TV producer 'stopped us getting on Lockerbie plane' says last Four Tops member

The lone-surviving member of Motown stalwarts The Four Tops has recalled how a British TV producer saved the band’s lives after he stopped them from boarding the doomed Lockerbie plane.

The 1988 Pan Am flight was on its way from London to New York when it was blown up above the Scottish town, killing all 259 people on board and 11 people on the ground.

The Four Tops in 1990 (Ron Frehm/AP/PA Images)
Duke Fakir, the last surviving member of The Four Tops, revealed the group were prevented from making the flight after a Top Of The Pops producer refused to let them record two performances in one session.

Fakir, now 80 and still performing in a new-look Four Tops, told the Press Association: “We had two shows to do and we were going to record them at the same time. One of them was not going out until New Year’s Eve and the producer didn’t want us to play them at the same time. He wouldn’t have it.

“So the producer on Top Of The Pops was the reason we didn’t get on that plane.

“And I was glad, so, so glad that we didn’t do it in one session.”

The Four Tops, who are set to embark on a new UK tour with The Temptations, were one of Motown’s most consistent hitmakers after forming in the early 1950s.

Fakir said he was “looking forward” to the tour as British audiences treat the group “like royalty”.

The groups are set to visit Manchester, Leeds, Nottingham, Birmingham, Bournemouth, London and Southend during the tour, which starts in Liverpool on October 21.


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