Pop Charts Britannia: 60 Years of the Top Ten

Pop Charts Britannia: 60 Years of the Top Ten

Pop Charts Britannia: 60 Years of the Top Ten
Tony Blackburn: Presented the Top 40 countdown in the eighties

This is just a quick word about the BBC4 Documentary Pop Charts Britannia: 60 Years of the Top Ten.

Regular readers may recall that I am set to feature in this documentary which looks at the romance of the charts on the 60th anniversary of the very first NME chart.

Pop Charts Britannia: 60 Years of the Top 10 will trace the history of the chart. The following week will see The Joy of the Single which is another documentary that will feature Jack White, Norman Cook, Neil Sedaka and others talking about the vinyl 45 rpm record. This latter documentary will be enhanced by the fact that I’m not in it.

From the record industry’s involvement, to illegal music downloading and the effect this had on the sale of singles, to the surge in online music buying, Pop Charts Britannia: 60 Years Of The Top 10 looks to provide an insight into the history of the singles chart.

Music lovers – including myself – have ritualised and shared the experience of the charts on radio and on TV. I wrote about this in one of my first ever articles on this blog – which led the BBC to contact me about taking part. Whether watching David Bowie on Top Of The Pops in the Seventies or taping Tommy Vance or Mark Goodier‘s Top 40 count-downs, the charts was a part of growing up for many of us.

For their part, the charts, as the ultimate expression of the consumer, have said more about British popular culture than the history books would care to admit. The charts show that the spirit of the age is sometimes better represented by the massively popular than the profound. I will be writing a couple of things about this over the next couple of weeks.

The programme features contributions from BBC broadcasters including David Jacobs, Pete Murray, Bob Harris, Paul Gambaccini and Reggie Yates, alongside pop legends like Sir Cliff Richard. And rock and pop fans and chart enthusiasts like me.

I wrote a brief article on the filming of this back in August and we now have the release date, which is exciting for me – albeit given the stellar cast of names appearing I’m half expecting a Gavin and Stacey style moment (series 2 Episode 4, fact fans) where Gavin’s dad is interviewed by a local TV reporter and tells everyone he’s going to be on TV only to appear for two seconds – resulting in a “IS THAT IT??!!” from everyone concerned…

I’m sure it will be a fascinating programme either way. I’ll be watching Doctor Who style, from behind the sofa, cringing with embarrassment – or just wondering why they cut all my parts out…

Pop Charts Britannia: 60 Years of the Top Ten will be broadcast on BBC Four on 16 November at 9.25pm to 10.55pm





12 responses to “Pop Charts Britannia: 60 Years of the Top Ten”

  1. mikeladano Avatar

    Question: Any chance this will air on my side of the pond? Hope they didn’t cut your parts out!


    1. Every Record Tells A Story Avatar

      Don’t know! Maybe if you get BBC music documentaries on a channel it will – every Friday night we have a new BBC music doc on BBC4…


  2. Simon Avatar

    Probably would have been broadcast months ago but the BBC have been busy editing out any mention of Jimmy Savile! Great blog by the way. Gives me and the missus plenty of laughs (and brings back some great childhood memories for us both)


    1. Every Record Tells A Story Avatar

      Hey – thanks for the very kind words – much appreciated & glad you enjoy my nonsense… They did tell me the broadcast date would be around now, but you’re right – I’ll bet that Savile will be airbrushed out!


  3. mskatykins Avatar

    This sounds good. Goold old Tony Blackburn. Definitely a voice and a fringe for radio! 😉


    1. Every Record Tells A Story Avatar

      He once pronounced Duran Duran “Durren Durren” live on radio.


      1. mskatykins Avatar

        That’s fantastic! 🙂


  4. I Made You A Mixtape Avatar

    How exciting! I’ll be watching! I was just thinking though… I do miss Top of the Pops… yes, of course there are other chart shows and everyting is now online etc. but it was such an institution… I still watch it every Christmas day… a small consolation… ;o).


    1. Every Record Tells A Story Avatar

      If you’re not sure which one I am – I’m the funny, good looking one. Honest. No, really.
      I think everyone wants ToTP back – and not just on Xmas day…


  5. Heavy Metal Overload Avatar

    Awesome! I love BBC4 and the Britannia series in particular. Seeing you on this will be a special bonus! Can’t wait.


    1. Every Record Tells A Story Avatar

      I have a clip to show you – watch this space…


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