Zoe Ball feeling 'giddy' after proving a hit with Radio 2 listeners

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File photo dated 14/01/19 of Zoe Ball, who has maintained a steady listenership during her first months hosting BBC Radio 2's Breakfast Show, new figures show.
File photo dated 14/01/19 of Zoe Ball, who has maintained a steady listenership during her first months hosting BBC Radio 2's Breakfast Show, new figures show.

Zoe Ball is celebrating breakfast radio victory over old pal Chris Evans today after it was revealed her show is pulling in over 9 million listeners.

The 48-year-old TV presenter became the first woman to host the BBC Radio 2 Breakfast Show when she took over from Evans in January this year, as he returned to Virgin Radio.

Ball told listeners she was feeling “supersized giddy” as it was revealed in the latest RAJAR figures for 2019 that 9.05 million people are tuning in to hear the show every week.

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She added: “Thank you listeners for giving us a chance & for getting involved in the antics.We can’t wait to embark on more adventures together.”

Read more: Chris Evans loses 8 million listeners in move to Virgin

When Ball took over hosting the show at the beginning of the year she admitted she felt “daunted” to be following in the footsteps of her “broadcasting idols” Evans and Sir Terry Wogan.

Though listening figures have fallen by 20,000 since Evans’ departure, Ball has not suffered the “horrendous haemorrhage” in listeners she previously spoke of fearing.

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Meanwhile, Evans, 53, has seen a drop of 8 million listeners as a result of his move to digital-only station Virgin. However, he is being heard by 994,000 a week - which is a 576% increase in Virgin's audience.

Evans already sits ahead of Radio X's Chris Moyles (928,000 a week) in the digital-only ratings and only 300k behind Lauren Laverne on BBC 6 Music (1.3m a week).

Evans said in statement: "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."

Chris Evans at the start of the Men's London Marathon during the 2019 Virgin Money London Marathon.
Chris Evans at the start of the Men's London Marathon during the 2019 Virgin Money London Marathon.

The former Top Gear presenter was the reigning king of breakfast radio in the nineties on commercial channel Virgin, competing against Ball and Kevin Greening’s BBC Radio 1 Breakfast Show.

Current Radio 1 Breakfast host Greg James has seen his audience drop from 5.11million to 5.04million.

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