Image for Top of the Pops: The Story of 1978Not currently available on BBC iPlayer

Duration: 50 minutes

In 1978, Top of the Pops began to turn the credibility corner. As the only major pop show on television, Top of the Pops had enjoyed a unique position in the nation's hearts since the 1960s; the nation's teenagers who were now fed up with the show's predominantly light entertainment blend still tuned in every week in the hope of seeing one of the new young outfits thrown up by punk, new wave and disco. In 1978 it seemed the kids' time had come again for the first time since glam rock. Yet the biggest-selling singles of 1978 were by the likes of Boney M, John Travolta & Olivia Newton John, Rod Stewart, the Bee Gees and Abba.

Punk never quite fitted in with the mainstream - it had been treated with disdain by Top of the Pops and largely ignored by the show. Britain's teenagers had to endure the all-round family entertainment on offer when all they wanted was teenage kicks. Along came a generation of young post-punk and new wave bands armed with guitar and bass, ready to storm the Top of the Pops stage - from the Undertones, the Buzzcocks, Siouxsie and the Banshees, the Skids and Ian Dury and the Blockheads to the Boomtown Rats, Elvis Costello, the Jam and Squeeze - some weeks teenagers would get to see one of their bands, very rarely they got two, but there they were on primetime TV.

With contributions from the Boomtown Rats, Squeeze, Boney M, Sham 69, Brian & Michael, the Barron Knights, Mike Read, Kid Jensen, Kathryn Flett, Richard Jobson, Ian Gittins and Legs & Co.

Last on

Sun 31 Mar 2013 20:15 BBC Four

Credits

Director
Dione Newton
Producer
Dione Newton

Broadcasts

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