Pop Charts Britannia: 60 Years of the Top 10: How Blogging Has Landed Me A Part On A BBC Music Documentary

The BBC set up their shot…

The Diamond Jubilee of 2012: Celebrating an ageing, old fashioned but much loved institution that for the most part unites Britain in dewy-eyed nostalgia, even though we know the idea of it itself is somewhat outdated and is hardly in keeping with Modern Britain.

No, not the Queen or the Royal Family, I’m talking about the pop charts.

It’s the sixtieth anniversary of The Charts in November 2012, and to celebrate this, there is going to be a documentary looking back at the romance and magic of the charts on BBC4. Pop Charts Britannia: 60 Years of the Top 10 will be broadcast on BBC4 on the 16th November 2012.

The show will feature contributions by well known DJs from past and present and some distinguished characters from the music industry.

I know about this because I’m in it too. No, don’t laugh.

My involvement began when a BBC researcher came across one of my early Every Record blog posts about taping songs off the radio called Home Taping Is Killing Music. In the two part piece I gave some tongue-in-cheek tips based upon my experiences of trying to record the Top 40 when I was younger.

The researcher – presumably having picked herself off the floor from laughing so much roused herself after having nodded off – sent me an email and we had a twenty minute phone call during which she suggested that I should appear in front of a camera. I can’t say I was expecting calls from TV researchers when I first opened my WordPress Blog Account and thought about getting all this nonsense off my chest and I failed to sufficiently put her off the idea. I think the idea of having the legend “As Seen On TV” on the Every Record website may have affected my judgement…

Which is how, a couple of weeks later, I found myself stepping through a time-warp of a family house in Streatham, South London which the owners keep immaculately (and rather wonderfully) in a seventies style right down to the orange and avocado coloured bathroom suites. Waiting for me was the director studiously setting up a camera in front of a ridiculously large eighties-style boom-box presumably sourced from Pat Sharpe’s personal collection. Whilst flattered, I was slightly baffled as to quite why the BBC wanted to talk to me with all those famous names…

The director explained his view that the charts are very much something that people have a personal relationship with – and he was keen to seek the views of non-music industry people – which is something I am certainly qualified for!

From Pat Sharpe’s personal collection? Home Taping is Killing Music…

After a short while, the crew decided to move to a different room muttering something about my shirt reflecting too much light (at least they didn’t blame my forehead) and wondering aloud whether I had a different t-shirt with me. I explained that the effects of the last recession meant I had had to let my personal stylist go, hence no alternative wardrobe. They were good about it. They also asked me if I could remove my glasses, again blaming the reflection, although I suspect they just didn’t like them.

I won’t reveal too much about what we talked about on-camera at this stage for two reasons. Firstly, I don’t want to spoil the contents of the show too soon. Second, given that it’s an hour long and has dozens of Actually Famous People in it, the chances of my contribution being useful for anything other than a temporary floor covering in the BBC editing suite appear slim …

Let’s just say that the photos here will give you a clue…?

Hmm. I have just realised if the BBC hand over the tapes to the Police, they’ve caught me red-handed doing something that might be frowned upon. Oh dear. I hope it wasn’t just some elaborate sting operation to bring me to justice some thirty years later…

Record #84: Joe Dolce – Shaddap You Face (Quiz Question: Which Record did this song famously beat to the Number One Slot?)

Categories: Music

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23 replies

  1. Richly deserved – it’s a great blog! Look forward to watching it.


  2. This is great. You do an excellent job here, and I’m sure you’ll be just as good on the documentary. Not sure I’ll ever get to see it here in the U.S., so let us know if it’s ever available for viewing online.


  3. Oooh, a TV star. This is totally awesome for you! I hope you continue getting lots of well deserved attention.

    As for who Joe Dolce knocked out of #1, haven’t got a clue. But I did own that single when I was a kid.


  4. Ultravox, Vienna…..Well done you.


  5. Oh, how COOL! I definitely want to see that! Give us a head’s up when its going to be on telly!


  6. Thanks for sharing this story. I know it’s something all us bloggers secretly (or not so secretly) hope will happen…being asked to comment as an expert of sorts. Well done you!


  7. Congratulations to you! I am going to have to watch this


  8. This is so utterly amazing!!! I know I am ridiculously late at reading and replying (life is hectic right now) but I am so happy for you and I can’t wait to see the final product! I know you’ll give us a heads up! WELL DONE! 🙂



  1. Pop Charts Britannia: 60 Years of the Top Ten « Every record tells a story

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