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The Official Big Top 40

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Official Big Top 40
The Official Big Top 40 Logo.png
The UK's Biggest Chart Show
GenreTop 40
Running time180 minutes (4:00 pm–7:00 pm)
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Home stationGlobal's London studios
Hosted byWill Manning
Produced byPaul Phelps
Original release6 January 2019 (2019-01-06) – present Edit this at Wikidata

The Official Big Top 40 is a radio chart show broadcast every Sunday afternoon from 4-7pm on Global's Capital and Heart networks, presented by Will Manning. It is the most-listened to chart show in the UK with a weekly audience of 2.2 million listeners, more than the Official Chart on BBC Radio 1.[1]

The show replaced The Network Chart Show, which started in September 1984 and had been broadcast on 140 commercial radio stations in the UK.[2]


The Official Big Top 40 begins with a recap of the previous week's Top 5 songs, followed by a countdown of the 40 biggest songs from the last seven days. A recap is broadcast after every ten songs. Interviews with the artists making that particular week's chart, competitions, calls with listeners and advertisements make up the remaining airtime. The Number 1 song is announced just before 7pm.

The chart is compiled based on downloads, streaming, and radio airplay from the stations that broadcast the show.[3] It is the only UK chart which includes radio airplay, much like the Billboard Hot 100 in the US. The algorithm differs to that of the Official Singles Chart, which also includes downloads, plus physical sales–but does not take radio airplay into account.

Will Manning is the programme's current host. He started on the show in January 2019.[4] The show is produced by Paul Phelps and broadcast from Global's studios in Leicester Square, London.


The show began on 30 September 1984 as The Network Chart Show. It was originally presented by David Jensen (known then as 'Kid Jensen') and was unique in that it was a cross-industry show, broadcast on competing commercial radio stations across the UK.

The Network Chart Show aired on Sundays from 5-7pm, as competition to BBC Radio 1's own Top 40 chart show. In October 1990, the show was extended to start at 4pm and the chart expanded from a Top 30 to a Top 40 countdown.

The show became hit40uk on 5 January 2003 with Fox initially remaining as the host..

It was relaunched as The Big Top 40 Show on 14 June 2009. Between 2010 and 2018, the programme was sponsored by Vodafone, becoming The Vodafone Freebees Big Top 40 (later The Vodafone Big Top 40 and The Official Vodafone Big Top 40. For the first time, listeners could change the chart during the show by downloading tracks on iTunes.[5] Songs 40 to 11 were played before the new Top 10 was finalised at 6:10pm, with iTunes sales from during the show taken into account. This made it the first real-time chart show broadcast on UK radio.

In September 2018, Bauer announced that their Hits Radio Network would stop carrying the show after the expiration of its contract at the end of 2018. Global, which produced the show, made the decision to withdraw the programme from syndication to the wider commercial radio network. The final show across the commercial radio network aired on 30 December 2018.


  • Current Presenter: Will Manning (2019–present)
  • Current Cover Presenter: Sian Welby (2019–present)

Radio stations

List of radio stations that broadcast The Official Big Top 40.

Records and statistics

The current song at Number 1 is Head & Heart by Joel Corry and MNEK.

The song holding the record for most weeks at Number 1 is "Despacito (Remix)" by Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee and Justin Bieber with 11 non-consecutive weeks.[6]

The song that has spent the most consecutive weeks at Number 1 is "These Days" by Rudimental, Jess Glynne, Macklemore and Dan Caplen with nine consecutive weeks (4 February - 1 April 2018).[7]

The artists with the most Number 1 songs are Calvin Harris and Ed Sheeran with nine each.[8]


  1. ^ Global [@global] (15 May 2019). "@BigTop40 remains the biggest UK chart show, beating its nearest competitor by 153,000 listeners!" (Tweet). Retrieved 22 July 2019 – via Twitter.
  2. ^ "Marvin Humes and Kat Shoob are stepping down from hosting the Big Top 40 chart show at Global". Radio Today. 14 December 2018. Retrieved 13 May 2020.
  3. ^ "Help & FAQ's". Big Top 40. Global. 20 March 2016.
  4. ^ "Will Manning announced as new host of The Official Big Top 40". The Official Big Top 40. Global. 20 December 2018. Retrieved 13 May 2020.
  5. ^ Barnett, Emma (22 May 2009). "The 'Top 10' singles go real time in iTunes deal". The Daily Telegraph. London.
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Most Number 1 Songs: Who's had the most Number 1's in the UK charts?". The Official Big Top 40. Global. Retrieved 19 July 2019.

External links

This page was last edited on 24 July 2020, at 14:40
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