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Things to do: Music and radio


Whether itís calypso or jazz, opera or folk, there are few people in the UK who do not enjoy listening to music.

Kids in the UK listen to many different types of music. There are in fact British bands that are just as well-known in the US as the UK: The Beatles, The Spice Girls, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, and The Who, for example. UK bands popular in the States at the moment include James Blunt, Coldplay, Amy Winehouse, Arctic Monkeys.

Our music industry is worth over £5 billion. Pop and rock are by far the most popular, with around 159 million albums sold in the UK in 2006.

UK bands lead the world when it comes to new ideas and new musical style, although old favorites from the 60s and 70s are still immensely popular. A recent compilation album of The Beatles favorites sold more than 20 million copies.

The Spice Girls are one of the most successful bands of recent years, thrilling fans the world over. Their first single, Wannabe, was released in 1996. Since then the girls have had more Number 1 hits in the UK than any other pop stars, apart from The Beatles, Elvis Presley and Sir Cliff Richard.

A full list of UK Number 1 hits can be found at The Official UK Charts Company. You can listen to the songs, search by your favorite artist and find out what was Number 1 when you were born.

Links that may be of further interest are A British Music Guide from the BBC, Oxfamís Cool Planet and Top of the Pops (BBC music show).


The BBC has five national radio networks, 39 local radio stations, and national radio services in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

There are three national commercial radio stations. About 240 independent local radio services are also in operation, supplying local news and information, sport, music and other entertainment, education and consumer advice.

You can listen to many British stations online, in particular BBC Radio One.

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