Radio 1 'saviour' Moyles boosts listeners by 680,000

Chris Moyles has lived up to his self-proclaimed reputation as the "saviour of Radio 1" by adding almost 700,000 listeners to the weekly audience of the station's breakfast show.

Chris Moyles has lived up to his self-proclaimed reputation as the "saviour of Radio 1" by adding almost 700,000 listeners to the weekly audience of the station's breakfast show.

The outspoken DJ, who took over in January from Sara Cox, following a slump in ratings, said he was "over-the-moon delighted" with the figures.

In the first three months of the year, Moyles boosted the audience by 680,000 - from 6.5 million to 7.18 million, figures released yesterday by the radio industry body Rajar show. The figures represent the number of listeners over a week. Moyles said: "I'm quite pleased with the figures. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't bothered. I'm extremely bothered and I'm absolutely over-the-moon delighted."

The success of Moyles' show will come as welcome news to Radio 1 bosses after the station's listening figures dropped below 10 million for the first time in its history last year. Cox, who is expecting her first child, was moved to Moyles's former afternoon slot, after the breakfast show lost nearly 500,000 listeners in three months.

A spokesman for the station said: "Radio 1 is very pleased with the figures. We think it's a good start."He added that Moyles had been under no pressure to increase the listening figures in his first few months. "The BBC is not purely ratings driven. The first figures are good news," he said, "but we don't expect it to be going up ... all the time."

Moyles, 29, started out in hospital radio at 14, before volunteering for his local station, Radio Aire in Leeds, when he left school at 16. He worked for Topshop Radio, Radio Luxembourg and Capital FM before joining the BBC in 1997. He has been censured by broadcasting watchdogs five times, most famously when he offered to take singer Charlotte Church's virginity when she turned 16. He has been nominated for a Sony Radio Academy Award for his afternoon show at next week's awards ceremony.

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