The BBC are considering relaunching a weekly chart show, reports say, though the show won’t be branded as ‘Top Of The Pops’.
Fearne Cotton and Reggie Yates will shortly film the almost-annual Christmas and New Year editions of Top Of The Pops, but The Independent reports that talks are underway to bring back a more regular Friday evening chart slot.
Ben Cooper, head of BBC Radio 1, is quoted in the Independent’s article, talking of a weekly show. that would “bring back a youth music weekly programme to primetime BBC”.
“I am working hard with Bob Shennan [BBC Director of Music], asking, ‘What are the ingredients that would work for today?’” he said. “When people ask about whether Top of the Pops is coming back, what they are really saying is, ‘When can we get a once-a-week primetime BBC1 music slot?’ I have had this conversation with agents, independent production companies, and with Simon Cowell a few weeks back.”
Cooper says there are no plans to continue the Top Of The Pops brand, however, in part because the BBC feel the format won’t work in modern times.
“It’s not just about one musical performance after another,”, he says, “because you can get that on YouTube. We are talking about [a programme aimed at] either a family audience or an over-25 audience. The under-25 [audience] is well-served by Radio 1 and children’s TV when it comes to visual opportunities to see your favourite bands.”
Iconic BBC show Top of the Pops ran from the beginning of 1964 to July 2006, but has existed only in sporadic Christmas and New Year format since then. Simon Cowell expressed an interest in buying the rights to Top Of The Pops back in 2008.
He said: “I would rather it came to us than just sit in the dustbin. If the BBC wanted to do a deal, and I can get ITV to buy it and broadcast it, I’d put it on ITV. It’s been a good year for music and I think it’s part of the tradition. It’s not as though people aren’t interested in music at the moment. Maybe we could make it a bit more interesting.”