Top of the Pops (TOTP) is a British music chart television programme, made by the BBC and originally broadcast weekly between January 1964 and July 2006.
Top of the Pops programme was the world's longest-running weekly music show. For most of its history, it was broadcast on Thursday evenings on BBC One. Each show consisted of performances of some of the week's best-selling popular music records, usually excluding any tracks moving down the chart, including a rundown of that week's singles chart. Dusty Springfield's I Only Want to Be with You was the first song featured on TOTP, while the Rolling Stones were the first band to perform, with I Wanna Be Your Man. Snow Patrol were the last act to play live, when they performed their single Chasing Cars. Special editions were broadcast on Christmas Day featuring some of the best-selling singles of the year and the Christmas number one. Although the weekly show was cancelled in 2006, the Christmas special continued annually. It also survives as Top of the Pops 2, which began in 1994 and features vintage performances from the Top of the Pops archives. Though TOTP2 ceased producing new episodes since 2017, repeats of older episodes are still shown. Initially acts performing on the show would mime (lip-sync) to the commercially released record, but in 1966 after discussions with the Musicians' Union, miming was banned. After a few weeks during which some bands' attempts to play as well as on their records were somewhat lacking, a compromise was reached whereby a specially recorded backing track was permitted, as long as all the musicians on the track were present in the studio. As a result, Johnny Pearson was hired to conduct an in-studio orchestra to provide musical backing on select performances, beginning in August 1966. With the birth of BBC Radio 1 in 1967, new Radio 1 DJs were added to the roster such as Stuart Henry, Emperor Rosko, Simon Dee and Kenny Everett. During its heyday, it attracted 15 million viewers each week. The peak TV audience of 19 million was recorded in 1979. For much of the time, the show's theme music, which played over the chart rundowns was a track called Whole Lotta Love written by Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones & John Bonham, which was re-arranged and re-recorded on multiple occasions.