Terry Wogan urges listeners to give Chris Evans a chance
Sir Terry Wogan sprang to the defence of his breakfast show successor Chris Evans today, urging people to give him a chance to settle in.
Evans has faced a backlash from some listeners since taking over from breakfast king Sir Terry's BBC Radio 2 show, with bookies William Hill offering odds on Evans quitting before the end of the year.
But writing on his blog today, Sir Terry said it took years to properly bed down in the job.
He said of his loyal followers, nicknamed Togs: "I asked all Togs to welcome Chris with open minds and hearts, and I know that they have.
"They know, better than most, that it took me years and years to build a loyal audience.
"Chris has had six weeks! I'm trying to build a new audience myself on a Sunday morning... Give us a chance."
One Sir Terry follower responded: "Absolutely!" on Sir Terry's website, while another agreed: "Well said!"
Listening figures for the final quarter of 2009 showed that Sir Terry bowed out of his breakfast show at the top, with 8.1 million listeners each week, matching his biggest audience.
Sir Terry had fronted the breakfast slot for 27 years, building up the biggest morning show audience in Europe. He has returned with a new Sunday show called Weekend Wogan.
Some listeners have suggested that Richard Allinson, Evans's stand-in while he has been away, should take over full time.
One listener posted on Radio 2's message board: "If we can't have Terry we'll have him."
Another said of Evans: "His mindless banter reminds me of a child with a high-pitched voice in the school playground.
"After reading the paper yesterday and finding out that he was on holiday and Richard Allison had taken over, it was an absolute pleasure driving to work this morning listening to adult conversation."
Another wrote: "We like you at drivetime Chris but not at breakfast, we're not anti-you, we're anti-you at 7am."
Before taking a break while Allinson holds the fort, Evans wrote on his blog: "Thanks for all the support and 'guidance' the team and I have received over our first stint around the radio breakfast show table.
"We are off for a week, though most of us are still working - just not 'on the air' - as they say.
"Toodle pip for now and be nice to that Alice Richardson bloke who's gonna keep my seat warm for the next week."
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