Chris Evans’ record performance boosts Radio 2 to new highs

Record audiences for Chris Evans helped push BBC Radio 2 to an all-time high in the final quarter of 2013, according to the latest Rajar data. 

Chris Evans
Evans’ breakfast show added 0.5m listeners in the fourth quarter, according to Rajar.

Evans’ breakfast show had an average of 9.8 million listeners over the three months to 31 December, up from 9.3 million in the previous quarter and 9.5 million in the same period a year earlier.

The show, the most listened to in the UK, helped Radio 2 register 15.51 million listeners per week, up from 14.93 million in the previous quarter and 15.1 million a year earlier.

BBC Radio 4 also posted a strong performance, up 3.1 per cent quarter-on-quarter and 4.2 per cent year on year to 11.2 million.

Radio 1’s breakfast show hosted by Nick Grimshaw enjoyed a better quarter, adding 700,000 listeners over the quarter to post a weekly audience of 6.29 million. This, however, is still short of the  6.69 million a year ealier and the 6.7 million enjoyed by predecessor Chris Moyles in his final quarter.   

The performance of Radios 2 and 4 helped push the total number of people listening to local and national BBC stations up 3.2 per cent on the previous quarter and 2.9 per cent on a year earlier to 36.2 million.

Commercial radio also posted a strong quarter with 34.9 million tuning in in the fourth quarter, up 1.5 per cent quarter on quarter and 5.1 per cent year on year. 

Nationally, the now Bauer Radio owned Absolute Radio’s portfolio of radio brands registered 1.77 million listeners in the quarter, up 7.9 per cent on the previous three months but down slightly on the same period a year earlier. 

The gains registered by BBC and commercial stations helped push the percentage of Britons listening to the radio each week up to 90.9 from 89.6 per cent in the previous quarter and 89.8 per cent in the same period a year earlier.

The total number of hours people listened for on average was 1.03 million, up from 1.02 in the previous quarter but down slightly on the 1.037 million registered a year earlier.

In London, KISS 100 overtook fellow Bauer station Magic 105.4 to take second place in the capital. Kiss had an average weekly audience of 1.97 million in the quarter, down quarter on quarter and year on year but at a slower rate than the decline suffered by Magic, which had 1.7 million listeners. The middle of the road station’s listener numbers fell dramatically from the 1.96 million registered in the previous quarter and 2.03 million a year earlier.

Capital retained the top spot with 2.15 million listeners.