Hairy Bikers knock E L James off charts top spot

Hairy Bikers knock E L James off charts top spot

Hairy Bikers Dave Myers and Si King have ended E L James' 22-week stint atop the Official UK Top 50, becoming the first writers other than E L James to top the chart since April.

The hirsute duo's The Hairy Dieters (Weidenfeld), a companion to their four-part BBC series on loving food and losing weight, sold 36,235 copies in the seven days to 22nd September, some 3,676 copies more than James' Fifty Shades Freed (Arrow), which falls once place to second position.

It is the Hairy Bikers' first ever Official UK Top 50 number one, with their 36,235 sale the strongest from a paperback non-fiction book since April 2009 when the late Jade Goody's memoir, Fighting to the End (John Blake), sold 41,422 copies in seven days.

The Hairy Dieters outsold the next bestselling paperback non-fiction book of the week, street musician James Bowen's A Street Cat Named Bob (Hodder), by more than three copies to one.

James' Fifty Shades of Grey (Arrow) was the third bestselling book of the week, selling 29,796 copies at UK booksellers last week, with book two in her Fifty Shades series, Fifty Shades Darker (Arrow), falling two places into fourth position with a 29,777 sale.

Thanks to a spot in W H Smith's popular "£2.99 with the Times" link-save promotion, Sue Townsend's The Woman Who Went to Bed for a Year (Penguin) climbs six places into fifth position. Sales surged 78% week on week, to 23,068 copies sold.

David Walliams’ new novel, Ratburger (HarperCollins), was the bestselling children's book of the week, storming into the Official UK Top 50 as the highest new entry, in ninth place. The book sold 18,764 copies in seven days, and also led to a boost in sales for his backlist children's novels which enjoyed a 14% uplift week on week.

2012 is turning into a huge year for the “Little Britain” star. His sales are already up 180% year on year (to £2.9m), and his long-awaited memoir, Camp David (Michael Joseph), hasn’t even hit the shelves yet.

Martina Cole's The Life (Headline) proved once again the bestselling hardback novel of the week, and tops this week's Original Fiction chart ahead of the second book in Ken Follett's Century trilogy, Winter of the World (Macmillan).

Lorraine Pascale's Fast, Fresh and Easy Food (HarperCollins), retains pole position in the Hardback Non-fiction charts. The book, which sold 14,202 copies at UK booksellers last week, was one of six cookbooks to take more than £50,000 through bookshop tills last week, the others being: Gordon Ramsay's Ultimate Cookery Course (Hodder); Nigella Lawson's Nigellissima (Chatto); Linda Collister's The Great British Bake Off: Showstoppers (BBC); Nigel Slater's Kitchen Diaries II (Fourth Estate); and Yotam Ottolenghi's Jerusalem (Ebury Press).

In total, £29.3m was spent at UK booksellers in the seven days to 22nd September—up 2.4% (£0.7m) on the previous week and down just 0.7% (£0.2m) on the same week last year. At £8.16, average selling prices rose 36 pence week on week, creeping above the £8 mark for the first time in 2012.