ENTERTAINMENT
06/02/2020 09:07 GMT

There's Good News And Bad News For Zoe Ball As New BBC Radio Figures Are Revealed

She took over the Radio 2 breakfast show from Chris Evans at the beginning of last year.

New BBC Radio listening figures have been revealed, and there’s good news and bad news for Zoe Ball.

Zoe took over the Radio 2 breakfast show from Chris Evans at the beginning of 2019, after he took the much-publicised jump to Virgin Radio, where he continues to host the morning slot.

On Thursday, manyoutlets reported a decline in listening figures since Zoe began presenting the breakfast show on Radio 2, but that’s not actually the whole story. 

Mike Marsland via Getty Images
Zoe Ball

Yes, the new data from the audience research body Rajar does show that listeners have dropped by almost a million in the space of 12 months, with 8.2 million tuning into Radio 2 in the morning in the last three months of 2019, compared to 9.1 million during Chris’ final quarter as host.

However, it’s not completely fair to say that Zoe is losing listeners, as she’s actually grown her audience compared to last quarter, when she was on 7.9 million.

This drop in listeners year-on-year has also affected Radio 1’s breakfast host Greg James, who was on 4.8 million at the end of 2019, compared to 5.1 million in the final quarter of the previous year.

Jeff Spicer via Getty Images
Greg James

Radio 1 also had its lowest figures since records began in the last quarter of 2019, dropping to 8.8 million weekly listeners, the first time this number has fallen below 9 million.

James Purnell, director of BBC radio and education, said: “The latest figures show some of the challenges we face across the radio industry with retaining a live listening habit amongst young people, whose audio consumption is rapidly changing.

“We are focused on keeping live listening strong and looking for new ways to do so, but we also want to ensure we offer more for our audiences however they want to listen.

“During this quarter alone, we saw more than 100 million on demand plays of our content on BBC Sounds, double the previous quarter, demonstrating the increasing popularity of our radio programmes outside of our linear schedules.”