Jimmy Savile and Dave Cash present TOTP in February, 1968

  • BBC One (TV)
  • 1968-02-01
  • This was the TOTP debut of John Peel as a presenter and indeed the only program he co-hosted in 1968. This was the week's singles chart.
  • It was the first and last time that John would host TOTP in any capacity until 25 December 1981.
  • Clive Selwood, Peel's long-time friend and manager, recalls in All The Moves (But None Of The Licks) (pg. 101) the kindness of Jimmy Savile on the day of Peel's debut on the show: "In rehearsals John mentioned that he had first seen one of the scheduled groups when he had been working in California, and Jimmy suggested that John omit that piece of information on the basis that most of the audience had never ventured further than Morecombe. A decent gesture to help a television novice."
  • But as Sheila, Peel's wife, recounts in Margrave Of The Marshes (pg. 254), the show still didn't go too well: "He was supposed to say 'And here's the latest happening platter from Amen Corner' - or words to that effect. But nothing came to mind, least of all the band's name; he had gone blank. As John tiptoed towards the exit after the show finished, the producer spotted him, stamped over and hissed, 'I'll make sure you never work in television again.' These were among the most wonderfully thrilling words John had ever heard, since he had no desire to set the world of television aflame with his talent."
  • According to Rob Chapman from the Missing Episodes forum site, he claimed to remember seeing the show and stated that Peel had nearly forgotten the band's song rather than their name: "Don't want to set myself as mister memory man or anything (my memory can be as fallible as the next persons) but I do remember pretty much precisely what Peel said at the time on TOTP. His appearance on the programme at the time was as incongruous as John Lydon's later would be on Juke Box Jury. It was that unexpected so for that reason alone I was probably paying more attention than I would have done, say, to Pete Murray. The Amen Corner slip, which everyone makes so much of now, was actually no big deal. All he said was something along the lines of "here's Amen Corner with the shape me bend me thing." That's really all it was - shape me bend me. Much more memorable - to me at any rate - was when he drawled, right at the start of the show as I recall "no Tyrannosaurus Rex or Captain Beefheart tonight. You'll have to wait till the weekend for those." Or he may have said "you'll have to wait for Top Gear for those." [1]



  • The recording of this show is believed to have been destroyed by the BBC. The following clips of songs and artists that had appeared on the 01 February 1968 show are actually from the 15 February 1968 show and are included here to give a feeling of how the show looked at this time.
Manfred Mann - The Mighty Quinn - Top Of The Pops (1968)

Manfred Mann - The Mighty Quinn - Top Of The Pops (1968)

Manfred Mann - The Mighty Quinn

Amen Corner - Bend Me, Shape Me - Top Of The Pops (1968)

Amen Corner - Bend Me, Shape Me - Top Of The Pops (1968)

Amen Corner - Bend Me, Shape Me

The Move - Fire Brigade - TOTP

The Move - Fire Brigade - TOTP

The Move - Fire Brigade