Maybe in the same way video was supposed to have killed the radio star, “Top Of The Pops” has fallen victim to what the BBC describes as the increasing competition from multimedia outlets.

At the age of 42, which is geriatric in TV pop programming terms, the show has been laid to rest as audience figures during the last decade have dropped from nearly 7 million to about 1 million.

In its heyday in the ’70s, the weekly audience regularly hit 19 million. It was also one of the BBC’s most successful international brands, seen in 112 countries, with local versions made in the Middle East and elsewhere.

Its last Top 40 rundown will be July 30th, the 2,204th time it’s been screened since The Rolling Stones opened the first show with “I Wanna Be Your Man.”

Jimmy Savile, who presented that first show from a disused church in Salford on January 1, 1964, told The Guardian, “‘Top Of The Pops’ as such is being axed but its place is being taken by at least 20 television channels banging away 24 hours a day on satellite TV.

“Early ‘Top Of The Pops’ was something nobody else had done. Radio 1 hadn’t been invented. It was a life of constant excitement for all of us involved. It was a pop phenomenon.”

Under a headline that said, “A sad day for all of us overgrown teenagers,” The Daily Telegraph pop critic Neil McCormick said July 30th will be “a sad day for all of us who grew up under its spell.”

Concentrating on some of its many memorable moments, The Independent singled out Jimi Hendrix trying to mime to Alan Price’s “Simon Smith And His Amazing Dancing Bear,” a song the engineer had inadvertently played instead of “Purple Haze,” and the first appearance of the leggy studio dance group Pan’s People, whose scantily clad appearances led to objections from Mary Whitehouse.

In a similar piece, The Sun recalled presenter Anthea Turner’s marvelous gaffe of introducing the band KLF as KLM, which was the Dutch national airline at the time.

It also listed “Relax” by Frankie Goes to Hollywood, “Smack My Bitch Up” by The Prodigy and “God Save The Queen” by The Sex Pistols among the songs that were banned by the show.

“Top Of The Pops” – January 1, 1964, to July 30, 2006.

– John Gammon