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Virgin Radio extends O'Connell deal

LONDON - Virgin Radio breakfast show host Christian O'Connell has signed a new two-year contract with the station.

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O'Connell, who also fronts 'Christian O'Connell's Sunday Service' on Sky One, will remain at Virgin until the end of 2009.

According to the latest Rajars, for the second quarter of 2007, his show has 1.2m listeners.

He joined in January 2006 and in the first quarter of that year the breakfast show had 1.25m listeners. His latest figures are the best since the second quarter of 2006, when he got 1.14m listeners.

O'Connell picked up the prize for best competition at the Sony radio awards in May this year, after Tony Blair rang in twice to take part in his 'Who's Calling Christian?' competition.

O'Connell said: "Ever since I opened my first ever show on Virgin Radio with Bon Jovi's 'Keep The Faith' I knew this was the place for me.

"I've had the opportunity to meet and speak to some amazing people, Tony Blair, Noel Gallagher, Daniel Craig, Thandie Newton and of course my listeners. I've even been able to drop Suggs' Rolls Royce into a swimming pool -- I can't wait to see what the next couple of years here hold for me."

David Andrews, audience development director at Virgin Radio, said O'Connell is now one of the hottest properties in British Radio.

He said: "Three consecutive quarterly Rajar increases demonstrate more listeners than ever are tuning in [to O'Connell's show]. He has been a huge commercial success -- the Breakfast Show remains one of the most high-profile properties in radio."

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