BBC Four may cut Top Of The Pops in wake of Savile scandal, but music programming to increase overall

By | Published on Friday 23 November 2012

BBC Four

Beeb cultcha channel BBC Four may cease airing ‘Top Of The Pops’ repeats once it completes re-showing editions of the show from 1977, the channel’s controller Richard Klein has said. Asked if the decision was related to the allegations of sexual abuse against former presenter Jimmy Savile, he said: “Of course it is. How else are we supposed to respond? We have to think about this and make a judgment and hopefully we will get it right. That’s all we can do”.

As previously reported, the BBC pulled all editions of ‘Top Of The Pops’ featuring Savile after the allegations grew last month, and the arrest of Dave Lee Travis also resulted in an edition featuring him not being shown last week. Added to that, performances by Gary Glitter have already been excised from the repeats, making it increasingly difficult to find broadcastable shows from the 70s.

Speaking at a Broadcasting Press Guild lunch on Wednesday, The Guardian reports that Klein said: “It is complex and it is difficult to judge. These are judgments we are making on a case-by-case basis. It requires us to be cautious and careful without overreacting, to take into account public sensibilities and legalities, and hopefully we are going to get it right”.

He continued: “At the moment we actually haven’t scheduled 1978, so we’ll take a view. We have only done it the last two years, so if we didn’t do it again it wouldn’t be the end of the world, and audience figures have declined quite markedly [anyway]. It has done a good job, [but] whether I choose to continue or not I don’t yet know”.

However, Klein also revealed that BBC Four’s other music programming would increase over the next year, because the channel’s budget for more costly original drama and comedy has been slashed. One such show, announced yesterday, is a new discussion programme fronted by Danny Baker looking at classic albums, of which Klein said: “We’re going to celebrate the album. There’s a ‘golden age of the album’ which we’re going to look at. It’s not a list show. The principal point is to say: what is it that makes an album great? What are the qualities you need to have?”

The new three part TV series will undoubtedly be welcome work for Baker, who quit his BBC London show on-air earlier this month after learning that it was to be cut back to one edition a week. There were rumours that Baker was being courted by other radio stations regards new shows, but, reports Radio Today, speaking to Christian O’Connell on Absolute Radio this week Baker denied that was so, saying he’d had no new offers of radio work – though he does still present a weekly sporty show on BBC Radio 5 Live.

READ MORE ABOUT: | | | | |