Zoe Ball’s Radio 2 breakfast show plateaus after shedding listeners, Rajars show
The BBC’s Radio 2 Breakfast Show listener figures appear to have plateaued after the programme shed nearly a million listeners in the first year since Zoe Ball replaced Chris Evans as presenter.
The early-morning slot drew 8.1 million weekly listeners in the first quarter of 2020, compared to 8.2 million in final quarter of 2019 and 9.0 million in the first quarter of 2019, according to the audience research body Rajar.
Evans bowed out from the breakfast show on Christmas Eve in 2018.
Greg James’s breakfast show on Radio 1 also held steady in the listening figures for the period ending March 29 2020.
His Monday to Thursday show drew 4.9 million weekly listeners in the first quarter of the year, compared to 4.8 million in the final three months of 2019.
Meanwhile, BBC Radio 4’s Today programme drew 7.0 million weekly listeners at the start of the year, compared to 7.2 million weekly listeners in the fourth quarter of 2019 – and BBC Radio 5 Live’s breakfast show pulled in 2.1 million in the first quarter, compared to 2.2 million at the end of last year.
Digital station BBC 6 Music enjoyed its highest ever quarter across the whole station at the start of the year, climbing to 2.6 million weekly listeners compared to 2.5 million at the start and end of last year.
The figures cover the time of the 6 Music Festival, which was held in Camden in early March and featured performances from Brittany Howard, The Selector and Roisin Murphy.
On commercial radio, LBC celebrated its highest figures ever in 47 years after adding 530,000 weekly listeners in the past year for a total of 2.8 million weekly listeners, while Classic FM also celebrated a 13-year high as it reached 5.5 million weekly listeners.
Any impact of the coronavirus lockdown will be more evident in the next set of figures, which will cover the second quarter of the year.
James Purnell, director of BBC radio and education, said: “It’s wonderful that listeners have granted BBC Radio 6 Music the top spot as the UK’s biggest digital-only station by tuning in in record numbers.
“It’s no surprise that the station’s brilliant presenters and talented teams are proving a winning formula with their love and passion for music.”