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Top of the Pops 2

Top of the Pops 2
Logo introduced in 2006
Narrated by Johnnie Walker (1994–97)
Steve Wright (1997–2009)
Mark Radcliffe (2009–present)
Theme music composer CCS (1998–2006, 2013–present)
Tony Gibber (2006–2013)
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of episodes 523 (as of 4 August 2012)
Producer(s) Ric Blaxill (1994–98)
Rory Sheehan (1998)
Mark Hagen (1999–2010)
Running time 30 minutes 1994–2007
60 minutes 2007–present
Original channel BBC Two
Picture format 16:9 576i (2006, 2010–present)
4:3 576i (1994–present)
Original release 17 September 1994 (1994-09-17) – present
External links

Top of the Pops 2 (also known as TOTP2) is a British television music show broadcast on BBC Two, showing archive footage from the long-running Top of the Pops show, some dating back to the 1960s when the programme first aired on British television.

For the most of Top of the Pops 2, the 2 in their logo is the BBC Two '2' from their idents, first used in 1991, though in 2002 until 2006 the '2' symbol was a new one.


  • History 1
    • Rest 1.1
    • Return 1.2
    • 2009 1.3
    • 2010 1.4
      • Christmas 2011 1.4.1
    • 2012 1.5
    • 2013 1.6
    • Episode Guide 1.7
  • Jimmy Savile 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4


The show was originally narrated by BBC Radio 2 DJ Johnnie Walker. Colleague and fellow DJ Steve Wright took over in 1997 and hosted until being replaced by Mark Radcliffe in 2009. The presenter never appears in-vision but provides voice-over commentary introduces each piece.

The original show format consisted of archival footage apart from the last performance, which was usually a more recent performance or an exclusive performance recorded in the main TOTP studio for TOTP2.

In 2003 the BBC started to run a daily version of TOTP2 in which celebrities chose their favourite archive performances. These celebrities, typically comedians, have included Vic Reeves & Bob Mortimer, Phill Jupitus and Jack Dee. There have also been a number of TOTP2 specials in which a "greatest hits" show dedicated to one musician or band is put together from both archive and new footage.

The graphical style for the show generally followed the style used on the main show. TOTP2 used modified versions of the 1998-2002 and the updated 2002-2003 titles during those eras of the show. For the original 1994-1997 titles, a separate title sequence was made for TOTP2. This again occurred with the 2003-2004 titles, with a new style of title sequence based around the newly introduced TOTP 'spiral' logo, but continuing to use the original version of 'Whole Lotta Love' as the theme tune.


Logo used between 2002–03

In 2004, the incoming controller of BBC Two, Roly Keating, announced that the programme was to be "rested". The move was part of a format change for the main Top of the Pops programme, which saw it being moved from its BBC One Friday night primetime slot to a new slot on Sunday nights on BBC Two. The new format merged the TOTP format of new performances with the TOTP2 format of archival footage. This format ran until the show's demise in May 2006.

The last showing of the original run of TOTP2 was the TOTP2 Christmas Special shown on Christmas Eve 2005 at 19:30 on BBC Two. Repeats of edited versions of TOTP2 began on Dave from 2004 to 2008, which were also shown on Yesterday in 2010. These edited repeats of TOTP2 resumed airing on Dave in April 2011 and are still shown to this date.


After the axing of the main Top of the Pops programme, TOTP2 returned to BBC Two on 30 September 2006. The new show format was similar to the earlier TOTP2, but also included live/original BBC performances. The first 50-minute special included Nelly Furtado, Jamelia and Razorlight, before it reverted to a 30-minute weekly format at 20:00.[1]

These episodes were produced and broadcast in the 4:3 aspect ratio like the majority of its archive material, except for the first two episodes that were shown in the 16:9 aspect ratio to accommodate new performances. The BBC planned to replace the main Top of the Pops special on Christmas Day 2008 with a special edition of TOTP2, that would have included some live performances and archive footage as well as the 2008 Christmas number one UK single; these plans were later scrapped due to complaints by viewers. This led to Simon Cowell asking the BBC to buy the rights to the Top of the Pops brand so he could produce a version of it for ITV1; the BBC later refused Cowell's offer and announced that they would show TOTP on Christmas Day on BBC One as well as the TOTP2 specials on BBC Two.


