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500,000 listeners turn off Chris Evans' show

BY Lesley-Anne Henry

Chris Evans' breakfast show lost around half-a-million listeners in the space of three months, according to latest figures.

His Radio 2 show was still the most popular early morning listen, pulling in an audience of 8.6m, but that is down from 9.2m in the first quarter of 2011.

The former Radio 1 man is still well ahead of the station's current breakfast presenter, Chris Moyles, whose show had a weekly reach of 7.4m in the second quarter of this year.

That is down from 7.5m in the first three months of 2011.

The figures, released by radio audience measurement body Rajar, show BBC Radio 4 bucked the trend and increased its audience while the corporation's other main stations lost listeners.

Its flagship Today programme, whose presenters include John Humphrys and James Naughtie, put on more than 150,000 listeners in the second quarter of 2011, compared with the previous three months and now has a weekly reach of 7.2m.

Its counterpart on Five Live pulled in 2.9m listeners, up from 2.7m in the first quarter of the year.

Radio 4 Extra, which was rebranded from Radio 7 in April, increased its audience share to 1.61m - up from 1.16m last quarter.

Five Live and Radio 1, 2 and 3 all lost listeners overall on the previous three months, but the weekly reach of the entire BBC network rose from 31.8m to 32.1m.

Classic FM saw its weekly reach fall from 6.09m to 5.7m, while talkSPORT saw its weekly audience stay stable at 3.2m.

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