Today was the end of an era. Today the last episode of Top of the Pops was aired.
My dad watched this show when he was Kenneth’s age. I watched it even before I knew what it was – before my parents divorced, even. I can remember excitedly being told it was on (wasn’t quite old enough to keep track of the days of the week and know it came on on Thursdays) and dragging all the pots and pans out of the kitchen, along with a few wooden spoons, so I could ‘play along.’ Then, as I grew up, all summer long I’d rush in excitely on a Thursday night from playing outside on bikes, often with Melissa, Lewis, Alistair, Gavin, and Eugene, to see what this weeks number one was, and watch the singers perform. Oh the excitement. The fun. The countdown, and the final annoucement of who ruled the charts this week. Every summer. For over 14 years.
Every year. For 42 years. Top of the Pops has been the show to get on if you’re interested in making fame in the UK. Even the US artists know it. If you’re on Top of the Pops, you’ll make it. At least with this song. No guarantees about the rest of your career – that’s in your hands.
So tonight we sat gathered around the TV to watch the last ever Top of the Pops. Watching highlights of the last 42 years, including lots of the Nintys and (as they called it) Noughties (2000s) that I remember. Spice Girls first hit – Wannabe – brought back memories, as well as Robbie William’s first single hit, Let me Entertain you, and all those other people now well known. Britney Spears, Coldplay, Eminem, Destiny’s Child, All Saints. And the more recent of course, including the first ever British number 1 from downloads alone, some guy who sings a song called ‘Crazy’. He’s number one on my Now 64.
And finally, we watched the last ever ToTP top 10. The last number one ever on ToTP was announced. Quite a name to hold, really. It was (AJ will be happy here) Shakira, with Hips Don’t Lie.