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Back to the future: Tony Blackburn to create vinyl-only version of Pick of Pops

Veteran Radio 2 DJ Tony Blackburn is to add some crackle to his pop - by hosting a vinyl countdown.

The presenter is ditching digital to recreate the early days of his shows with a vinyl-only edition of his Pick Of The Pops programme.

The show is part of the station's celebration of the 65th anniversary of the 45rpm single this month, at a time when vinyl sales are once again on the up.

Recent figures from music industry body BPI have shown that sales of vinyl singles rose 34% last year, while for vinyl albums they doubled.

For his show on Saturday, March 22, Blackburn will playing hits from 1967 and 1978 from the original pressings in those years, with tracks from The Supremes, Val Doonican, Tom Jones, The Hollies, Nick Lowe, Hot Chocolate and Abba.

Radio stations have largely given up with physical discs and have for many years relied on music being played directly from files stored on computers.

Blackburn said of the show: "I can't wait to actually spin the records on turntables like the old days back when I was on Radio 1 and the pirate ships. Many people think the music from vinyl is a much warmer sound so it should be a really great show and I'm looking forward to hearing the reaction from the listeners."

The tracks have all come from the vinyl vault of the show's producer - known to Radio 2 listeners as Phil "the collector" Swern - who has amassed an archive of 250,000 items, in addition to a vast CD collection.

The BBC said: "Those familiar with the songs the first time round will be able to appreciate the difference in sound from the digital recordings of these tracks and how they can't quite compete with the original sound from the pressings released in their day."

Radio 2 is also celebrating the 65th anniversary of the single with a two-part documentary series, The 45 @ 65, presented by David Quantick and beginning on March 27. It features contributions from the likes of Sir Tom Jones, Bob Stanley from Saint Etienne, Buzzcocks frontman Pete Shelley and Pete Waterman.

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