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Farewell to Top of the Pops

28th July 2006

Veteran television presenter Jimmy Savile will don a gold track suit on Sunday for the final edition of "Top Of The Pops", the music chart show that has run for over 42 years.

A victim of the advent both of MTV and the Internet, the programme airs for the last time at 7 p.m. local time on BBC2, making it number 2,204 in the series.

It will include clips of some of the highlights of the show, which has become an institution despite slipping from cool to kitsch in recent years.

Plummeting ratings sounded the death knell for the weekly televised chart countdown, which used to be watched by more than 15 million people but has seen its audience slide to just over one million.

A BBC spokeswoman said Savile, the show's first host in 1964, will round off the episode with the words: "Don't forget it's number one, it's still Top of the Pops," a play on his signature catchphrase.

He will be joined by some of the other best-known presenters, including Tony Blackburn, Janice Long, Mike Read, Pat Sharp, Reggie Yates and Edith Bowman.

More than 100 fans took part in the recording of the final episode, which took place late on Wednesday. Some dressed as their favourite pop stars, including Elvis Presley and the members of supergroup ABBA.

Top of the Pops first transmitted live from a converted church in Dickinson Road, Manchester, on New Year's Day, 1964, on BBC 1.

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