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Thursday, 9 May, 2002, 16:52 GMT 17:52 UK
Wogan becomes nation's favourite
Terry Wogan
Wogan added one million listeners
BBC Radio 2's Terry Wogan has become the nation's favourite breakfast DJ for the first time, according to listening figures.

The Irish presenter has overtaken BBC Radio 1's Sara Cox, drawing 7.46 million listeners compared to the younger DJ's 7.03 million listeners.

The coffin-dodgers rule

Terry Wogan

Wogan, as well as Radio 2 veterans Ken Bruce and Sir Jimmy Young, each saw audiences increase by about a million listeners in a year, according to the figures from Radio Joint Audience Research Limited (RAJAR).

Wogan's breakfast show is now at an all-time high and last week the Irish presenter won a Sony award for his radio show.

Cox added 500,000 listeners to her show but not enough to ward off Wogan.

He said: "It's great to hear that the Radio 2 bandwagon is still rock and rolling. The coffin-dodgers rule."

Weekly audience

BBC Radio 2, Classic FM, and Talksport have all increased their audiences since 2001, according to the figures.

Sara Cox
Sara Cox added 500,000 listeners to her show
Compared to the first quarter of 2001, BBC Radio 2 saw an 18.7% increase in its weekly audience - which has now reached 12.9 million listeners.

The increase - along with a 1.6% rise in its share of total listening - has underlined Radio 2's position as the most-listened to station in the UK.

Last week it won the prestigious Sony award for station of the year, for the third time in four years.

Radio 2's controller Jim Moir said: "This is a powerful endorsement of our programmes. More and more new listeners are coming to Radio 2, clearly attracted by the range of diversity of our output and the brilliant talents of our presenters."

Classic FM saw a 12.9% rise in weekly reach, to 6.8 million listeners a week, along with a slight increase in the share of listening.

Reach refers to the percentage of the UK adult population, aged 15 and over, who listen to a station for at least 5 minutes in the course of an average week while share is the station's share of all listening hours in its area.

Total reach

Talksport, now reaching 2.4 million listeners a week, saw an 8% rise on the same period on 2001.

BBC Radio 5 Live saw its audience reach a new high of 6.4 million, up 700,000 in the last year.

Radio listener
Speech stations appear more popular under the new system
Radio listening in general has risen, with the BBC up an average of 5.8% in reach, and the total reach for all commercial stations up 3.6% over 2001.

People are also tuning in for longer with the average hours per listener across all radio up 3.4% year-on-year during the first quarter of 2002.

Other success stories included BBC Radio 4's repeat of The Lord Of The Rings, starring Sir Ian Holm, which drew a million listeners each week during its 13-week run, the highest audience for a radio drama for at least a decade.

Almost 33 million people aged 15 or over listened to the BBC in a week, just ahead of commercial radio, which had a weekly reach of 32.1 million.

After BBC Radio Two, the most-listened-to BBC station was Radio 1, with a weekly audience of 10.5 million people.

Radio 4 had a reach of 9.9 million listeners, and Radio 3, 2.1 million people.

RAJAR was set-up in 1992 to operate a single audience measurement system for the radio industry.

See also:

02 May 02 | TV and Radio
Radio award for 'unrivalled' Peel
14 Aug 01 | TV and Radio
Row over the airwaves
08 May 01 | TV and Radio
Radio's diary woes
21 Mar 02 | TV and Radio
Talksport challenges radio ratings
31 Jan 02 | TV and Radio
BBC radio hits ratings high
31 Jan 02 | TV and Radio
TV ratings spat rumbles on
02 Aug 01 | TV and Radio
Radio 'more popular' than TV
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