On 27 June 2009, TOTP2 returned unexpectedly to celebrate the life of Michael Jackson, who had died two days earlier. This later turned out to be the last episode to be narrated by Steve Wright.

On 23 December 2009, the TOTP2 Christmas 2009 special was presented by Mark Radcliffe.


Sporadic editions of TOTP2 aired throughout 2010.

On 19 February 2010, BBC Four aired a TOTP2 Latino special.

On 10 May 2010, a TOTP2 80s Special aired, in conjunction with the BBC's Eighties season, this marked TOTP2's 500th edition. Two other episodes were broadcast for the 1980s season, A Wham! special on 23 May 2010 and a Duran Duran special on 28 May 2010.

In June and July episodes focusing on the Rolling Stones and John Lennon were aired.

A brand new edition was broadcast on Saturday 25 September 2010, a 'School Days Special', featuring Alice Cooper and Busted.

TOTP2 returned again for the festive period in 2010, with the TOTP2 Christmas Special 2010, which aired on Tuesday 21 December 2010 on BBC Two, again presented by Mark Radcliffe, who digs deep into the Top of the Pops archives to bring some festive performances from Slade, The Pogues, Elton John, Take That, Coldplay and Abba. It was shown in 16:9 for the first time since 2006.

Christmas 2011

The TOTP2 Christmas 2010 special was repeated on 17 December 2011 on BBC Two. A brand new Top of the Pops 2 Christmas Special was aired on Wednesday 21 December 2011 at 7.30 pm on BBC Two, where Mark Radcliffe delved into the BBC archive to find old and recent Christmas music. The episode featured previously lost footage of David Bowie performing The Jean Genie from Top of the Pops in 1973, some rarely seen footage of Ringo Starr romping in the snow performing his solo hit It Don't Come Easy as well as classic festive songs by Slade, Shakin' Stevens and the Pogues with Kirsty MacColl. Also featured was a tribute to Amy Winehouse, who died that year.


A new TOTP2 series comprising three shows were commissioned by the BBC, compiling some of the BBC's rare 60s archive hits.

The first episode of TOTP2: The 60s featured some of the BBC's rare 60s archive hits by the likes of The Foundations, Julie Driscoll, Sandie Shaw, Procol Harum and more from Top of the Pops and other BBC shows of the time. The first show aired on 28 January 2012 at 11.35 pm, on BBC Two, and the last episode was originally aired on 11 February 2012. The series of episodes was narrated by Mark Radcliffe.

In May a new series of TOTP2 was aired at 18:00 on BBC Two.

Special episodes were broadcast throughout the year, in Saturday night timeslots.


On 5 April 2013 the Rolling Stones special was repeated on BBC Four and on 31 August the summertime special was repeated on BBC Two. The Boogie Fever special from 2007 was repeated on BBC Four on 6 September 2013.

On 9 November 2013, a new TOTP2 Status Quo Special was broadcast on BBC Two, featuring a selection of the Quo's best Top of the Pops performances, from their first appearance in 1968 up until their last on the show in 2005.

In December 2013, Mark Radcliffe returned with a new TOTP2 Christmas special on Sunday 22 December at 7.30pm on BBC Two and BBC Two HD, featuring the perennial Christmas favourites such as Slade, Wizzard and Shakin' Stevens. The Christmas special was the first episode to feature the new Top of the Pops logo, and a presentation refresh [2]

Episode Guide

This is a guide to show a list of the episodes not in a particular series of TOTP2 since 2007

Year New
2007 6 60 mins.
2008 8 60 mins.
2009 2 60 mins.
2010 8 60 mins.
2011 1 60 mins.
2012 18 90 mins.
2013 2 90 mins.
2014 2 90 mins.
2015 1 -

Jimmy Savile

In September 2014, the BBC accidentally transmitted an episode containing footage of prolific sexual abuser Jimmy Savile, which resulted in seven viewer complaints and a statement of apology by the BBC. The offending footage was subsequently removed from BBC iPlayer.[3]


  1. ^ Todd, Ben (24 September 2006). "EXCLUSIVE: TOP OF THE POPS BACK ON TV".  
  2. ^ "TOTP2". BBC. Retrieved 2013-12-17. 
  3. ^ "BBC apologises for airing Jimmy Savile appearance". BBC News. 22 September 2014. Retrieved 22 September 2014. 

External links

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