The glory days of Pan’s People will be revisited when Top of the Pops is resurrected as a live stage show featuring a new troupe of dancers who will interpret golden oldies.
A “nostalgic interactive jukebox” is promised when Top of the Pops LIVE, a BBC Worldwide approved spin-off, begins a nationwide tour in Eastbourne.
Veteran presenters will mingle with the audience and introduce the biggest hits of the 70s, 80s and 90s, performed by a live band. Vintage footage and chart rundowns from the programme’s archive will be displayed on a giant video screen.
In the absence of the original stars, the songs will be accompanied by dancers performing specially choreographed routines, just as in the programme’s heyday when Pan’s People and Legs & Co were rolled out to illustrate hit songs.
Where once the programme, axed as weekly fixture in 2006, built to the unveiling of the Number One, audiences on each night of the 90-date tour get to pick which song, from a list of list of five classic hits, will feature in the stage show’s finale.
Audiences will hear chart-toppers from hit-makers including T. Rex and David Bowie, Blondie, Adam & The Ants, Duran Duran and Madonna. The most recent songs aired will be by the Britpop bands Oasis and Blur.
The live event, opening in October, will be produced by the team responsible for the hit West End show Thriller, which features Michael Jackson’s music.
Gary Lloyd, director and choreographer, promised “a rockin’ journey down memory lane”. He said: “Bringing Top of the Pops to the stage has been an exciting process. With today’s technology and using all of the iconic moments Top of the Pops brings, this show will excite audiences old and new.”
The BBC is seeking to maximise the Top of the Pops brand with a new, nightly archive series on BBC2. Richard Desmond, the Channel 5 owner, has said he would buy ToTP and relaunch it as a weekly show. New studio episodes are currently restricted to Christmas specials.