Chris Evans' BBC Radio 2 breakfast show records lowest listening figures in six years

Zoë Ball will take over the show in the new year

Jack Shepherd@JackJShepherd
Thursday 25 October 2018 07:12
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'I'm a mountain climber, I've gotta keep climbing': Chris Evans announces he is leaving BBC Radio 2

Chris Evans’s BBC Radio 2 breakfast show has dropped to its lowest listening figures in six years after losing more than half a million audience members over the past year.

Between July and September this year, the former Top Gear host managed to register 8.9 million listeners a week – the first time weekly audience numbers dropped below nine million since 2012, according to research body Radio Joint Audience Research Limited (Rajar).

The significant drop comes just weeks before Evans is set to leave the station, with Zoë Ball taking over the radio show.

Radio 2 has also suffered a general fall in listeners, with the station drawing 14.6 million weekly listeners over the third quarter of 2018. The equivalent period of 2017 saw the station hold 15.4 million listeners.

Lewis Carnie, head of Radio 2, said: “I’m proud that BBC Radio 2 remains the most listened to radio station in the UK, with 14.64 million listeners each week.”

Evans, who has hosted the breakfast show since January 2010, has consistently pulled in more than nine million listeners per week since September 2012.

Elsewhere at the corporation, BBC Radio 5 Live’s breakfast show has seen its largest quarter-on-quarter percentage rise in listeners since 2010.

The programme, hosted by Nicky Campbell and Rachel Burden, added an additional 254,000 listeners between July and September this year – a 13.4 per cent increase compared with the number of listeners between April and June.

Over on BBC Radio 1, the breakfast show – on which Greg James has taken over from Nick Grimshaw – recorded just under 4.9 million weekly listeners in the third quarter of 2018. Grimshaw pulled in the same number over the course of 2017; however, that number included a Friday broadcast from Grimshaw.

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Rajar’s latest statistics only account for the Radio 1 breakfast show on Mondays to Thursdays, as the station changed its format in June and now has an extended weekend breakfast show running Fridays to Sundays hosted by Alice Levine and Dev Griffin.

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Although the third quarter results show just one month of James’s tenure as Radio 1’s breakfast show host, it appears he has managed to match Grimshaw’s five-day numbers in just four days.

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