Entertainment & Arts

Children in Need boss 'saddened' by charity album's chart exclusion

Jodie Whittaker (left) and Olivia Colman
Image caption Jodie Whittaker sang Coldplay's Yellow, while Olivia Colman sang Portishead's Glory Box

A Children in Need album featuring stars like Jodie Whittaker and Olivia Colman has been removed from the race to be number one in this week's chart.

The Official Charts Company said Got It Covered, which features actors each singing a song, was heading for the top spot in the main album chart.

But it has now been moved to the compilations chart.

Children in Need chief executive Simon Antrobus said he was "deeply saddened" by the decision.

On Monday, the Official Charts Company said the album, which also includes tracks sung by David Tennant, Helena Bonham Carter and Suranne Jones, was 4,000 sales ahead in the race to be number one in the main chart.

Gentleman Jack and Broadchurch actor Shaun Dooley, who covered Taylor Swift's Never Grow Up, wrote on Twitter that he was "saddened & angry", pointing out that the decision could stop the CD from being stocked in supermarket chart racks.

The Official Charts Company said it had decided that the album was a various artists' compilation and so should not be in the main chart.

Mr Antrobus said: "I'm deeply saddened that the industry has chosen to pull the album from the number one race after announcing it was well on its way to securing the top spot this week.

"Got It Covered is the result of an inspiring collaboration by some of the UK's biggest stars in support of disadvantaged children and young people and this very special project has clearly captured the public's imagination.

"It's sad that a charity album solely for the benefit of children should be denied the chance of further promotion and celebration which inevitably would lead to more money being raised."

Image caption David Tennant covered The Proclaimers' Sunshine on Leith, and Helena Bonham Carter performed Joni Mitchell's Both Sides Now

Children in Need is the BBC's corporate charity, and the album's release came ahead of the annual fundraising night on 15 November. The recording sessions were shown on a BBC One documentary.

A BBC statement said: "This is extremely disappointing, we know many of the contributors are also saddened by the news. It's important to remember what this album is about - helping the lives of disadvantaged children in need.

"The public have been buying the album in huge volumes and that should be recognised. They should think again."

A spokesperson for the Official Charts Company apologised for not identifying it as a compilation sooner. A statement said: "We understand and sympathise with Children In Need's concerns that their album will no longer feature in the UK's artist albums chart.

"The album is on course to take the number one spot on the compilation albums chart and be the biggest-selling album of the week - which is a huge achievement, while raising money for such a deserving cause.

"Got It Covered was described to us pre-release as an artist album, but on release it was clear that it was a various artists compilation, as it is widely credited as across retail and music services. We are sorry this fact was not picked up sooner, and we are huge supporters of all the incredible and important work Children in Need do and would urge everyone to continue to go out and buy the album."

Chart rules say the only compilations allowed in the main artist album chart must be by a single artist or orchestra, or soundtracks where all recordings are performed by the cast.

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