Radio 1 Top 40 chart show moves from Sunday to Friday

Greg James will host the BBC show in its new slot following a switch to reflect UK music's new release date

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After occupying the Sunday afternoon slot for nearly 50 years, Radio 1’s Top 40 chart show is moving to Friday for the very first time. 

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Hosted by Greg James, the new show will air from 4-6pm, dropping from its current three-hour running time, although the top 20 tracks will still be played in full. 

The move will take place in mid-July and coincides with the switch in the release date for all new music in the UK from Sunday to Friday in a bid by the global industry to combat piracy. 

“The chart must feel like it’s providing news, not just confirmation of something the listeners already knew,” said James of his new role. “It’s a privilege to host it and even better that I don’t have to work on Sundays.”

“The days of recording your favourite songs from the chart onto cassette are long gone,” added Radio 1 controller, Ben Cooper, “and Radio 1 now operates in an instant digital world. So when the global release date changes to a Friday we will also move The Official Chart, continuing our commitment to stay relevant to young music fans of today and tomorrow.”

James – who currently presents the station’s 4-7pm slot – will replace Clara Amfo who only began hosting the chart show in January but goes on to take over Fearne Cotton’s Radio 1 weekday programme from May. 

In addition to the schedule swap, the Corporation has also announced plans for a weekly half-hour chart show, The CBBC Official Chart Show, on the children’s TV channel – the first from the BBC since Top of the Pops went off air in 2006. Beginning in May and hosted by Waterloo Road actor Cel Spellman (who also presents the channel’s Friday Download show), it will broadcast live from Radio 1’s Live Lounge to coincide with the last half hour of the chart and will also be available on the BBC’s iPlayer.

The newly-launched Radio 1 first began featuring a chart show in 1967 and currently has a listenership of around 1.2 million. Back in July 2014 the station – aimed at 15-29-year-olds – began including streamed music for the first time.

“The BBC needs to stop thinking about TV channels and radio stations and think about content for certain demographics,” Cooper told The Guardian. “If we don’t adapt, we will die.

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“As a person running a traditional radio station, you should be afraid, you should be very afraid.”