After several years of the televisual equivalent of prison rape, the BBC have finally killed off Top Of The Pops.
Last night's 'last show' was probably the worst send-off they could have managed. Various old presenters gibbered at each other and introduced old clips that we've seen a million times before. Basically, last week's show was the last one. This was just a long and poorly scripted edition of TOTP2.
The Beeb have made a huge mistake in axing the show. Yes, fair enough, it couldn't compete with the multitude of music channels that most people can now get on digital or cable - but why should it? The big mistake was in sticking rigidly to the same old format. Top Of The Pops is a huge internationally-recognised brand. All they had to do was keep it fresh and up to date (and I don't mean by having increasingly dumb shouty presenters, Miss Cotton).
Take Top Gear for example. I used to watch this show with my dad years ago. It was a half-hour show with very dry reviews of the latest Volvo estate interspersed with some leather-clad bloke saying 'Ducati' a lot. It reached a point where it got stale, so the Beeb reinvented it into todays entertaining hour-long live-ish format with a substantial web presence. It evolved.
But the Beeb were too scared to give an older and more established show this treatment, and instead chose to gradually dilute it, sideline it, and eventually kill it off.
Not all hope is lost though. Just as Smash Hits' shoes have been ably filled by websites like PopJustice (and, ironically, the continuing TOTP site), I'm sure another terrestrial TV pop show will appear soon.