Chris Evans beats Zo&#235 Ball in airwaves battle

In the battle of the breakfast airwaves new research shows Virgin Radio’s Chris Evans will attract two listeners for every one that tunes into his BBC breakfast radio rival ZoëBall.

The latest CIA MediaLab’s Sensor survey shows 38 per cent of 15 to 34-year-olds said they were likely to tune into Virgin Radio DJ Evans. When the same question was asked about Ball’s Radio 1’s show, only 14 per cent said they were likely to listen to it.

Anthony Jones, head of CIA MediaLab, says these figures act as a litmus test before the next joint BBC/commercial radio figures, called Radio Joint Audience Research (Rajar), come out at the end of the year.

Jones says: “The breakfast show is the key battleground for winning radio audiences. Usually it takes quite a lot for people to change their radio station. But Evans has a track record in getting people to do this.”

Evans will have his work cut out if he is to make serious inroads into Ball’s audience. Radio 1’s breakfast show has 5.8 million listeners, while Virgin’s has 1.4 million.

However, in London both shows limp far behind Chris Tarrant’s Capital Radio breakfast show. Tarrant has 2.5 million listeners while Radio 1 and Virgin pick up 767,000 and 690,000 respectively. (All figures are second-quarter Rajar results).

The CIA Sensor is a monthly representative survey of 500 people.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here