The UK Singles Chart is compiled by the Official Charts Company (OCC) on behalf of the British record industry. The full chart published on the OCC website contains the weekly top-selling 100 single recordings in the United Kingdom, based upon combined record sales and download numbers, and from the week ending Saturday 5 July 2014, also includes streaming data. However, some media outlets only list the Top 40 (such as the BBC) or the Top 75 (such as Music Week magazine) of this list. Around 6,500 British retail outlets contribute sales data, as well as most UK online digital-download stores. Unlike charts in the United States, no airplay statistics are used for the official UK Singles Chart. The chart week runs from 00:01 Sunday to midnight Saturday, with most UK digital singles being released on Sundays (followed by CD releases on Monday). The Top 40 chart is first issued on Sunday afternoons by BBC Radio 1, before the full Official Singles Chart Top 100 is posted on the Official Charts Company’s website. Radio 1 broadcasts The Official Chart on Sundays from 16:00 to 19:00. The show had various presenters over the years, including Tommy Vance, Mark Goodier, Tom Browne, Bruno Brookes and Alan Freeman whose Pick of the Pops was the chart show from the 1960s into the early 1970s. From October 2007 to December 2012, Reggie Yates presented the chart show (until September 2009 with Fearne Cotton, who was the first permanent female presenter of The Official Chart). From January 2013 until January 2015, Jameela Jamil presented the show, before being replaced by current presenter Clara Amfo. A rival chart show, The Vodafone Big Top 40, is based on downloads and commercial radio airplay and is broadcast on 140 commercial local radio stations. The UK Singles Chart began to be compiled in 1969. According to the Official Charts Company’s statistics, as of 1 July 2012, 1,200 singles have topped the UK Singles Chart. The precise number of chart-toppers is debatable due to the profusion of competing charts from the 1950s to the 1980s, but the usual list used is that endorsed by the Guinness Book of British Hit Singles and subsequently adopted by the Official Charts Company. The company regards a selected period of the New Musical Express chart (only from 1952 to 1960) and the Record Retailer chart from 1960 to 1969 as predecessors for the period prior to 11 February 1969, where multiples of competing charts (none of which official) coexisted side by side. For example the BBC compiled its own chart based on an average of the music papers of the time; many songs announced as having reached number one on BBC Radio and Top of the Pops prior to 1969 are not listed as chart-toppers according to the legacy criteria of the Charts Company. Its current number one is “Love Me Like You Do” by Ellie Goulding.

Richard Goodwin

Richard Goodwin has been working as a tech journalist for over 10 years. He has written for Den of Geek, Fortean Times, IT PRO, PC Pro, ALPHR, and many other technology sites. He is the editor and owner of KnowYourMobile.

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