Evans's breakfast show attracts more listeners

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The Independent Online

The DJ Chris Evans has achieved what few radio industry observers thought possible, and added more than a million listeners to the audience of his Radio 2 breakfast show, which for much of the past four decades has been the domain of Sir Terry Wogan.

In his first set of quarterly figures since inheriting the slot from Sir Terry at the start of the year, Evans recorded a weekly audience of 9.5 million, compared to the 8.4 million who formerly tuned in for the long-standing Irish-born broadcaster.

Evans's performance helped lift Radio 2 to a new high of 14.57 million weekly listeners – up from 13.46m last year. The Radio 1 breakfast show presenter Chris Moyles also achieved his highest-ever audience figure at 7.88 million a week.

The findings, which were issued by radio industry body Rajar, also provided a boost for the threatened digital station BBC 6 Music.

Helped in no small part by publicity surrounding its possible demise as part of a strategic review of the BBC, the eclectic music station saw its audience grow to 1.02 million from 695,000 in the previous quarter.

On Monday, the station was given another boost when it won two prizes at the Sony Radio Academy Awards.

Another digital station earmarked for closure, BBC Asian Network, posted a decline in listeners, with only 357,000 tuning in each week, compared to 405,000 last year.