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Radio 6 Music scores highest ever figures for digital only station

Published 04/02/2016

Lauren Laverne is one of 6 Music's top presenters
Lauren Laverne is one of 6 Music's top presenters

The once-doomed BBC Radio 6 Music has achieved the highest ever listening figures for a digital only station in the UK.

Earmarked for closure and then reprieved six years ago, the station has now reached a new milestone, according to the BBC, after the latest figures were released by audience research body Rajar.

With 2.202 million listeners per week, up from a previous record of 2.19 million in the last quarter and 2.08 million in the same period in 2014, the station reached both its own record listening figure as well as the highest listening figure a digital only station has achieved in the UK since Rajar analysis began.

In early 2010, when 6 Music was threatened with the axe its audience stood at 695,000. But the proposed closure - rejected by the BBC Trust - had the effect of boosting its profile and its audience.

The station's Steve Lamacq pulls in 1.08 million listeners, Lauren Laverne gets 875,000 listeners, and Jarvis Cocker gets 305,000 listeners, a spokeswoman for the station said.

All BBC Radio's weekly reach over the period - September 21 to December 20 2015 - was 34.95 million, down from 35.10 million in the last quarter and up from 34.80 million the previous year.

The Radio 1 Breakfast Show With Nick Grimshaw attracted 5.87 million listeners, up from 5.78 in the previous quarter, but down from 5.9 million on the same period the previous year.

Those figures refer to listeners aged 15 and over, so including listeners aged 10 and over, the show attracted 6.37 million listeners per week, compared to 6.17 million in the last quarter and 6.31 million in same quarter in 2014.

BBC Radio 1 posted a reach of 10.33 million listeners, from 10.56 million last quarter and 10.43 million in 2014 - which rises to 11.36 million when listeners aged 10 to 14 are included.

The network's share of listening was 6.1%, down from 6.5% last quarter and 6.6% in the same quarter in 2014.

BBC Radio 4 posted a weekly reach of 10.93 million during the quarter, up from 10.78 million last quarter and 10.76 million the previous year, and a share of 12.4%, up from 11.7% last quarter and 11.9% the previous year.

The Today programme has 7.03 million listeners each week, up from 6.76 million last quarter and 6.77 million in the same quarter in 2014.

Three months after Radio X's launch, Chris Moyles secured 300,000 London listeners on his morning show.

He had more than seven million listeners for much of his eight-year stint on his BBC Radio 1 breakfast show.

The Heart London Breakfast Show with Jamie Theakston and Emma Bunton added 227,000 listeners in the last quarter, taking the presenting duo to 741,000 listeners.

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