Top of the Pops: The Story of 1978

Top of the Pops: The Story of 1978



All credit to BBC4 for renewing its commitment to screen TOTP from 35 years ago, despite the Savile controversy, because these repeats (as RT readers rallied to point out) provide an invaluable cultural document and a rush of nostalgia – if you’re old enough to remember the shows from first time around.

It's back to an era when Squeeze, Sham 69, the Smurfs and Terry Wogan with his Floral Dance were all likely to be on the bill. “Post-punk” bands swallowing their pride, hits from Grease and Saturday Night Fever, and the glory of Debbie Harry and Kate Bush (live!)are also in the mix. And you’ve got to love band of the year, Boney M. Yes! No..? Such arguments raged in ’78.


Documentary about the change of musical direction in 1978, when pop singles were slowly ousted by disco, punk and new wave artists. The programme features contributions by members of the Boomtown Rats, Squeeze, Boney M and Sham 69 - among others - and archive performances by the likes of Elvis Costello, the Undertones, Ian Dury and the Blockheads and the Jam.

Cast & Crew

Contributor Mike Read
Contributor Kid Jensen
Contributor Kathryn Flett
Contributor Richard Jobson
Contributor Ian Gittins
Contributor The Boomtown Rats
Contributor Squeeze
Contributor Boney M
Contributor Sham 69
Director Dione Newton
Producer Dione Newton
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Documentary Music