TOTP chief says top 40 has lost its “credibility”: Chris Cowey slams first-week-discounts for UK Singles and says the chart doesn’t reflect what’s actually popular. His arguments don’t wash. Firstly while sales are an imperfect measure of popularity there’s no immediately better one (airplay, as per the Clear Channel fiasco in the US, gives even more power to record companies, pluggers, etc.). Secondly a discounted bought record is still a record which a punter has bought because they like it or think they might.

Thirdly he exaggerates the problem. Five years ago singles routinely went one sale at £1.99 first week – in times of tighter margins this isn’t happening: singles by lesser-known artists get discounted from £4 to £3 and singles by the big hitters are full-price from day 1. This is designed to get a high first-week chart placing for up-and-coming bands, a good thing surely for a diverse charts. In fact the most blatant price-cutting marketing so far this year has been from stadium indie outfit Doves, who knocked “There Goes The Fear” down to 99p for a week and got a No.2 hit with it.

A bigger problem, you might reasonably suppose, is that the UK’s chart-based TV programme is in the hands of somebody who hates the chart and the music that’s in it: not the best qualifications for an “executive producer and director” you might think.