Million breakfast listeners drop Chris Evans

DJ Chris Evans has lost more than one million listeners in just three months, according to figures published today.

The BBC Radio 2 star attracted 8.48 million listeners to his breakfast show last quarter, down from the previous period's record total of 9.53 million, the latest official data reveals.

But his audience is still bigger than his predecessor Sir Terry Wogan's 8.1 million when he bowed out, and Evans, 44, remains the king of breakfast radio.

He was able to see off the challenge of his Radio 1 counterpart Chris Moyles, who had 7.72 million weekly listeners - down on the previous quarter's record figures of 7.88 million.

BBC Radio 4's flagship Today programme also notched 6.98 million weekly listeners, its biggest ever audience and an increase from 6.44 million in the first three months of 2010.

According to industry body Rajar's data, the number of people listening to radio in the UK each week has reached an "all-time high" of 46.8 million, with the general election campaign and World Cup helping to boost numbers.

Official figures showed 10.4 million people tuned into Radio 4 every week in the second quarter of this year - up from 10 million in the first three months of the year.

The effects of the World Cup and Wimbledon as well as the election were reflected in the 6.76 million who tuned into Radio 5 Live.

That is up from 6.48 million in the first three months of the year and is a new record for the station.

Tim Davie, director BBC Audio & Music, said: "I'm delighted to see our speech networks attracting record audiences, fuelled by interest in the General Election and illustrating the public's enduring demand for high quality news, analysis and discussion on radio."

The World Cup effect also benefited talkSPORT which got record listening figures of 2.5 million in the second quarter.

Radio 2 attracted 13.73 million weekly listeners, down from last quarter's 14.57 million which was a record for the station.

The station's share of listeners fell from 17.2 per cent last quarter to 15.9 per cent.

Radio 1 got 11.81 million weekly listeners up from 11.74 million in the last quarter, but its share is down from 9.5 per cent last quarter to 9.3 per cent.

Digital stations, 6 Music and the BBC Asian Network, both gained listeners with 1.19 million tuning into 6 Music - up from 1.02 million last quarter.

The Asian Network reached 437,000 weekly listeners, up from 357,000 last quarter.

Radio 3 lost listeners with its weekly reach falling from 2.03 million last quarter to 1.86 million.

Listeners to Classic FM, rose to 5.6 million from 5.52 million the previous three months.

In London, Heart 106.2 regained its crown as the biggest commercial station in the capital.

It claimed 2.1 million listeners, putting it ahead of Magic 105.4 that had 2 million and 95.8 Capital FM with 1.9 million.

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