Moyles 'the saviour' sparks Radio 1's comeback

When Chris Moyles was appointed to the BBC Radio 1 breakfast show a year ago, his claim that he would be the "saviour" of what was once the self-proclaimed "nation's favourite" network was widely seen as the hollow boast of an arrogant loudmouth.

When Chris Moyles was appointed to the BBC Radio 1 breakfast show a year ago, his claim that he would be the "saviour" of what was once the self-proclaimed "nation's favourite" network was widely seen as the hollow boast of an arrogant loudmouth.

Twelve months later - and just ten after he first went on air - Radio 1 is on the point of recovering the 10 million audience figure it thought it had waved goodbye to forever at the start of last year. At the time, media observers saw the slide as a key indicator of the station's long-term decline.

Official figures released yesterday showed the station's audience (those that listen in at least once a week) had climbed from 9.73 to 10.04 million in the space of three months and that Moyles, who pulls in 6.1 million listeners, was largely responsible for the revival.

The presenter's success has been at the expense of his breakfast show rivals on commercial stations, Johnny Vaughan at Capital Radio (down 144,000) and Jono Coleman at Heart FM (down 174,000).

Having taken over from Sara Cox, the self-proclaimed ladette who haemorrhaged 500,000 listeners in three months before being replaced, Moyles has expanded the Radio 1 breakfast audience to its highest level for three years. His total audience increased by over one million in three months. Andy Parfitt, the Radio 1 controller, said Moyles had found a way of connecting with young listeners early in the morning. Moyles's popularity, especially in London where he increased his share of the market from 4.3 to 6.6 per cent, has meant other breakfast show presenters are left feeling more than a little less loved.

Johnny Vaughan's audience is now barely above one million (1.047m) as he has struggled to hold onto listeners after taking over this year from Chris Tarrant, the station's longstanding breakfast show presenter.

A summer of sport that included the Olympics, Wimbledon and the start of the new Premiership season, helped BBC Radio Five Live to gain a record audience of 6.4 million and Nicky Campbell's breakfast show grew by 266,000 listeners.

BBC Radio 4 saw a slight fall-off in its audience, with the Today programme shedding 159,000 listeners. Terry Wogan on Radio 2 lost 330,000 from his huge following but his total audience of 7.64 million remains the largest on national radio. Overall Radio 2 saw it's listeners for the third quarter slide from 13.4 to 13.04 million. The BBC's digital stations enjoyed a good summer with both 6Music and BBC 7 attracting more listeners.

London's Magic FM recorded its highest ever audience for the third consecutive quarter, with 1.58 million listeners tuning in every week, making it the third largest commercial station in the capital. Kiss also increased its weekly audience by 30,000 over the period with 1.5 million 15 to 34 year olds tuning in every week. Kerrang! Radio broke through the one million mark for the first time, and Kerrang! 105.2, which launched in the Midlands less than five months ago, notched up 256,000 listeners.

The last three months were disappointing for Chrysalis's London stations. The company said the official figures did not tally with its own, which shows gains in share at both its Heart FM and LBC FM stations.

CHRIS MOYLES Radio 1 breakfast show

6.14 million listeners nationwide; 895,000 of those are in London

Moyles has gained one million listeners over the past year, mostly in the last three months. Since taking over from Sara Cox in January he has added 620,000 listeners, giving Radio 1 its best breakfast figures for three years. This has pushed the station back over the 10 million mark to the relief of bosses.

JOHNNY VAUGHAN Capital Radio breakfast show

1.047 million listeners in London

Unofficial figures last week suggested Vaughan had gained an extra 91,000 listeners a day on his predecessor, Chris Tarrant, since April. However, Rajar stats show he has lost 322,000 in his five months, 144,000 of them in the last quarter despite high-profile television advertising.

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