2012 marks 60 years of the UK’s Official Singles Chart and ITV are launching the nationwide poll, which will climax with the broadcast of a countdown of The Nation's Favourite Number One Single.
ITV Studios and ITV's Leeds and Manchester-based factual entertainment arm Shiver have been commissioned by ITV to produce the 3 x 90 minute series, which will be broadcast over three nights.
This November marks 60 years since Italio-American crooner Al Martino took the top spot in the very first Singles Chart and the Official Charts Company and OfficialCharts.com - who compile the UK music industry's Official Singles Chart every week - is overseeing a range of activities to celebrate the anniversary this year.
Top 10 Facts: 60 years of the Official Singles Chart and the Number 1s it has spawned
1. 2012 celebrates 60 years of the Official Singles Chart
2. Almost 1,200 records have reached the Number 1 spot across those 60 years.
3. Only three singles have held the Number 1 spot for more than 10 weeks - Slim Whitman's Rose Marie (1955), Wet Wet Wet's Love is All Around (1994) and Bryan Adams' (Everything I Do) I Do It For You (1991)
4. The most Number 1s in any year was 42, in 2000 - the fewest was 11 in 1954.
5. Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody is the biggest selling non-charity single of all time.
6. Whigfield's Saturday Night in 1994 was the first debut single to enter at Number 1.
7. Last Christmas by Wham! was the biggest selling single never to chart at Number 1
8. The biggest pre-digital year for singles sales was 1977, when UK music fans bought 89m singles.
9. 2011 was the biggest year for single sales ever in the history of the charts with 178m singles sold
10. Every act to get to Number 1 now receives the gleaming all-new Official Singles Chart Number 1 Award trophy. The first recipient of which was Military Wives for their Official Christmas Number 1 in December 2011.
The ITV show will take a look back at some of the momentous musical moments that have happened since and tell the stories of 60 unforgettable number one singles by hearing from those responsible for them - from the performers to the songwriters and producers. Also in this ultimate countdown viewers will be able to test their pop knowledge through a play-for-fun pop quiz, and discover how much they really do know about these chart topping artists from across the generations.
A panel of music experts have pre-selected a shortlist of 60 singles, which the UK public will be able to choose - with voting beginning today (Saturday 14th April 2012). The public can view the 60-song shortlist and cast their vote - at itv.com/nationsfavouritenumberone
The panel includes The Police's drummer Stewart Copeland, singer-songwriter and former All Saint Shaznay Lewis, British soul/R&B icon Beverley Knight, producer Pete Waterman, chart expert Paul Gambaccini, DJ/presenter Trevor Nelson, Observer pop critic Kitty Empire, Radio 1 and The Voice presenter Reggie Yates and radio/TV presenter Mike Read.
The Nation's Favourite Number 1 Single was commissioned for ITV by John Kaye Cooper, Controller of Entertainment at ITV, is executive produced by Lee Connolly, Creative Director for ITV Studios and Mark Robinson, Creative Director for Shiver and series produced by John Piper.
Martin Talbot, Managing Director, Official Charts Company says "ITV's search to find the Nation's Favourite Number 1 Single is a fantastic way of marking this year's 60th anniversary of the Official Singles Chart. Approaching 1,200 singles have hit the Number 1 spot in the past six decades, but only one single will claim the all-time title through the public vote which will take place over the next couple of months. I can't wait to find out which is the winner."