official chart show

Official Chart Show: 20 must-know facts

As the Official Chart Show moves from its staple Sunday night slot to Fridays, in line with the music industry's new global release day, PRS for Music's Russell Iliffe picks through his top moments from the show's long and illustrious history on BBC Radio 1.

Anita Awbi
  • By Anita Awbi
  • 10 Jul 2015
  • min read

  1. The longest running stint at the top of the singles chart still belongs to Bryan Adams’ power ballad Everything I Do (I Do It for You) with its whopping 16 week residency in 1991.

  1. Cher is the owner of the best selling single by a solo female artist. The diva’s 1998 smash Believe shifted 1.79 million copies in the UK.

  1. German-based disco act Boney M spent five weeks at number one with Rivers of Babylon in 1978. However, just as the single looked set to dip out of the top 20, DJ’s started playing the B-side Brown Girl in the Ring, sending the record back up to number two. Both songs helped the quartet shift two million copies of the disc.

  1. Madonna enjoyed big top ten hits with Holiday, Like a Virgin, Material Girl and Crazy for You at the start of her chart career but it was her 1985 classic Into the Groove which bagged that first British number one.

  1. Ed Sheeran holds the record for slowest climb to the top thanks to Thinking Out Loud, which hit number one in its 19th week on the top 40.

  1. Abba have scored nine chart-toppers, the first being Waterloo in 1974 and the last being 1980 smash Supertrouper.

  1. Blur ‘s Country House may have won the infamous 1995 chart battle over Oasis’s Roll With It but the Mancunians ended up with eight number one career singles in total, compared to Blur’s two.

  1. The UK was in the middle of a Chain Reaction in 1986 when Diana Ross scored a notable comeback with one of her biggest hits. However, back home in the US, the pop classic faltered at number 66 on the Billboard Hot 100.

  1. Kim Wilde, Bananarama and Sheena Easton have never had UK number one singles despite all managing the feat stateside.

  1. The last UK Eurovision entry to reach the top five was Scooch’s Flying the Flag (for You). Unfortunately the 2007 cabin-crew themed number placed joint 22nd out of 24 songs on the night.

  1. The Clash scored their only UK number one single in 1991 when Should I Stay or Should I Go was re-issued after being used in a jeans advert.

  1. The UK’s best selling single of all time is Elton John’s Candle in the Wind ‘97/Something About the Way You Look Tonight which has sold 4.9 million copies.

  1. The last number one single of the 1970’s was Pink Floyd’s Another Brick in the Wall (Part II).

  1. Fairytale of New York by The Pogues ft Kirsty MacColl, All I Want for Christmas is You by Mariah Carey and Last Christmas by Wham! are all million-selling festive favourites that peaked at number two.

  1. Elvis Presley has had the most number one singles in UK history with 21 chart-toppers in total.

  1. Despite being one of her best loved signature tunes, Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5 stalled at number 47 when released in 1980.

  1. The Beatles claim the prize for the most number one albums, having notched up 15 chart-toppers.

  1. The first Spice Girls single to not reach the top spot was the appropriately named Stop, which followed a sequence of six consecutive number one hits.

  1. The cast of Eastenders scored three successes in 1986 with Nick Berry’s Every Loser Wins reaching the top, while both Anita Dobson and the duo of Letitia Dean & Paul Medford also enjoyed chart action.

  1. Queen’s Greatest Hits is the UK’s best-selling long player of all time. The collection has sold over six million copies since its initial release in 1981.

 Facts based on Official Charts Company data.