BBC to cut a third of Top of the Pops episodes to remove Jimmy Savile and Dave Lee Travis

At least 17 instalments of the 1981 series of the chart show will be dispensed with when it airs on BBC4 next year

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The BBC is to carry on showing repeats of Top of the Pops even though almost a third of the episodes will be dropped because either Jimmy Savile or Dave Lee Travis presented them. 

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Next year, BBC4 will air reruns of the 1981 series of the music show. But of the 54 episodes, a total of 17 will be pulled because they feature either, or both, of the disgraced presenters.

Ten of these were presented by former Radio 1 disc jockey Dave Lee Travis, who last year received a three-month suspended sentence for indecently assaulting a female researcher in 1995.

Savile, whose sickening catalogue of sexual abuse, mostly against children, emerged in 2012, presented eight episodes of the show in 1981. One episode that year – the Christmas Day programme – featured both Savile and Lee Travis.

Gary Glitter is understood to have performed on an episode of the show that year as well, meaning that could also be pulled even if it does not already feature either Savile or Lee Travis.

The latest series, from 1980, has seen about a quarter of the shows dropped for the same reason.

The BBC has made a commitment not to show any episodes of the series that feature either of the men. It has said all other appearances are judged on a case-by-case basis.

BBC4 has been airing Top of the Pops episodes, in chronological order from 1976 onwards, since 2011. But in recent years a large number have had to be dumped because of the revelations about the behaviour of BBC presenters.

The latest episode, from 4th December 1980, which aired on Thursday night, featured performances from ABBA, AC/DC, The Boomtown Rats and Eddy Grant.

A BBC spokesperson confirmed the channel would carry on showing the series next year, despite the large number of shows that will be dropped.

They said: “We have already said that we would not be showing episodes of TOTPs fronted by Savile.”

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The spokesman added: “The BBC will not show Top of the Pops repeats fronted by Dave Lee Travis.”