiple episodes throughout The '90s. After being arrested and convicted for possessing child pornography on his computer in 1997, all episodes featuring him were removed from rotation; his later arrests and convictions for soliciting sex from minors in southeast Asia ensured that these episodes' absence from airwaves would be permanent.
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    • After Jimmy Savile was exposed as a prolific child predator in October 2012, the episodes he presented were dropped from the schedules. When similar allegations were made against Dave Lee Travis (who, unlike Savile, is still living as of 2017) his episodes were also withdrawn, permanently after he was convicted.
    • The late Mike Smith's episodes also aren't being played, but for completely less controversial reasons: Smith chose not to sign licence extensions to permit rebroadcast. The fact that every news report on the Savile scandal used clips of the one episode he co-hosted with him may have influenced that decision.
  • Cash Cow Franchise: As well as its 42 year run, the TOTP format was sold worldwide and spawned a magazine in the UK (which is still published despite the end of the weekly series) and many compilation albums (the 1970s ones not sung by the original artists, the 1990s ones actually sung by the original artists).
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  • Channel Hop: from BBC One to BBC Two in 2005, what turned out to be the final nail in the coffin for the weekly series.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes:
    • Since the Savile sex abuse scandal broke, the BBC has announced it will no longer show reruns of any of his TOTP episodes, rendering a substantial chunk of the surviving run this. Going forward, the only place to watch footage of Savile-hosted episodes is likely those uploaded to video-sharing services (including those uploaded prior to the ITV-aired exposé).
    • This trope also applies to the Mike Smith episodes (see above).
    • Also in effect for the short-lived US version, which only aired on Friday late-nights during its' short time on CBS.
  • Missing Episode: Most early episodes of TOTP were wiped by The BBC; only four complete episodes exist from the 1960s (one and most of another with the presenter's links mute), and the show's archive only exists in full from 1977 onwards. And as mentioned above, much of that is now banned.
    • In a bit of irony, the only surviving footage of The Beatles performing on TOTP exists due to being used in an episode of Doctor Who, which itself was far from immune to the archive purges.
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  • No Export for You: Aside from an extremely brief run on BBC America in 2002, the only episode to air on American television was the last one, which was aired on VH1 Classic (now MTV Classic) in August 2006.
  • Too Soon: The BBC's reasoning behind dropping all episodes featuring Savile, Glitter, and/or Dave Lee Travis (who was arrested as part of the Scotland Yard investigation of Savile's crimes) from the BBC Four rerun rotation.
  • Unintentional Period Piece: And how! Not even mentioning the charts and the featured songs, the audience and their fashions and the video effects and graphics combine to make each episode a time capsule of the year it came from.


Example of: