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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Wonderful, Memory Filled Fest For Fans'
In July 2006 the very last edition of Top Of The Pops was aired. For me it was a very sad day and it felt somehow as if by losing the programme something fundamental about who I am and what I'd become was dying. In truth, the end had been coming for some time and the show had simply become outdated by the arrival of the internet generation and the birth of MTV and the...
Published on 29 Dec 2007 by Antony May

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars GREAT BOOK, BUT POOR QUALITY PICTURES
The subject matter is great and a very interesting read, but the quality of the photographs (in terms of sharpness) is poor.

- it's hard to establish why; either poor quality pictures supplied to the publisher or poor quality printing.

I'm not an expert in the above, but I'm also not blind.

Overall, though, good value for money, especially...
Published on 4 May 2011 by FRED JOHNSON


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars GREAT BOOK, BUT POOR QUALITY PICTURES, 4 May 2011
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This review is from: Top of the Pops: Mishaps, Miming and Music (Hardcover)
The subject matter is great and a very interesting read, but the quality of the photographs (in terms of sharpness) is poor.

- it's hard to establish why; either poor quality pictures supplied to the publisher or poor quality printing.

I'm not an expert in the above, but I'm also not blind.

Overall, though, good value for money, especially if bought "used-as new" - there wasn't a mark on it.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Wonderful, Memory Filled Fest For Fans', 29 Dec 2007
By 
Antony May (East Sussex, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Top of the Pops: Mishaps, Miming and Music (Hardcover)
In July 2006 the very last edition of Top Of The Pops was aired. For me it was a very sad day and it felt somehow as if by losing the programme something fundamental about who I am and what I'd become was dying. In truth, the end had been coming for some time and the show had simply become outdated by the arrival of the internet generation and the birth of MTV and the like. Still, If you felt as strongly as I did and were worried by the fact, you will love this book which is a fitting and worthy monument to the lifetime of the show. Without giving too much away (I really don't want to dilute the enjoyment of reading this one bit for you!) the text is written with an amazing amount of affection for the programme and Ian Gittins has interviewed and used quotes from hundreds of the shows stars over the years to help tell his story. Full of fantastic colour photos of the stars and presenters from every era of the show (so good to see Sir Jimmy Savile's crazy costumes again!!), this is a real gem of a book and one that will evoke many a happy memory within those of us that grew up with what was a national institution. Who knows, it might even make you shed a few tears... ESSENTIAL.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This is a great testimonial for the beloved TV show..., 17 May 2013
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Mr Paul Savory (Wrexham, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Top of the Pops: Mishaps, Miming and Music (Hardcover)
...before all the sexual abuse stuff at the BBC broke. That said, just look at the cover - Jimmy Savile...
Moving on, the book is really interesting. It covers the history, the big stars, the oddities, the blunders and the dancing troupes.

I have owned my copy since it was published in 2007. It could become collectible for all the wrong reasons !!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not a bad epitaph for the world's greatest pop music show, 27 April 2009
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This review is from: Top of the Pops: Mishaps, Miming and Music (Hardcover)
I flicked through this when it first appeared in the shops and was put off by the slightly tacky graphics and the price tag. I've since picked up a copy for the price of half a pint which unfortunately shows, like the TV programme itself, there weren't ultimately a huge number of takers for this product. This book isn't anything other than a populist look back at the show that loomed so large over any British childhood of the 60s, 70s or 80s. It's all here, chapters on one hit wonders, Britpop, UK Eurovision hits, novelty records, the Christmas editions, the various Pan's People-style studio dance troupes, Radio 1 DJ presenters, glam rock, the show's Sixties genesis... To be fair, all that needs covering about the Top of the Pops story is here, even if the presentation is a bit naff (but, hey, so was the show). Surprisingly, the book pulls no punches about the show's mistakes in its later years (producer Andi Peters, we mean you!), including the disastrous decision to aim the show at young teens and use forgettable, charisma-free 'yoof TV' wannabes to present the programme. We can debate til the cows come home where it all went wrong and whether it could have been any different but the fact remains the BBC, yet again, managed to sabotage and ultimately destroy one of its leading brands. And what impeccable timing: just as singles sales were entering, thanks to downloads, a period of record sales figures that have surpassed even those of the late 70s, that legendary 'golden age' of both the single and Top of the Pops. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot. Yet, despite the Beeb's best efforts, the show refuses to die, with Christmas editions still pulling in big audiences (four million for the 2008 Xmas special). All of which suggests that the BBC deep down do realise they made a terrible mistake with their act of cultural vandalism, and that the argument that no-one wants pop music on TV is a spurious one. After all, anyone ever heard of a show called 'The X Factor'?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok but frustratingly inadequate, 16 Sep 2013
This review is from: Top of the Pops: Mishaps, Miming and Music (Hardcover)
Any book attempting a comprehensive documentation of a TV programme such as TOTP, which spans several decades and thousands of episodes, would either have to run to many hefty volumes or - as in this case - leave out far more than it contains. I could have wished for a bit more in depth, but this volume makes a decent stab at what it sets out to do, namely providing a light hearted potted history of an iconic TV legend.

However, I have a few niggles, the most serious of which is is the lazy, inadequate captioning. All the way through I found myself frustratedly trying to identify hundreds of faces who aren't named. This isn't just an occasional lapse, it applies to the majority of group/band shots. I suppose it could be intentional inasmuch as this book is about the TV programme itself more than the pop stars, but I found it very annoying and largely unnecessary. For example, beside a photo of The Specials (looking rather po-faced) we get the caption: "Far from cheery: the non-poptastic Specials".
Simply adding "From left to right:.." followed by the members' names would have enhanced my reading enjoyment so much that these omisssions - repeated, as I say, with the majority of the hundred-plus group photos - is nothing short of infuriating. Failing to knock off at least one star from the rating for this shows just how easily pleased some reviewers are

On the subject of the photographs, there are a commendable number throughout the book, at least one (sometimes several) on every page. However, as another review mentions, many are of questionable quality; I suppose this may have something to do with the technology used at the time, as many of these pictures are from TOTP's 60's and 70's heyday. The fuzziness is a trifle annoying to be sure, but not too bad. Much more annoying is the absence of any dates beside the photographs; like the absence of names in the captions, I found this truly infuriating.

I also found annoying the author's laboured and repetitive attempts at sardonic wit, rather like a supply teacher at a secondary school trying to be "down with the kids". A little of this goes a very long way and it grates somewhat throughout the book. I suppose this is a matter of opinion and it's just possible that other readers may find Gittins' comments hilarious but I seriously doubt it.

Another minor niggle is the absence of any "further reading" suggestions, no photographic credits or sources, and the author's reluctance to devote just a bit more space to some of the more interesting aspects of the programme's history.

Despite the above reservations, this is still a worthwhile read for TOTP's millions of pan-generational viewers. Just a pity that, with a bit more effort, it could have been great rather than merely ok.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BUY IT!, 22 Jan 2008
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This review is from: Top of the Pops: Mishaps, Miming and Music (Hardcover)
If you're looking, then you'll love it. Made me wonder if the real reason for TOTP's demise was trying to compete with MTV, Later With Jools Holland et al - when instead they should have been trading on irony and nostalgia, re-hiring DLT, Paul Burnett and Jimmy Savile, putting together a new all-female dance troupe, and going deliberately camp and trashy...
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Jarring inaccuracies, 28 Feb 2014
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Martin Kelly - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Top of the Pops: Mishaps, Miming and Music (Hardcover)
I was immensely looking forward to reading this but as soon as I did I became increasingly frustrated by the crass errors (probably due to shoddy research) that regularly occurred in every chapter (Jimmy Osmond getting to number 1 with "Tweedlee Dee" and Sparks debuting on the show in 1972 just two examples from the early chapters. If you are not a pop trivia buff like me then perhaps this won't matter so much to you but if you are then reading it becomes a very jarring experience. Having said that it does contain some excellent photographs from TOTP down the years. This is about it's only redeeming feature. If only a proof reader or better still a decent researcher had been employed this would have been so much improved.
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Top of the Pops: Mishaps, Miming and Music
Top of the Pops: Mishaps, Miming and Music by Ian Gittins (Hardcover - 25 Oct 2007)
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