Ageing rocker SIR Cliff Richard has got one over on legendary rivals THE BEATLES - he's placed above them in a new chart of top selling British artists.

The annual GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS chart for UK hit singles and albums records the number of weeks an artist spends in the charts throughout their career.

Elvis Presley is the clear leader - the re-release of a number of his singles helps his score to an astonishing 2,463 weeks - but Richard is a surprising second, ahead of the Fab Four, scoring 1,972 to the now defunct Beatles' 1,749.

And the 64-year-old YOUNG ONES hitmaker is thrilled: "At my age any kind of recognition is welcome. I'm delighted to be runner-up to Elvis to be honest, because he is my hero and without him there certainly wouldn't have been a Cliff Richard."

David Roberts, the managing editor of the Guinness World Records book, BRITISH HIT SINGLES + ALBUMS, explains the statistics, "The reason Cliff is at number two in the chart is the loyalty factor.

"His fans have followed him since his days as a hip-swivelling Elvis lookalike and all the way through the Seventies, Eighties and Nineties. They're not going to give up on him now.

"This chart is an endurance list. That's why The Beatles are not at the top. Although they were astonishingly successful, they were together for a comparatively short time."

19/05/2005 13:56