Three years after it was pulled from the BBC schedules after 42 years, BBC Worldwide says there is "huge demand" for the iconic weekly music countdown "Top of the Pops" among global TV broadcast partners.

The show ended on July 30, 2006 after schedule changes failed to reverse a ratings slide, although one-off specials for Christmas and New Year's Eve and the telethon "Comic Relief" have proved popular.

Artists including Dizzee Rascal and Calvin Harris and industry executives have called for the return of the weekly show. But while BBC head of music entertainment Mark Cooper tells Billboard.biz he expects the Christmas edition to return this year there are no plans to revive it as a weekly format.

However, Salim Mukaddam, head of commercial affairs in the music division at the broadcaster's commercial arm, BBC Worldwide, tells Billboard.biz that international partners want it back - and one even has a proposal for a "Top of the Pops" channel. Local versions previously aired in Holland, Belgium, Italy, France, New Zealand, Germany and the Middle East.

"There's huge demand. We're actually talking to some of the international producers and broadcasters who did some of the international versions about trying to do tailored versions for their territories, because if it came back [to the U.K. BBC] tomorrow they would take it," says Mukaddam.

An undisclosed territory has a proposal "to create a channel based around 'Top of the Pops' because the brand was so well known," he adds.

Practically, however, a U.K. version of the show would have to return to produce content for broadcasters unlikely to regularly attract international talent to their own studios.

"If the BBC brought it back we would be fully behind commercializing it internationally, absolutely," says Mukaddam.

He adds, "We ran the international versions when it was at its height and it did incredibly well. There is definitely a gap in the market for a fantastic, high quality contemporary music show. 'Later... With Jools Holland' does incredibly well for us but it has a more niche audience and niche feel to it. It's not a pop show and I think there's definitely a gap in the market for a really high quality pop show."

Cooper says there is "huge affection" for the show among the artists and executives he meets, describing "TOTP" as a "great old brand that is dormant but isn't dead." But the BBC is not ready to relaunch it as a weekly show yet.

For more on "Top of the Pops" and the Christmas and end-of-year specials see the current "Xmas in July" edition of Billboard.