The BBC is to air a series of programmes across television and radio which will mark the 60th anniversary of the British Singles Chart.

Pop Charts Britannia: 60 Years Of The Top 10 provides a ‘fascinating insight’ into the history of the chart since it was launched by NME in 1952. The show will feature contributions from BBC broadcasters including David Jacobs, Pete Murray, Bob Harris, Paul Gambaccini and Reggie Yates, alongside pop legends like Sir Cliff Richard, pop fans and chart enthusiasts such as Grace Dent and music biz insiders Jon Webster and Rob Dickins. The show will air on Friday 16th November on BBC Four

The Joy Of The Single  is packed with startling memories, vivid images and penetrating insights into the enduring power of pop and rock’s first and most abiding artefact – the seven inch, vinyl 45 rpm record; a small, perfectly formed object that seemed to miraculously contain the hopes, fears, sounds and experiences of a generation.

In the confident hands of a star-studded cast, The Joy Of The Single spins a tale of obsession, addiction, dedication and desire. Viewers will be invited on a journey of celebration: from the smell of vinyl to the delights of the record label; from the importance of the record shop to the bitter-sweet brevity of song itself. With a cast that includes Jack White, Norman Cook, Graham Gouldman, Richard Hawley, Neil Sedaka, Norah Jones, Mike Batt and many more. The show will air on Friday 23 November on BBC Four.

Mark Cooper, Creative Head, BBC Music Entertainment and the Executive Producer of these documentaries, said: “The singles chart and the single itself are the key drivers of pop and while both documentaries suggest we are leaving one era of music buying behind, hopefully these programmes celebrate the world we grew up in – record shops, vinyl, Top Of The Pops, the Radio 1 chart rundown – and also point to the future.”

Meanwhile, on BBC Radio 2, Tony Blackburn will be presenting two special Pick Of The Pops (Saturday 10 November and Saturday 17 November) programmes marking 60 years of the UK charts as we know it. Tony will be playing the best-selling song from each year in chronological order, from 1952 right up until 2012. In the first programme he will be playing the best-selling songs from 1952 to 1985. Programme two will feature singles from 1986 to 2012.

Over on BBC Radio 6 Music, Steve Lamacq’s show (Monday-Thursday, November 12-16) has commissioned the Official Charts Company to produce bespoke charts for the station. The chart will include songs by bands whose names begin with ‘The’ and also the most successful foreign language track ever.

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