Ed Sheeran has defended his title as the champion of the charts by shrugging off stiff competition from Take That.

Singer-songwriter Ed’s third album ÷ (Divide) has maintained its position at the top of the Official Albums Chart for the fourth week in a row, while the pop group’s new record Wonderland has had to settle for second place.

At the mid-way stage on Monday, Wonderland was threatening to topple Ed’s record as the group were fewer than 30,000 units behind him in sales.

Ed Sheeran
Ed Sheeran (Isabel Infantes/PA)

Despite failing to hit the top spot, trio Take That’s effort was the week’s highest new entry and shifted more than 113,000 copies across physical, download and streaming equivalent sales, the Official Charts Company said.

Rapper Drake’s album More Life has slipped from number two to number three, Rag’n'Bone Man has retained the number four spot with his debut album Human and Dame Vera Lynn’s 100 is at number five.

James Blunt’s new record The Afterlove has debuted at number six, giving the You’re Beautiful hit-maker his fifth top 10 album.

But the charts still largely belong to Ed, whose success seemingly knows no bounds as his single Shape Of You has also scored its 12th week at number one in the Official Singles Chart.

So far, Ed has already surpassed musical milestones set by Rihanna and the late Whitney Houston.

With Shape Of You claiming the top single spot last week, Ed overtook Rihanna’s 2007 chart-topper Umbrella and Houston’s 1992 version of the ballad I Will Always Love You, which both topped the charts for 10 weeks.

As well as the number one spot, he is at number two with Galway Girl and number five with Castle On The Hill.

Drake is at number three in the singles chart with his track Passionfruit, and Clean Bandit’s song with Zara Larsson, Symphony, is in fourth place.