Tuesday 16 October 2018

Brendan O'Connor: The ghost of Christmas TOTP past

The band Muse get into the swing of things on Christmas 'Top of the Pops'
The band Muse get into the swing of things on Christmas 'Top of the Pops'
Brendan O'Connor

Brendan O'Connor

It's almost impossible to explain what a highlight the Christmas Top Of The Pops was. I guess, like the 1960s, you had to be there.

And it was difficult enough to be there. They tended to run it early enough in the day so you had to make sure you were back from mass and had commandeered the TV for an hour, but that dinner hadn't started yet.

In those days there was just one TV in the house and people would sit down and watch it together. No one had their own screens. TV watching was in fact a social activity, the basis for chats and fights. It was so quaint. And worse again, you generally had to watch things when they were actually on. Unless you had a giant thing known as a video recorder which allowed you to use large tapes to record some programmes. But generally that was only done in emergencies or to preserve for posterity the odd great movie, like The Godfather.

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