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Zoe Ball ‘supersized giddy’ as her Radio 2 Breakfast Show audience holds its own

Zoe Ball on her first morning hosting the Radio 2 Breakfast Show (BBC/PA)
Zoe Ball on her first morning hosting the Radio 2 Breakfast Show (BBC/PA)

Zoe Ball has maintained a steady listenership during her first months hosting BBC Radio 2’s Breakfast Show, new figures show.

The presenter took over from Chris Evans in January, making her the first female breakfast show host in the station’s history.

From January to March, Ball had an average weekly audience of 9.05 million – almost unchanged from the 9.07 million for Evans’s final three months.

Zoe Ball on first day hosting BBC 2 Breakfast Show – London
Zoe Ball is the first female host of the Breakfast slot in the show’s history ( Yui Mok/PA 

Ball said she was “supersized giddy” to have so many listeners.

“It was such a gift to be asked to follow Chris and Sir Terry (Wogan) as host of the Radio 2 Breakfast Show but also a great responsibility,” she said.

“Thanks to the listeners for giving us a chance and for getting so involved in the show’s antics.

“We can’t wait to embark on more adventures together”.

Radio 2 underwent a number of line-up changes at the start of the year, including Sara Cox taking over the drive-time slot.

The station’s overall average weekly audience for January to March was 15.4 million, according to the audience research body Rajar.

This is up slightly on 14.9 million in October to December 2018 and unchanged on the same period a year ago.

(PA Graphics)

BBC director of radio and education James Purnell praised the new breakfast line-up on Radio 2 and also 6 Music, where Lauren Laverne took over from Shaun Keaveny in January.

He said: “It’s been an incredible team effort with our talented presenters and their production teams hitting the ground running and bringing joy to millions of listeners in the morning.

“It shows yet again the importance of BBC radio in the daily lives of the 34 million people who tune in each week.

“This quarter we’ve also seen the highest proportion of people listening to radio on digital platforms, including online and on apps, as well as increased numbers in the UK listening to podcasts each week, and I’m delighted listeners are discovering our much-loved content however it suits them.”

Chris Evans left his job on the Radio 2 Breakfast Show after nine years to present a new breakfast programme on rival network Virgin.

Figures show he attracted an average weekly audience of just over one million during his first three months on air across the three stations Virgin Radio, Virgin Anthems and Virgin Chilled.

Chris Evans said: “Last year, I said I wanted a new mountain to climb. And the view from the top of the News Tower isn’t half bad.

“But really this is just base camp. I’m back in my spiritual home and loving every minute of it.”

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