Ed Sheeran was the most-played artist in the UK last year - topping the chart for the second year running.

The Shape of You hitmaker dominated the airwaves despite not releasing any new music.

Calvin Harris in finished in second spot and Little Mix in third, according to music licensing company PPL, which tallies up each play an artist receives from broadcasters and in public places.

The British musician has also been in the top five most-played artists five times since his first album was released in 2011.

Little Mix secured the third spot in PPL's most-played charts 2018. Credit: PA

Little Mix have been in the top five for three years in a row.

The artists contributed to a strong UK showing in the charts, as nine of the top 10 most-played artists were British.

Also making the grade were Rita Ora, Coldplay and Dua Lipa, with P!nk the only non-UK artist featured.

Meanwhile, the most-played song in 2018 was Feel It Still by Portugal The Man - originally released in 2017 - closely followed by These Days by Rudimental, featuring Jess Glynne, Macklemore and Dan Caplen.

Liam Payne and Rita Ora's For You (Fifty Shades Freed), One Kiss by Calvin Harris and Dua Lipa, and George Ezra's Shotgun completed the top five.

P!nk's What About Us edged in at number 10 - making the list for the second year in a row.

This has only ever been achieved once before, by Maroon 5's Moves Like Jagger in 2011 and 2012.

Peter Leathem, chief executive at PPL said: "Radio, TV and public performance usage is a significant indicator of the most played music in the country, so PPL is pleased to report a successful 2018 for home-grown UK talent.

"Ed Sheeran again keeps his place as most-played artist, but other performers like Calvin Harris and Little Mix have also held their 2017 top five spots, helping UK music come out on top."

The data used to compile the chart was supplied by premises with PPL licences including pubs, clubs and shops, as well as TV channels and radio stations.