Hit40UK was a networked Top 40 chart show broadcasting on around 130 UKcommercialradio stations every Sunday from 4pm to 7pm. It is now a TV programme shown on 4Music. The radio version was produced in house by Global Radio (formerly GCap Media) and Somethin’ Else. The show was cancelled on 7 June 2009 and the last number 1 single was Boom Boom Pow by The Black Eyed Peas, played at 6:52pm.
The radio show counted down the top 40 songs in the chart. Unlike the official UK Singles Chart broadcast at the same time by BBC Radio 1, the Hit40UK chart included only the digital downloads and airplay in the UK, whereas the official chart includes physical and download sales with no radio airplay. The show always enjoyed higher audience figures than Radio 1’s Official Chart Show since 1993, however, this is because Hit40UK is broadcast on 130 stations, whereas the Official Chart is only broadcast on BBC Radio 1, except for a brief period of 2006, when a weak commercial radio sector caused Hit40UKs share to fall below that of its rival.
Hit40UK descended from The Network Chart Show, which was hosted by David Jensen on the commercial radio network from 30 September 1984 to 25 July 1993, sponsored from 1985 onwards by Nescafe. On 1 August 1993, Pepsi began their sponsorship of the show and Neil Fox became its host; it was known as the Pepsi Network Chart before becoming the Pepsi Chart around 1996. Pepsi ended their sponsorship of the show on 29 December 2002, and the ‘’Hit40UK’’ name was adopted on 5 January 2003, but Fox remained the host until 30 May 2004. On 6 June 2004 Stephanie Hirst and Katy Hill became co-hosts of Hit40UK, from 23 October 2005 Hirst hosted the show on his own.
In March 2006, Hit40UK began broadcasting worldwide on the U-Pop satellite channel. The international version of the show is hosted by Mark Daley. It can be heard on XM Satellite Radio across the US and around the planet on WorldSpace Satellite Radio.
Hirst who during the week hosted the Galaxy Breakfast show in Yorkshire and was enjoying considerable success doing so, had to stand down as presenter of Hit40uk due to objections from Galaxy’s rival Yorkshire radio stations Viking FM, Radio Aire and Hallam FM who were due to start broadcasting the chart on 22 October 2006. They were unhappy that a Galaxy Yorkshire presenter would be heard on their station, since they could possibly lose a proportion their breakfast audience to Hirsty’s weekday breakfast show.
On 12 October 2006, it was announced that the programme was to be relaunched on 22 October with a new presenter, 95.8 Capital FM‘s Lucio Buffone. A new logo was also introduced to replace their old look. Emap dropped their Smash-Hits! Chart to broadcast the relaunched version of the Hit40UK show across their Big City Network of stations. In the same week, a dance and urban chart, the Fresh 40, hosted by Dynamite MC, was introduced to commercial radio’s dance and urban stations, such as those in the Galaxy Network and the Kiss Network.
On 19 April 2009, Lucio’s contract with Hit40UK ended, therefore a new presenter, Rich Clarke, became the presenter of the network chart show the week after, 26 April 2009, introducing a new image to the chart. The top 40 format also changed in January 2009: instead of charting the most popular tunes from radio airplay, downloads and single sales, the chart consisted of downloads and airplay alone. However, after a few months into the revamped show, Hit 40 UK ceased broadcasting and the last show was completed on 7 June 2009, resulting in a new chart show to be broadcast on 14 June 2009.
The chart that descends from Hit40UK is known as The Big Top 40 Show, with presenters Rich Clarke and Kat Shoob. It launched on Sunday 14 June 2009 and is the first ever real-time chart to be broadcast in the United Kingdom.
Cover presenter, Matt Wilkinson, from Global Radio’s Heart Network presented the last Hit40UK show, although Rich Clarke presented a London-centric version on 95.8 Capital FM live from their Summertime Ball.