Chris Evans and BBC Radio 2 drop to six-year low in Rajar audience ratings


Chris Evans' BBC Radio 2 breakfast show has registered its lowest audience since 2012 after losing more than half a million listeners over the past year.

Evans had 8.9 million weekly listeners between July and September - down from 9.4 million during the same period in 2017, according to industry body Rajar.

Evans is leaving at the end of this year, with Zoe Ball taking over.

Radio 2 also notched up its lowest overall figures for six years, with 14.6 million weekly listeners.

That's down from 15.4 million at the same time last year.

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."

image captionJo Whiley joined Simon Mayo as a co-host on Drivetime in May

The figures come at a time of upheaval for the station. Jo Whiley joined Simon Mayo as a host of the Drivetime programme in May.

Mayo is leaving the station altogether, while Whiley is returning to a specialist music evening slot. The new Drivetime host has not yet been announced.

Elsewhere in the Rajar figures, Radio 1 has gained around 350,000 listeners since the previous quarter, following its decision to extend the weekend schedule to cover Fridays.

image captionNicky Campbell and Rachel Burden's 5 Live show rose back above two million

BBC Radio 4's Today programme dropped slightly to 6.7 million listeners, but there was better news for 5 Live's breakfast show, hosted by Nicky Campbell and Rachel Burden.

They added 259,000 listeners on the second three months of the year to pull their listening figures back up above two million.

Elsewhere at breakfast time:

  • Absolute Radio's breakfast show was up on both the quarter and the year to 2.2 million. Dave Berry recently took over the slot after the departure of Christian O'Connell
  • The Kiss breakfast show with Rickie, Melvin and Charlie dropped below two million listeners - down on both the year and the quarter
  • Chris Moyles's show on Radio X was up by 70,000 listeners on the quarter to 921,000 overall
  • The Capital breakfast show with Roman Kemp and Vick Hope dipped to 928,000 listeners in London

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