WELL, did you see it?
Sir Jimmy Savile made his feelings quite clear without saying a word after the final credits had rolled on the last ever Top of the Pops.
Turning off the studio lights – 42 years after hosting the first show in Manchester – he shook his head. The message to BBC bosses was clear: “You’ve made a mistake.”
Last night’s one-hour special opened with the Rolling Stones, just as TOTP had on New Year’s Day 1964. And, of course, the choice of track from the black and white video library was: “The Last Time”.
Dave Lee Travis, Mike Read, Edith Bowman, Pat Sharp, Janice Long and Tony Blackburn were among those chosen to present the long goodbye, which consisted entirely of recorded peformances and no live acts.
At the end of 60 minutes the decision to axe TOTP did feel like a bit of a shame, but that was probably the nostalgia talking. Anything that keeps Keith Harris and Orville off TV has to be a good thing.
It certainly was a long way from 1965 bad lads The Rolling Stones to the final noughties TOTP number one – a suitably naughty video from Shakira, who had little trouble in convincing us that Hips Don’t Lie.
Jimmy signed off with the words: “Don’t forget, it’s number one, it’s still Top of the Pops.” But this look back through the archives actually demonstrated that the best years of the show are now long gone.
Some are already jumping on the grave. A new poll claims that TOTP is no longer the nation’s favourite music show of all time. That honour, it says, now goes to Later With Jools Holland, with Sir James and co in second place. Mind you, the same survey has Songs of Praise in sixth place, so make of that what you will.
Call me cynical, but as I’ve already speculated in an earlier blog, someone somewhere will try and revive the main Top of the Pops brand in the UK sooner, rather than later.
The BBC revealed last night that there will, in fact, be a Christmas special this year, so the lights haven’t gone out for good just yet. And with many versions of TOTP still running elsewhere in the world, it won’t be long before some TV exec has the bright idea of re-launching the programme here.
The farewell BBC2 edition was billed as The Final Countdown. Maybe the last time? I don’t know.