Singles sales in Britain have seen a dramatic slump - following last year's (02) TV talent contest Pop Idol.

The show - renamed American Idol for the US version of the singing competition - helped to boost sales a year ago, but 12 months on the numbers being delivered to retailers have nose-dived.

The first quarter of this year saw a 42 per cent drop in terms of both units and value compared to the same period in 2002.

In January to March last year (02) $42 million (GBP28 million) of singles were delivered to record shops as Pop Idol winner Will Young rocketed to number one in the British charts.

But in the first quarter of this year (03) that figure was down to just $24 million (GBP16 million).

The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) - which records deliveries of music to retailers, rather than actual sales - says, "The first three months of the year were disappointing for the UK music market. In the first quarter of 2002, the Pop Idol phenomenon was at its peak so year-on-year comparisons in the singles market have consequently suffered."

19/05/2003 02:26