Radio 1 boss Ben Cooper on new Official Chart Show plans

Greg James

The Official Chart Show, which has been on Sunday evenings for nearly 50 years, is being moved to Friday evenings.

As well as changing days, it's also getting shorter in duration and it's getting a change in presenter as well.

Greg James will take over the hosting duties when it starts airing in his Friday show, which starts at 4pm.

At the moment it is fronted by Clara Amfo, who only stepped into the role in January having taken over from Jameela Jamil.

Newsbeat spoke to Radio 1 boss Ben Cooper, to find out what's going to happen when the new show starts in July.

Why is the Official Chart Show moving?

Greg James taking a selfie with fans
Image caption Ben Cooper says Greg was "shocked" when he heard he would take on the Chart Show

It's big news. Radio 1's Official Chart Show is moving from Sunday between 4pm and 7pm to Friday between the hours of 4pm and 6pm.

Recently there was an announcement saying there were going to be global release dates. [At the moment] different countries around the world have different release dates.

They said it's all going to be on a Friday in every single country and then the Official Charts Company, which collates all that information, said they were now going to publish the chart on a Friday.

I don't want our audience to be 48 hours behind everyone else. I want them to hear the number one first on Radio 1.

Are people going to take this positively?

Tony Blackburn
Image caption Tony Blackburn hosted the Chart Show in the 1970s and 1980s

I was trying to remember how long it's been on a Sunday. I was one of those kids with my fingers on record and pause, taping the top 40 on my cassette machine.

For over 30 years it's been on a Sunday. I think people are going to be shocked.

Radio 1 is changing. Our audiences are changing and we have to change to keep up with those audience activities.

What do you think about the show being cut by more than an hour?

Ben Cooper, boss of Radio 1 since October 2011
Image caption Ben Cooper, Radio 1 controller

The Official Chart Show is currently three hours but if you look at audience figures and you look at where the peaks are in terms of audience listening, you know that obviously the top 20 is more important than the top 40.

We'll reflect the top 40 but we'll actually be playing the top 20. We'll play a range of records between 40 and 20 but we're not going to play the whole of the top 40.

How will you select what to play?

There are some records that hang around in the chart for weeks and weeks on end and we don't need to play those.

It'll be about the new music, the new entries, the ones that are rising up faster than anyone else. That will be condensed into a fantastic new two-hour show with Greg.

I just think this is going to give the chart new energy.

Do you feel for Clara Amfo for having perhaps the shortest-lived Chart Show career?

Clara Amfo

Clara has got the most amazing opportunity. [When Fearne Cotton leaves Radio 1, Clara will take over her mid-morning show.]

She has got the keys to the Live Lounge so I think she's very very happy.

How will the new Chart Show sound in Greg's show?

You know from when you've heard Greg fill in for the Chart, he loves the Chart.

He's so excited about getting his hands on it and I think it's going to sound really fun, really energetic, really pacey and be full of the stars who are making the music of today.

What's happening on Sundays?

On Sunday we'll have from 4pm to 7pm to play with. That's an opportunity to create a brand new show.

I'm working with the people at CBBC on creating something that will take some of the best content from their channel, and some of our great content, and really focusing on a young, teen audience.

Is the Official Chart Bite with Jack and Dean staying?

Jack and Dean
Image caption Jack and Dean have been making videos for Radio 1, giving their own take on the week's top music

I don't know yet. It's got a short commission so we're going to look at Jack and Dean and what they do with the Chart Bite, whether that continues or not, we shall have to see in the future.

Can you see the Chart Show living for a long time to come?

The Chart Show has been going since 1967. It will continue to go until 2067 and beyond I believe.

There is always a human need to find out what music your friends and yourself love.

Curated playlists are the thing of the moment and this is the ultimate curated playlist. The Chart Show is exciting and it's just moving days - that's all.

Other notable changes

  1. The Official Chart Show will be moving from a Sunday to a Friday in July.
  2. Radio 1/1Xtra is launching a Youth Council which will allow young people to feedback on the stations' output and tell them about youth trends.
  3. Newsbeat short-form visual content will appear from next month in the BBC Radio 1 iPlayer Channel and Newsbeat will remain in its 5.45pm slot on Friday afternoons after the Chart Show has finished.
  4. The final hour (6-7pm) of Greg James' Friday show will continue to be dedicated to Dance Anthems.
  5. CBBC will be joining forces with Radio 1 to create the CBBC Official Chart Show - a mix of pop, gossip, UGC interactive features and entertainment that will be hosted by Cel Spellman and broadcast live from Radio 1's Live Lounge.

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