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Top of the Pops: The Story of 1978 (2013)

Documentary looking at Top Of the Pops' changing musical direction in 1978, when pop singles were slowly being replaced in the chart by disco, punk and New Wave. It looks the show's ... See full summary »


Dione Newton


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A look at the music show Top of the Pops, in 1976, as a barometer of the state of pop and light entertainment TV in the UK during the year, when punk rock was just around the corner.

Director: Dione Newton
Stars: Sue Perkins, Toyah Willcox, Dave Haslam


Cast overview, first billed only:
Sue Perkins ... Herself - Narrator (voice)
Pete 'Peanut' Langford Pete 'Peanut' Langford ... Himself (as Pete Langford)
Kathryn Flett Kathryn Flett ... Herself
Richard Jobson ... Himself
Pete Briquette Pete Briquette ... Himself
Faye Fife Faye Fife ... Herself
Mike Read Mike Read ... Himself
Tony Bramwell ... Himself
Maizie Williams Maizie Williams ... Herself
Chris Difford Chris Difford ... Himself
Ian Gittins Ian Gittins ... Himself
Brian and Michael Brian and Michael ... Themselves
Mickie Most Mickie Most ... Himself (archive footage)
Robin Nash Robin Nash ... Himself (archive footage)
Jimmy Pursey Jimmy Pursey ... Himself


Documentary looking at Top Of the Pops' changing musical direction in 1978, when pop singles were slowly being replaced in the chart by disco, punk and New Wave. It looks the show's treatment of particularly punk and New Wave acts, and New Wave performers in general swallowing their pride and appearing on TotP, a show which was still seen mainly as Light Entertainment. Written by mrdario64

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

punk | chart music | 70s disco | 1970s | See All (4) »


Documentary | Music







Release Date:

4 January 2013 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


Angels With Dirty Faces
Written by Dave Parsons and Jimmy Pursey
Performed by Sham 69
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User Reviews

The BBC researchers strike again!!
19 January 2013 | by buckaroobanzai50See all my reviews

This is yet another of the BBC's badly researched and revisionist "documentaries", which supposedly tells how punk rock saved us from all the bad pop music which was in the charts, during the latter years of the 1970s. But anyone like me who was alive back then, or even watches the repeats of editions of Top of the Pops that are currently being shown on BBC 4, may well see a much more accurate depiction of that era. Because actually, there was some great pop music, reggae music, soul music, disco music, and even rock music in the charts while quite a lot of the punk music was dire and amateurish to say the least.

Programs like this, often depict a very selective, and one-sided view of the past, with very little balance on show to even things up; Not everyone hated Boney M, or Shawaddy Waddy, or The Barron Knights. In fact a lot of people liked those novelty bands, that is why they sold so many records. It wasn't just down to good PR men. And by the same token, not everyone saw punk rock as the saviour of British music. Granted, it was something new and different. But it was also very short-lived and controversial (Try Googling the name Sid Vicious, if you don't know who he was). In fact, the soul and disco bands of the past, have left a much more influential legacy to today's music.

I think it was very remiss of the BBC to broadcast a program which (purposely?) left out the facts, and presented half-truths as being the gospel.

They've done it before, and they'll do it again. No doubt.

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