Human League hit back at BBC Jimmy Savile ban with own Top of The Pops DVD

The Human League have hit back at a ban on Top of the Pops episodes hosted by Jimmy Savile.
The Human League have hit back at a ban on Top of the Pops episodes hosted by Jimmy Savile.

Sheffield chart stars The Human League have hit back against a BBC ban on old episodes of Top Of The Pops featuring disgraced paedophile Jimmy Savile by releasing a DVD of their classic 80s performances.

The band, best known for 80s chart smashes such as Don't You Want Me and Love Action have effectively been wiped the BBC archives after the corporation refused to air episodes of classic chart show - because they were hosted by notorious sex offender Savile.

At the height of their fame in 1981 the band made six appearances on the show - but unluckily for them, the shows were hosted by either Savile or fellow DJ Dave Lee Travis whose episodes have also been consigned to the bin after he was convicted of indecent assault.

But the band, fronted by Phil Oakey, are to get around the ban on the screening of old clips by releasing their own DVD of their Top of The Pops appearances.

The group dominated the charts in the early 80s with a string of hits from their Dare album, culminating in the number one smash, Don’t You Want Me.

However the BBC has declined to show those performances during BBC4’s weekly Top of the Pops repeats, which has become cult viewing.

Viewers complained at the absence from the shows of The Human League, one of the most significant bands of the era who continue to perform to large audiences.

Similarly aggrieved at being airbrushed from the historical record, the band will next month release The Human League at the BBC, a DVD which restores all of their “banned” Top of the Pops appearances.

However, Savile and Travis will be excised from the clips of the band performing hits including Love Action (I Believe In Love) and Open Your Heart.

The BBC considered axing its Top of the Pops repeats after the sex abuse scandal but relented after fans urged the programmes to continue.

Sheffield artist Pete McKee, who provided the cover images for the new compilation, said the “lost” BBC performances were culturally significant.

He said: “The Human League’s look was totally unique and innovative and it also provided one of those jaw dropping moments on Top of the Pops that made your Dad angry but inspired you.

"The League were unashamedly a pop band but also had that edge that made them credible.”