RAJAR Q1 2010: Chris Evans achieves biggest UK radio show of the last decade
The BBC's controversial gamble to replace Radio 2 stalwart Terry Wogan with Chris Evans paid-off today after his daily breakfast show attracted the largest audience of any station in the last 10 years.
Since DJ Evans took over the reins at the start of year he has achieved an average weekly reach of 9.53 million listeners, up from Wogan's 8.1 million before Christmas, according to official Rajar figures released today.
The increase confirms the show's position as the most popular breakfast show in Europe and is the best rebuke to the many vocal critics of the BBC’s choice when announced last year.
Radio 2 had 14.57 million listeners in the first quarter of 2010, up from 13.47 million in the previous three months, and a 17.2% share of the audience.
After Evans’ appointment was made public in December, Chris Moyles, the self-proclaimed 'saviour of BBC Radio 1', told Radio Ulster's Stephen Nolan Show that he would become the biggest breakfast DJ "by default".
At the time Moyles's breakfast show audience figures averaged 7.04 million listeners, while Sir Terry commanded 7.75 million.
The Radio 1 loud mouth said he expected to become the UK’s biggest show "by default, really", adding: "Wogan is better than Evans, which is not slagging off Chris Evans. Well not purposely, - it's just purely coincidental and quite enjoyable."
Moyles will take some solace in the fact his audience also grew during the first three months of this year, from 7.24 million to 7.9 million.
This article was first published on mediaweek.co.uk
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