© Press Association Fearne Cotton and Dermot O'Leary
Top of the Pops is a beat away from a TV return – with a move to a prestigious Friday night slot.
The Sunday Mirror told this year how BBC bosses were keen to bring back the iconic programme.
Now sources have revealed that Beeb execs have been discussing how a new look show would work.
They believe Dermot O’Leary and Fearne Cotton, 33, would be the perfect presenters – and a good dig at Simon Cowell after Dermot, 41, was dumped as host of ITV’s X Factor last month.
Moves to revive Top of the Pops have been boosted by the decision to shift the official charts to Fridays from Sundays. There has also been a boom in music downloads and streaming thanks to stars such as Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith and Rita Ora.
An insider said: “Top of the Pops is a great brand name and the BBC are keen to use it. Some at the highest level are massive supporters of the plan and have given the go-ahead. The new Friday night charts could be the perfect tie-in – with Top of the Pops a brilliant start to the weekend."
The insider added: “Dermot’s departure from the X Factor is another piece of the jigsaw. Teaming him with Fearne would be a brilliant move. He already presents a popular Radio 2 show – fronting Top of the Pops is a logical step.”
TOTP, traditionally on BBC1 on Thursday evenings, was eventually axed in 2006 as singles sales slumped. Links to previous host Jimmy Savile have also cast a shadow over the show. But last year’s two festive daytime specials were a big hit.
DJ Fearne, expecting her second child with hubby Jesse Wood in September, has only said she is looking forward to “the next step”.
But close pal Leigh Francis, alias Keith Lemon, 41, has hinted she will return to fronting TOTP, claiming: “We have discussed it.”
Dermot’s spokeswoman did not comment.
The BBC said: “There have been constant whispers about Top of the Pops returning but they are just whispers.”