The BBC is desperate to persuade its own staff to attend recordings of long-running show Top Of The Pops, after being told it is breaking the law by staging live music for the public at Television Centre in west London. Director Mark Thompson frantically emailed employees at the broadcast network, begging them to come and have a boogie at last week's (11MAY06) recording, as they can no longer invite the public to join in the fun. The BBC only realised it was breaking the rules when lawyers confirmed the network is in breach of the Licensing Act following a recent Red Hot Chili Peppers' concert at Television Centre. The law also affects hit music show LATER...WITH JOOLS HOLLAND and STRICTLY DANCE FEVER. Thompson's panicky email read: "We're asking for your help, and also hoping we can offer you some fun at the same time. "A new law came into force recently which requires some public entertainment to be licensed. The BBC always seeks to operate fully within the law. "Contrary to advice originally received, it now appears that the BBC needs a licence for certain audience shows. We are in the process of obtaining this. But while we do so, we need to introduce some restrictions on recording studio shows in front of members of the public. "We can however use audiences drawn from members of staff only, and we're therefore inviting you to attend the programmes affected."
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