Top of the Pops, Friday, 21.00, 21.30, BBC4
A good show for fans of cables last time out, Crystal Waters being rather upstaged by the giant one snaking across the stage and Jase performing in a tangle of them, while the stages increasingly look like they’re being held together by sellotape and hope. The whole show is starting to seem a bit tatty, but change is coming and tonight it’s another outing for the most feared words in the English language – a new look Top of the Pops! But it’s not the big one you’re thinking of, which comes in the autumn, but a short-lived revamp for the next few months which, perhaps surprisingly, is a bit of an improvement, with the show seemingly heading back to basics. It’s bad news if you enjoy laughing at the audience members desperate to get in shot, mind, as the presenters are plucked from the heaving throng to deliver their links from empty stages and in front of a green screen, but the good news is that we lose the abridged chart and get the entire countdown back, in one big lump from 40-2 over a video towards the start, and all the extraneous gubbins – including, hooray, the album chart – are ditched to make way for pretty much non-stop music. So all very interesting, but it doesn’t last very long, so make the most of it. Presumably we won’t get The Doors in the first show either, because of the boring rights reasons we discussed last week, but there are some songs coming up in the next few weeks, starting in the second show, that a while back, you’d have perhaps expected not to hear. Yes, four years after Pops couldn’t even bring itself to read out the full name of I Want Your Sex, let alone play it, 1991’s summer of sex-related songs is happily covered in full, with Salt n Pepa and R*ght S**d Fr*d to come, and this week LaTour joining Color Me Badd. But if that’s all too much excitement for you, there’s also Bette Midler.