BBC to mark 60 years of the British singles chart

Tony Blackburn DJ Tony Blackburn will host two special Pick of the Pops programmes on Radio 2

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The BBC is to broadcast a series of programmes next month celebrating 60 years of the British singles chart.

Pop Charts Britannia: 60 Years of the Top 10 will trace the history of the chart and feature contributions from past Radio 1 DJs and pop legends.

The Joy of the Single, meanwhile, will feature Jack White, Norman Cook, Neil Sedaka and others talking about the vinyl 45 rpm record.

The documentaries will be broadcast on BBC Four on 16 and 23 November.

"The singles chart and the single itself are the key drivers of pop," said executive producer Mark Cooper.

"While both documentaries suggest we are leaving one era of music-buying behind, hopefully these programmes celebrate the world we grew up in... and also point to the future."

On Radio 2 Tony Blackburn will present two special Pick of the Pops shows, playing the best-selling song from each of the 60 years in chronological order.

The Official Charts Company has also been commissioned to produce a series of special charts for Steve Lamacq's 6 Music show, to be revealed from 12 to 16 November.

The bespoke countdowns will include songs by bands whose names begin with "The" and the most successful tracks in a foreign language.

The first number one, Al Martino's Here in My Heart, was published in the NME on 14 November 1952.

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