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Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 May, 2003, 10:01 GMT 11:01 UK
Top of the Pops rival planned
Kate Thornton
Talks are under way to launch a rival to the BBC's TV chart show, Top of the Pops, less than a year after the last attempt flopped.

The commercial radio chart, Hit 40 UK, owned by commercial radio companies Capital Radio, Chrysalis, GWR and Scottish Radio Holdings, is planning a deal with a terrestrial TV channel for later this year.

"We are having conversations with three major broadcasters at the moment, who are evaluating the show," Rob Corlett, the managing director of Hit 40 UK, told BBC News Online.

"It's fairly early days but there is a lot of interest."

The chart had its own TV show on Channel 5 for four years but it was pulled from the schedule in June last year after it lost two-thirds of its audience in a year.

2,000th show

When it launched in 1998 it attracted 650,000 viewers and was one of Channel 5's most popular shows.

But by May last year, the show pulled in just 100,000 viewers.

The Hit 40 UK is broadcast across 95 analogue radio stations and is one of two commercial charts.

Mr Corlett said the key would be to cross-promote the TV show on the radio programme.

Top of the Pops was first broadcast in 1964 and last year celebrated its 2,000th episode.

Over the years the programme has seen off a number of TV challengers.

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