Someone at the BBC really doesn’t like Chris Evans

Chris Evans

BBC News website story suggests Evans is a flop after Wogan - but he isn’t

BY Jack Bremer LAST UPDATED AT 08:34 ON Thu 5 Aug 2010

In what looks like an extraordinary display of schadenfreude - a delight in the misfortune of others - the BBC News website has today posted a prominent story headlined 'Radio 2 host Chris Evans loses one million listeners'.

With the accompanying photo of the ginger-headed breakfast-time DJ captioned 'Evans took over BBC Radio 2's breakfast show from Terry Wogan at the beginning of 2010', the implication is clear - that Evans is a flop compared to his much-loved, long-serving predecessor, the master of Irish blarney, Sir Terry Wogan.

Yet closer inspection reveals this is not the case. Go beyond the headline, and it turns out that Evans has indeed lost a million listeners in the last quarter - but this is after having increased the audience by nearly 1.5m in the first quarter, after taking over from Sir Terry in January.

So, despite the loss, he's still ahead of Wogan, who was getting a weekly audience of 8.1 million when he bowed out at the end of last year, according to the industry Rajar figures at the time.

The new Rajar figures, released today, show Evans now commands a weekly audience of 8.48 million, down from last quarter's record 9.53 million to be sure - as Wogan might have said - but still well ahead of the Irishman's best figures.

The BBC News item is totally accurate on another matter: the audience for the digital station 6 Music has reached 1.19 million, double last year's figure. This was one of the stations the corporation planned to close, until the BBC Trust stepped in to save it. · 

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