Cliff Richard has blasted a new 1960s-themed radio station for refusing to play his hit records.
Absolute Radio 60s, which will launch on 22 November, explained the reason for excluding Sir Cliff’s music from its playlist, claiming that his songs did not fit “the cool sound… we’re trying to create.”
DJ Pete Mitchell clarified the station’s position, saying: “Timeless acts of the decade that remain relevant today are the Beatles, the Stones, the Doors and the Who – not Sir Cliff.”
The comments have angered the singer, who hit back at the station in a statement, saying: “They’re lying to themselves, and more importantly they’re lying to the public.
“You cannot count me out. I sold more singles in the UK than the Beatles did, and more singles than any other artist on the planet, in Britain.”
The 71-year-old added: “What they’re forgetting is that The Beatles didn’t start it here – I started five years before the Beatles.
“I don’t think that DJs should play only the things they like. They should play what the public like, and if you’ve got a number one, it means your record is more popular than any other record in the charts, so you deserve airplay.”
A full statement from the station read: “Absolute Radio 60s is the sound of the ‘Swinging Sixties’ – the most influential decade in music history. Yes, Cliff enjoyed chart success, but we believe timeless acts of the decade that remain relevant today are bands like the Beatles, the Stones, the Doors, the Who and Aretha Franklin. No Beatles or Stones, then no Oasis or Kings of Leon. No Aretha Franklin, no Amy Winehouse or Adele. We don’t feel the same influence can be said for Sir Cliff Richard’s music.”
Cliff scored his first charting single in 1958 with Move It, before embarking on a long-running pop career that continues to this day.