Top of the pops: The story of 1981

Date
Channel
BBC Four (UK)

The year the teens take over and 80s 'new pop' is born with Depeche Mode, the teen-fronted Human League, Kim Wilde and Duran Duran all debuting, while Ultravox and Visage master the art of pop videos. The show embraces the shift with a new theme tune and titles and, as Legs and Co leave, invite a swathe of club kids and cheerleaders in to create a permanent 80s party atmosphere. Britain is torn between rioting, unemployment and the royal wedding, a mood captured in the Specials' Ghost Town, which the band perform on Top of the Pops, and then promptly split up in their dressing room at Television Centre.

With Duran Duran, Depeche Mode, the Human League, Kim Wilde, Midge Ure, Jerry Dammers (the Specials), Leee John, Freeez, Beggar and Co, Richard Skinner, Mike Read and Carrie Grant. Narrated by Mel Giedroyc.