Should BBC Radio 1 keep the Official Chart show?


February 26, 2015 by johnnyseifertradio

In 1964 the Official Chart featured on TV on Top Of The Pops with the number 1 being played on the show:


In 1967, the Official Chart used BBC Radio 1 as a place to showcase the full UK top 40 on Sunday afternoons from 16:00-19:00:



The first question to ask that in today’s digital age in 2015, is the ‘Official Charts’ show actually relevant to the BBC Radio 1 audience?


With various changes in presenters, Hayley Minn sees that the 2004-2009 era was the best for the show:



The Official chart counts downloads and CD singles excluding the Itunes/Shazam/Spotify and Soundcloud charts to name a few. Moving the show to a Friday would change the mood of the station as they gear up to the weekend with the shift in music becoming more dance orientated ready for the niche line up on Friday night’s. Furthermore, you would end up isolating listeners who are at work or school and would join the show late by starting the Top 40 at 16:00 with listeners only joining at 18:00. Whilst this would mean that the audience would hear the UK Top 10, I would question if this would be enough to engage with a listener to then stay with the radio station on their way home or whilst they are eating their dinner:



The show airs over three hours on a Sunday with BBC Radio 1 Xtra and Ex-Kiss Fm presenter Clara Amfo. So what will happen to this slot if the show goes? My first ever idea is that we have a Student Radio take-over in association with the Student Radio Association and Podium.Me.






The Student Radio Association is sponsored by BBC Radio1 and each year there are six winners, twelve nominees as well as student winners of the Demo Factor at the Student Radio Conference. At the moment the BBC Radio 1 and Capital Fm schedules have not changed in the past couple of years and are not due to any time soon. Furthermore, taking Radio 1 as an example, presenters such as Matt Edmonson, Gemma Cairney, Alice Levine and Dev are all in line to take the daytime shows once the current line up leave. Therefore, in the next decade it is going to be very hard for new talent to be given shows on air. For example, at Christmas Jordan North hosted the BBC Radio 1 Early show as Greg James had done previously but there is no job in sight for him anytime soon. With the success of Greg James ‘Feet Up Friday’ feature why not have the student radio presenters host a show each week. This could be in the form of all twelve hosting their own three hour show over the twelve weeks or over four weeks having three X one hour slots. BBC Radio 1 would be seen to really promote student radio and it would fit into their remit of having another way of targeting their core audience reflecting the BBC’s position as a Public Service Broadcaster. Another point to add is that the BBC is facing budget cuts and I am sure the student radio presenters would love to present the show one off for free! They would be using it as experience and for their portfolio whilst you gain a presenter for the show.

Meanwhile, Podium.Me have a repetoire of over 100 voluntary journalists who are under the age of 25 with a wealth of stories that can be explored. Whilst BBC Radio 1 has their stories strand on a Tuesday night from 21:00-22:00 it would be nice if more stories were told that are effecting the real life listeners. For example, this week BBC Radio 1 celebrated ten years of You, Me at Six. By doing this they neglected an issue effecting the audience listeners which could have been put in place by the Sunday team presented by an SRA presenter who would have found it easy to build a rapport with someone similar in age. This is in contrast in using an older researcher who is just looking for words to be put into the mouth to make harrowing audio that can be used. Podium really take care in their journalists and help to develop their personal interests.






Currently, Somethin’ Else produce The Surgery whilst Wise Buddah produce some documentaries for BBC Radio 1 so what if they had the chance to produce a new Sunday show in the afternoon. Using their own BBC Radio 1 talent presenters including Dan and Phil, Gemma Cairney and Chris Stark to name a few; a new show could be produced that is different to the normal BBC Radio 1 daytime shows that feature the BBC Radio 1 playlists. At 16:00 all commercial radio are featuring the Big Top 40 chart with Marvin Humes and Kat Shoob whilst opt-out stations are focusing on football. So what could BBC Radio1 do that is unique?




Secondly, they could have a nostalgic pop party featuring the best of Gina G, VengaBoys, S Club,Spice Girls and the YMCA hosted by myself of course:


Childrens Disco

Over three hours the biggest pop hits are played and throwback features would be used. For example, what was your playground etiquette at school? Did you swap Pokemon cards? Did you play British Bulldog as an excuse so that we could chase the girl?




Thirdly, an idea I have had for some time is hosting feature length candid interviews. Already this airs with Christine Bleakly on Magic 105.4 and with Kate Thornton on BBC Radio 2 but BBC Radio 1 does not have a show as such. Zane Lowe got over 1 million hits with his interviews with Jay Z and Eminem and it really did reflect their old slogan of ‘Listen, Watch, Share’ so why not do this all the time and bring in potential and current listeners?



I would like to hear from Geordie Shore’s Holly Hagan, TOWIE’s GC, Gemma Collins and musicians such as Rizzle Kicks with how they got to be the people that they are today. For example, how did an artist start getting their music noticed. What is it on SoundCloud or by busking in Covent Garden? What was their family background like and how did that influence their decisions and lifestyles? What was more important finding love or having a career? What insecurities did you have and did that hold you back?


I have tried this with Dappy after he left Celebrity Big Brother 2014 and it was really positively received:



Whilst it would be a shame that the Official Chart show should go as it has been an institution on BBC Radio 1 since 1967 but it is not relevant anymore and does not dictate which songs we download and buy:



When Jameela Jamil took over the chart in 2013 they tried to give that multi-platform visual feel by visualising the last hour in the Radio 1 Bedroom playing the music videos and having more interviews with the guests. There is only so many times that you can ask the question, “How do you feel reaching number #1 in the UK Top 40? Furthermore, you can not have Live Lounge’s as that is an institution for Fearne Cotton’s 10:00-12:45 show and it does not fit in with the weekend remit. I do think we need more variety on the weekend schedule to disassociate it with the weekday line up rather than seeing it as an extension to the Monday-Friday schedule.


What do you think? Should the chart move days and what would you replace the show with in the schedule?

One thought on “Should BBC Radio 1 keep the Official Chart show?

  1. […] heard that this slot would be available to due to the move of the Official Chart Show to a Friday I had some ideas of what could be done. When I think of Radio 1, the connotations that I convey are pop music, a place for radio anoraks […]


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