Listeners shun Johnny Vaughan radio show

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The Independent Online

Johnny Vaughan has lost nearly 400,000 listeners from the Capital FM breakfast show since taking over from Chris Tarrant, according to official figures published today.

Johnny Vaughan has lost nearly 400,000 listeners from the Capital FM breakfast show since taking over from Chris Tarrant, according to official figures published today.

Vaughan replaced Tarrant at the London station in April amid a blaze of publicity.

But in his first nine weeks his audience slumped to 1,191,000. Tarrant's show this time last year pulled in 1,577,000 - a difference of 386,000 listeners.

Tarrant, who occupied the presenter's chair for 17 years, broadcast his show from 7-10am whereas Vaughan's show goes out from 6-9am.

When compared like with like against Tarrant's 6-9am audience, Vaughan has lost 254,000 listeners.

Capital bosses insisted they were not worried by the figures, published by industry body Rajar.

"Johnny has only been doing the show for nine weeks and it is very early days. We hope the show has got a very long future," a spokesman said.

"When you launch a new show there is always going to be some shedding of audiences as people get used to it, particularly after 17 years of Chris Tarrant.

"But we are still the number one show in London, trouncing Chris Moyles on Radio 1 and beating Terry Wogan on Radio 2, and we have had fantastic feedback from listeners."

Capital has suffered a disastrous year overall, with 517,000 listeners deserting the station in the past 12 months.

Vaughan's arrival was supported by a multi-million pound marketing campaign, including a TV ad in which he performed a song and dance routine around London landmarks.

Today's news comes as his Saturday night TV show, Passport to Paradise, also suffers a ratings slide.

The BBC1 entertainment show, which he co-hosts with Denise Van Outen, started out with four million viewers.

But last Saturday it got an average of just 2.8 million - beaten by a 17-year-old Miss Marple repeat on BBC2.

Radio 1 is down slightly with an audience of 9,725,000, while Radio 2's audience has grown to 13,432,000.

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