As far as British pop queens go - we've never had it so good. Since Amy Winehouse went supernova with Back To Black, we've had Duffy, Estelle and Adele feasting at the Grammys while Leona Lewis is shaping up to beat American divas like Whitney or Mariah at their own game. Meanwhile Lily Allen is at the forefront of a diverse bunch of confident young women setting the world to rights in their native tongue - think Kate Nash, Little Boots, Florence and the Machine, Emmy The Great and the rest. And I haven't even mentioned Girls Aloud...
This golden age made us think about the women who came before - the Brit girls of the 60s who kicked off the modern age - and the pop queens who brought us through the 70s and 80s into something close to now. We pitched the idea of a celebration of our British pop queens to BBC One and, hey presto, they gave us the money and the slots to make two one hour films.
We set about the difficult task of compiling a list of 12 female stars who'd somehow changed the game, who'd imposed themselves upon the pop firmament or tilted at its windmills, women whose careers would sweep us through the decades and, by very juxtaposition with one another, tell the story of those decades in a very particular kind of soundtrack.
Choosing was a nightmare and there's no doubt it would have been easier for us to go with a squad system - 20 Queens would have been so much easier and fairer than 12! Think of the 60s alone where we chose Dusty, Sandie Shaw and Marianne Faithfull but left out Lulu and Cilla. But we decided early on to choose on the grounds of which Queens would take us on contrasting journeys, whose lives and careers would provide different narratives, different struggles, different songs.
When I think of the Queens that are missing in action I wake up in a hot flush which is why we've put the Queens of British Pop website together, to remind you of the strength and joys of the field - of Lulu, Sandy Denny, Lynsey De Paul, Joan Armatrading, Sade, Dido and so many more.
Enjoy them, celebrate them, let us know your own favourites - the women who write their names most brightly across your sky.
One last thing - we didn't choose on exclusively musical grounds and we wouldn't begin to suggest that our 12 represent the best female pop vocalists from the UK. Many of our chosen 12 are wonderful singers and great songwriters but finally, for us, this was about something else besides and the women we've chosen are there because their songs and experiences and impact best write the story of the last five decades.
Mark Cooper is the Executive Producer of Queens of British Pop