Page last updated at 10:35 GMT, Thursday, 29 January 2009

Today show boosts Radio 4 figures

Today presenters John Humphrys and James Naughtie
Today now has its largest audience since the end of 2001

BBC Radio 4 has half a million more listeners than at this time last year, according to the latest figures from radio industry body Rajar.

The increase is being partly attributed to the station's flagship Today programme, which now has 6.6m listeners - its largest audience since 2001.

Radio 2's Wake up to Wogan remains the UK's most popular breakfast radio show.

The programme has 7.96m tuning in each week, compared to the 7.3 million who listen to Chris Moyles on Radio 1.

Radio 4 now has 9.81m listeners, up from 9.29m last year and 9.45m last quarter.

"Radio 4 plays a unique role in the country's cultural and news agenda," said Tim Davie, the BBC's director of audio and music.

"These results reflect its influential place in British life."

'Good news'

According to unnamed "insiders" quoted in the national press, Today's increased listenership could be down to interest in the current economic crisis.

Johnny Vaughan and Lisa Snowden
Vaughan and Snowden remain the top breakfast DJs in the capital
Mr Davie said the figures were "good news for the radio industry, the BBC and particularly Radio 4".

Radio 2's weekly reach of 13.47 million listeners represents an increase of 41,000 from the previous quarter and 65,000 comapred to the same period last year.

Radio 1's share fell, however. Its 10.58m weekly listeners represents a fall from 10.69m last year and 10.87m last quarter.

BBC 6 Music was the only one of the corporation's digital-only stations to show an increase on the previous three months, increasing its average weekly reach from 552,000 to 618,000.

Data collected for the last quarter of 2008 revealed that 18.3% of all radio listening is now via a digital platform, compared with 16.6% in the same period in 2007.


Rajar said radio listening in general has increased by around 400,000 to a high of 45.5m listeners a week.

Commercial station TalkSport reached a record 2.5 million listeners in the final quarter of 2008.

However, the average weekly audience for Absolute - formerly Virgin Radio - fell by almost half a million listeners to 1.89 million over the same period.

Capital Radio's Johnny Vaughan and Lisa Snowden remain London's most popular breakfast DJs with an audience of 981,000 listeners in the last quarter.

But Magic remains the capital's number one station overall with an average weekly reach of 1.99 million.

Print Sponsor

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24 Jul 08 |  Entertainment
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01 May 08 |  Entertainment
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