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Ding Dong record currently at No. 3 in charts

The song from the Wizard of Oz has sold thousands of copies since the death of Baroness Thatcher
The song from the Wizard of Oz has sold thousands of copies since the death of Baroness Thatcher Credit: Reuters

The Ding Dong song from the Wizard of Oz was at number three in the UK charts this morning but could still take top spot.

The record has sold about 12,000 fewer copies than the current chart-topper Need U (100%) by Duke Dumont, with the final sales coming in at midnight tomorrow.

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Radio 1: Banning record would risk 'oxygen of publicity'

The controller of BBC Radio 1 said the station "could not ignore" the Ding Dong song that has risen towards the top of the charts following Baroness Thatcher's death.

Ben Cooper said:

On one side there is the understandable anger of large numbers of people who are appalled by this campaign.

On the other, there is the question of whether the chart show - which has run since the birth of Radio 1 in 1967 - can ignore a high new entry which clearly reflects the views of a big enough portion of the record-buying public to propel it up the charts.

Above all, in the middle of this furore is a grieving family.

Nobody at Radio 1 wishes to cause offence but nor do I believe that we can ignore the song in the chart show, which is traditionally a formal record of the biggest-selling singles of the week. That in turn means that all songs in the chart become an historic fact.

I've therefore decided exceptionally that we should treat the rise of the song, based as it is on a political campaign to denigrate Lady Thatcher's memory, as a news story.

So we will play a brief excerpt of it in a short news report during the show which explains to our audience why a 70-year-old song is at the top of the charts.

Most of them are too young to remember Lady Thatcher and many will be baffled by the sound of the Munchkins from The Wizard Of Oz.

To ban the record from our airwaves completely would risk giving the campaign the oxygen of further publicity and might inflame an already delicate situation.

– Ben Cooper, controller of BBC Radio 1
National

Buying anti-Thatcher Ding Dong song 'very cathartic'

Mark Biddiss, who started a social media campaign to get Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead to number one in the charts, said buying the song was "a very cathartic experience for a lot of people who feel that for many years they haven't been listened to".

He was joined on ITV's Daybreak by former Conservative MP Jonathan Aitken who said the song, which is on course for a place in the top five in Sunday's Offical Chart, was a "pretty feeble form of protest".

National

Thatcher supporters tell BBC to play Witch Is Dead song

UKIP leader Nigel Farage and Conservative MP Philip Davies, who are both supporters of Margaret Thatcher, told the Daily Telegraph that the BBC should broadcast the song 'Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead'.

If you suppress things then you make them popular, so play the bloody thing. If you ban it it will be number one for weeks.

Personally I think that the behaviour of these yobs - most of whom weren’t even born when Lady Thatcher was in power - is horrible, offensive and disgusting.

– UKIP leader Nigel Farage

I think that the campaign is pathetic, small minded and mean spirited...but to be perfectly frank the BBC have a chart show and as far as I am concerned they are obliged to play what is in the charts, it is not for the BBC to look at the basis on which something is in the charts, it is a programme of fact.

– Conservative MP Philip Davies

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'Witch is Dead' song headed for top five in Official Chart

The main cast from the classic film 'The Wizard of Oz'. Credit: Reuters

The Wizard Of Oz track 'Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead' which has had a surge of popularity in the wake of Baroness Thatcher's death is on course for a place in the top five.

An online campaign has driven sales of the track, and the latest placings released by the Official Charts Company show it had sold 20,000 copies by Wednesday night, when it was a number four.

It had been at number 10 in the Official Charts Update earlier on Wednesday.

The song is currently at number one on the iTunes and Amazon downloads charts but both physical and digital sales are combined to give the Official Chart rankings.

National

No BBC decision yet over 'Ding Dong the Witch is Dead'

The BBC said it would decide whether to play Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead during Radio 1's top 40 countdown when places are finalised at the weekend.

The song entered the download singles chart following the death of Margaret Thatcher.

The spokesperson said: "The Official Chart Show on Sunday is a historical and factual account of what the British public has been buying and we will make a decision about playing it when the final chart positions are clear."

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