BBC bosses to continue Top of the Pops reruns despite Savile scandal

 

BBC bosses have decided to press ahead with screening archive reruns of Top Of The Pops from the 1970s, despite having to shelve a number of editions in the wake of investigations into Jimmy Savile.

BBC4 has been screening the vintage shows each week for nearly two years but several programmes have been pulled after it emerged the late presenter was a predatory paedophile.

The arrest of Dave Lee Travis and his questioning about sex offences also led to a programme being postponed.

In November, channel boss Richard Klein said no decisions had been made about whether the screenings would continue, and he said audiences had been declining for the programmes.

But the BBC has now confirmed the shows will continue.

So far BBC4 has shown editions from 1976 and 1977 in sequence each week. And it paved the way for further programmes with a curtain-raiser at the weekend looking at some of the artists who were featured in 1978.

Edgier acts from the punk and new wave era such as Siouxsie And The Banshees, Sham 69 and The Skids made their debut that year.

The documentary screened on Friday featured an appearance by Travis.

Seven weeks ago Klein said: "At the moment we haven't actually scheduled 1978. We've only done it the last two years so if we didn't do it again it wouldn't be the end of the world, and audience figures have declined."

He said at the time that programme bosses were making decisions about figures who had featured in the show who were subject to police investigations on a "case-by-case" basis.

A spokeswoman for BBC4 confirmed the weekly shows would be retained and said: "Top Of The Pops is continuing with 1978 this year."

The BBC had previously received a number of complaints after including performances by convicted sex offender Gary Glitter in the reruns of the shows.

But following a further arrest in the wake of the Savile investigation, Klein said he would not be included again because "showing him would be wrong - that's a decision that has been made".

PA

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