Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Top of the Pooped*

Top of the Pops is back! Back!! BACK!!! And... No it's not. Well, kind of. The BBC are toying with reviving the weekly chart show according to one source whilst others in MusicWeek have crushingly ruled out any return for TOTP. The hullabaloo when the show was first axed was slightly embarrassing considering no one was actually watching it. Admittedly, the sight of Jeremy Clarkson presenting acts with the kind disdainful snort only your dad could better was reason enough not to watch, but years of running the show into the ground had driven away any potential new viewers. The generational hand over just didn't happen.

It's easy to cite the industry's fragmentation and the explosion in music sources for the lack of interest from today's yoot. But that isn't the case. The blame lies squarely in hands of the TV producers themselves. If the multi-headed Radio 1, just as old as TOTP, can keep up with the times, then surely a weekly music show built on a diet of new music can do the same. Forget all that Noel Gallagher crap about blaming society's demise into knife culture on its cancellation. And don't take any notice of the smug Caitlin Moran who desperately aligns herself with da yoot in a patronising sideswipe at anyone old enough to have grown up with the show.

Whatevs. Personally, I don't really care if the show comes back. What I do care about is that pop music is now a contradiction in terms. With the cancellation Stateside of TRL and no mainstream platform on TV here, the charts are niche: there may be a mixture of styles and artists but where can you hear them all together? Isn't it odd that the biggest-selling singles have no TV airtime other than promo clips, crappy This Morning/Good Morning America slots and crappy soundbite channels. Clever music shows like Switch, which would have featured leftfield artists years ago, now showcase chart acts like Kelly Rowland because there's nowhere else for her to go.

A weekly chart-based TV show on a mainstream channel isn't difficult, or at least it shouldn't be. The rights to populist music are now co-owned by Simons Cowell and Fuller. That's fine. X Factor and Idol have their place. Just don't let them get their hands on popular music.

*UPDATE: just like Take That, it's back for good!


Paul said...

it's interesting isn't it? I wonder what will happen - i'd like totp to return but i think it would need a little revamp. I wouldn't want it to become a parody of the parody it became. Still Jeremy introducing McFly as m.c. fly was classic.

DanProject76 said...

I'd watch it.

Er... yeah.