Top of the Pops first transmitted live from a converted church in Dickinson Road, Manchester at 6.35pm on
BBC ONE, New Year's Day 1964.

It was presented by Jimmy Savile who opened the show with the immortal line: "It's Number One, it's Top of the Pops".

 The Rolling Stones were the first band to perform singing I Wanna Be Your Man and the full line also included Dusty Springfield, The Dave Clark Five, The Hollies, The Swinging Blue Jeans,
Cliff Richard & The Shadows and Freddie & The Dreamers

 The first Number One on Top of the Pops was
The Beatles with I Wanna Hold Your Hand.


The programme was broadcast from a converted church in Dickinson Road, Manchester. With a limited budget, the studio had no facilities for artists to perform live and all the early shows were mimed.

Radio Times turned this into something positive:
They will mime their songs. This is a departure from normal BBC practice, but the rule is being relaxed because the purpose of the programme is to let you hear the discs exactly as recorded, though within the setting of a television programme.

Top of the Pops was first broadcast between 6.35pm and 7pm on New Year's Day 1964 with Savile as the host. It featured a rundown of the charts and his assistant, Samantha Juste, was seen putting on records for the performers. Stewart was confident that the series would be a success and it was expanded to
12 programmes, and then indefinitely.

Presenting the show from Manchester created problems as many of
the bigger acts did not want to travel there.

In 1967 Top of the Pops moved to the
Lime Grove Studios in west London.


There is a belief that The Beatles appeared during the three years the programme ran from the Manchester studio.
However, this is not the case.

(See Ken Lawson page for set designer!)

Any Beatles appearance was pre-recorded for transmission.
Usually a mimed performance recorded in another studio.

For example...
The Beatles performance of 'Ticket To Ride' and 'Yes It Is' (B-Side)
were pre-recorded at Studio 2, Riverside Studios, London
on Saturday 10 April 1965.

Later transmitted as part of Top Of The Pops 15 April 1965 edition.

The Beatles popularity and therefore personal appearance would
be a safety issue and so it was decided it was best for all if
The Beatles stayed away!!!

The Beatles would film their own promo's and send them out instead. Another Beatle first then - they invented the Pop Video! 

Do you know any different regarding The Beatles at Dickinson Road as there were rumours that the group collective or individually did visit during recording...does anyone know anything ot there?!

The Beatles did finally appear in the flesh on the show
but when it had transferred location to London.

This on Thursday 16 June 1966 where they mimed to their latest single and B-Side 'Paperback Writer' and 'Rain'. 

This footage is regarded as 'The Holy Grail' amongst collectors.

The BBC wiped it and it is believed the only copy is in the
hands of a collector in Japan/America?

Not a single frame has ever been seen and the only photos
that exist are from rehearsals earlier in the day!  


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The Beatles In Manchester is not affiliated with or approved by The Beatles.