Top Of The Pops • Thursday, June 16, 1966

TV ShowBy The Beatles
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BBC Television Centre

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From The Daily Beatle:

[…] by June 1966, Top Of The Pops had been running for over two years, The Beatles had never previously appeared live on the show. They had pre-recorded exclusive performances in BBC studios, or sent promotional clips to be played on the show. Now the show had already moved from Manchester to London, and The Beatles finally agreed to appear live to promote their latest single.  The Beatles had agreed two days previously, when manager Brian Epstein passed on a request from Top Of The Pops producer Johnnie Stewart.

Both “Paperback Writer” and “Rain” had previously been featured on Top of the Pops, courtesy of their promotional films. Both clips were shown on 2 June, and “Paperback Writer” was reprised on 9 June.

The group arrived at BBC Television Centre at 2.30pm for a rehearsal for the camera, and to pose for publicity photographs and conduct press interviews. More rehearsals followed between 4.15pm and 5.30, and from 6.30pm to 7pm.

The live broadcast took place between 7.30pm and 8pm on BBC One. The Beatles were the final act to appear, and did both “Paperback Writer” and its b-side, “Rain”. They were introduced by host Pete Murray. Some sources say that the Beatles played the songs live this time, others that they mimed. Given that they never did perform “Rain” live on stage, that one is most likely to have been mimed, what with it’s backwards vocals etc. Paul had just had his damaged front tooth capped before this appearance, he told the NME’s Alan Smith in an interview conducted while they were in the TV studios.

The Beatles’ performance has since been wiped by the BBC, and the footage no longer exists in their archives.

POPS Photo of BEATLES, L-R. John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney, George Harrison performing on show

From, April 8, 2019:

An 11-second clip of the Beatles’ only live appearance on the Top of the Pops, which was thought to have been be lost, has been unearthed in Mexico.

The silent snippet is all that exists of the Fab Four miming to Paperback Writer on the BBC pop show in 1966.

The original tapes were not kept, but it was recorded by a viewer filming their TV set with an 8mm camera.

The footage was shot by a family in Liverpool and eventually fell into the hands of a collector in Mexico.

The collector contacted Kaleidoscope, a Birmingham-based organisation specialising in locating previously missing TV footage.

“I think if you’re a Beatles fans, it’s the holy grail,” Kaleidoscope’s Chris Perry told BBC entertainment correspondent Colin Paterson.

“People thought it was gone forever because videotape wasn’t kept in 1966. To find it all these years later was stunning.”

From New Musical Express – June 17, 1966

Last updated on May 10, 2023

BBC Television Centre

This was the 1st concert played at BBC Television Centre.

A total of 8 concerts have been played there • 1966Jun 16th1972May 25th1973Jan 4th1974Nov 21st1987Dec 3rdDec 12th1990Dec 14th1993Jan 7th

Setlist for the concert


Paperback Writer

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Mimed performance



Written by Lennon - McCartney

Mimed performance

Going further

If we like to think, in all modesty, that the Paul McCartney Project is the best online ressource for everything Paul McCartney, The Beatles Bible is for sure the definitive online site focused on the Beatles. There are obviously some overlap in terms of content between the two sites, but also some major differences in terms of approach.

Read more on The Beatles Bible


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