More TV Memories – Record Of The Year.

Record Of The Year (ITV, 1998-2005)

In the late-90s, around the time when singles sales were on the rise, and there was a rather large turnover of chart-topping singles, it was decided that at the end of the year, there should be a special programme that would determine what the public’s favourite out of all of these were. This became Record Of The Year, a special show that was shown live on ITV on Saturday Night in December, in two parts.

This was planned to be a rather prestigious occasion, and record labels were soon hoping that their acts would have a chance of being nominated. There were lots of hosts over the years, originally there was Denise Van Outen, who was followed by Ant And Dec, and then Cat Deeley, and finally Vernon Kay. In the first part, the ten singles that were nominated were featured, and most of them were performed live on stage. record0001

These songs were always at the rather mainstream end of pop music, and even if the critics never really got that excited by them, the fans definitely did. At the end of part one, the phonelines are opened, and the viewers then had the chance to vote for their favourite. And then, about an hour later, in the second part of the show, there was the big reveal. And the way that the winner was announced seemed rather familiar. vlcsnap-00434

After the votes were counted, the songs were placed into order, with the one receiving the fewest votes scoring one point, and the one with the most scoring ten. This was announced for every ITV region, with the results being read out by someone such as maybe a local news or radio host. For example, in the Carlton Central (☹) region, the results were announced by Stephen Mulhern, who has been turning up on Saturday Nights on ITV for longer than people might realise. vlcsnap-00435

This was interesting because every region had their moment, would how they voted in Border be similar to how they voted in Anglia? The highest-scoring single was announced as The Record Of The Year, and the winners all rather eagerly ran on stage to receive a big trophy, making this come across as a cross between The Brit Awards and the Eurovision Song Contest, and there were some rather close finishes. vlcsnap-00436

The winners always seemed to be either Boyzone, Westlife (who won four times), or Busted, which says a lot about the public’s tastes. I wonder how many people will remember their winning songs now. Rather curiously, in 2005, the TV show came to an end, but the award continued, now only as an online vote, and this continued until 2012 when the idea finally came to an end.


2 thoughts on “More TV Memories – Record Of The Year.

  1. Charlii Grande says:

    The real reason why Westlife, Busted & McFly were often in the top 5 is because it was mostly voted by the teen girls who had a crush on them at the time, so thats why they came out on/near the top. Cat Deeley was my favourite out of its hosts.
    When it moved online in 2006, ITV1 lined up 2 replacements:- 2006 Greatest Hits (hosted by Vernon Kay), counting down the top 20 songs of the year & Viewer of the Year (hosted by Kate Thornton), a TV quiz of 2006 from all channels where the questions was mostly about Corrie (like Westlife).
    It should’ve carried on a few more years as that was one of my favourite programmes that I would look forward to each year; I’d really wanted to see Alfie Deyes & Cat Deeley host it together in 2004.


    • Des Elmes says:

      “The real reason why Westlife, Busted & McFly were often in the top 5 is because it was mostly voted by the teen girls who had a crush on them at the time”

      Also explains, to a large extent, why Spiller and Sophie Ellis-Bextor came last in 2000 – I’m not ashamed to admit that this still irks me twenty years on. (At least Robbie Williams gave the Westies a good run for their money.)

      I remember having to switch from that 2000 results show just before the end, as my dad wanted to watch MOTD and there was no overruling him. I think he thought Westlife had it in the bag anyway.

      Thank heavens YouTube came along. 😉 Kind of amusing seeing audience members throwing food at the Westies at the end of their winners’ performance – whether these people were drunk, or disgusted, or both…


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