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Chris Evans’ BBC radio show sheds almost half a million listeners in a year

Chris Evans (Yui Mok / PA Wire)
Chris Evans (Yui Mok / PA Wire)

CHRIS EVANS’ BBC Radio 2 breakfast show lost almost half a million listeners in the past year, during which he was the corporation’s highest earner.

The Chris Evans Breakfast Show pulled in 9.01 listeners a week in the second quarter of 2017, compared to 9.47 million in the same time period in 2016 and 9.38 million in the first quarter of this year, according to the latest figures released by audience research body Rajar.

The BBC’s annual report last month revealed Evans is at the top of the list of the broadcaster’s best-paid stars.

He made between £2.2m and £2.25m in 2016/2017.

Elsewhere, Nick Grimshaw’s breakfast show on BBC Radio 1 added more than 350,000 listeners in the last quarter, drawing in 5.5 million weekly listeners in the second quarter, compared to 5.14 million in the first.

It also shows an improvement on the 5.43 million listeners in the second quarter of 2016.

The station as a whole added nearly half a million listeners between April 3 and July 25, drawing 9.6 million people compared to 9.1 million last quarter.

BBC Radio 4’s Today programme also saw a surge in listeners, with the news show pulling in 7.66 million a week in the second quarter, compared to 7.13 million in the first three months of the year and 7.34 million in the second quarter of 2016.

The data from Rajar shows the station’s audience reached its highest level since current records began in 1999, with 11.55 million people listening every week, compared to 11.11 million last quarter and 11.51 million last year.

Bob Shennan, director of BBC radio and music, said: “These figures are fantastic news for radio, illustrating its enduring appeal in a crowded digital marketplace.

“Radio 4 remains as vital as ever as it approaches its 50th anniversary. Its success highlights the importance of first-class, trusted news in turbulent times, but also the strength the station has across its schedule with a unique mix of programmes.

“Hats off to all at Radio 1. Their half a million gain is a real boost and owes much to the hard work all the teams have put in to making the listening experience better than ever.”