More TV Memories – Hit List UK.

Hit List UK (MTV, 1992-2002ish)

As you should know by now, one of the great things about the early days of digital TV was accessing lots of new channels for the first time, going from having five to suddenly having about 25 really was a big deal. And here’s another one that I enjoyed that was on MTV. Hit List UK was a look at all of the songs that were currently in the Top 40.

I think that MTV also did the equivalents of this for the American and European charts, and I might look back at those soon too. This seemed to fall somewhere between Top Of The Pops and The Chart Show, as there was an in-vision host, but only music videos were shown, there were no live performances, and we we were told many fascinating (probably) facts about the acts featured.

It seems that this had already been going for many years by the time that I first saw this in the late-90s, and some of the earlier hosts (or “VJs” as they were known at the time) included Paul “Love And P-P-P-P-Pride” King, but the first host that I remember was Cat Deeley. A little unusually, she went on to do almost exactly the same thing on ITV’s unrelated music show CD:UK, whilst still hosting this one.

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Cat was in an empty void with some numbers floating around on the screen behind. Some of the songs on the chart would be going up… well they weren’t actually, as by this point the vast majority of singles peaked in their first week on the chart, so mostly only new entries would be chosen to be played in full. Honestly, the marketing in the music business. There would also be specials at the end of the year to look back at the biggest-sellers.

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In 2000, this was given a new look, there was now a proper studio, and there would be two hosts, as Cat was joined by Edith Bowman (or occasionally Zane Lowe). Things started to become a little sillier, and they would do rather daft exchanges between the songs. There was also a rather irritating dog that appeared in the opening sequence and on the studio wall, which was offputting.

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As this was around the time that I really was interested in chart pop music though, I made sure that I did watch this along with all of the other similar shows and magazines. Hit List UK seemed to end not that long after I lost access to MTV though, as they practically gave up on showing music videos, so I didn’t end up missing as many musical moments as I thought.

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