Radio 2 launches chart show for albums

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BBC Radio 2 is to begin a weekly top 40 album chart show to reflect its growing grip on middle-market audiences. The hour-long show will be presented by Simon Mayo, a former Radio 1 breakfast show host.

The controller of Radio 2, Jim Moir, who is widely credited with turning around the fortunes of the station, wants the show, which begins in October, to include critical reviews and live interviews rather than merely duplicate the format of Radio 1's top 40 singles chart.

"Our audience buys albums and many of the great artists develop some of their best work within the context of albums.I'm delighted to welcome Simon Mayointo the Radio 2 fold to present it," he said. Mayo will continue to present his afternoon show on Radio 5 Live.

The new Radio 2 album show is the latest in a set of initiatives that have increased the station's popularity, bringing a rise in listener figures to an average of 10.87 million, exceeding those of Radio 1 by more than half a million.

Mr Moir has said the key to his overhaul lay in ignoring preconceptions about listeners.