Virgin Radio UK has delivered its first RAJAR results since DJ Chris Evans joined the station on 21 January 2019. The results - which cover January to March 2019 - underline Chris’s immediate impact, as he returns to his spiritual home and reels in new listeners to the show and the station.
The Chris Evans Breakfast Show secured 1.05 million weekly listeners across the Virgin Radio network in its first ten weeks on air, accounting for 4.5 million weekly listening hours. This represents five-fold growth quarter-on-quarter and seven-fold growth year-on-year in the breakfast slot.
Chris has also provided a boost for the whole Virgin Radio schedule - the network has trebled its reach quarter-on-quarter to 1.4million listeners and 8.6 million listening hours.
Chris Evans said: “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.”
The Chris Evans Breakfast Show has also driven broadcasting innovation, partnering with Sky to create the UK’s first ad break-free breakfast show on commercial radio. Highlights in the first ten weeks have included exclusive Sky Game of Thrones and F1 competitions, a raft of A-list guests from Kiefer Sutherland and Lena Headey to Andrew Garfield and Julia Stiles as well as live acts including Richard Ashcroft, Mike & the Mechanics, Tom Walker and Lewis Capaldi.
Luke Bradley-Jones, Sky Chief Marketing Officer, said: “When we started to talk with Chris and the Virgin Radio team, the ambition was to create a brand new listener experience. Creativity sits at the heart of this partnership and we are proud of what we have jointly achieved so far. We look forward to building on the initial success with new ways of bringing the brilliant shows on Sky to life. Starting next week with a live OB direct from the French Riviera, as we launch season two of our hit show Riviera. Listeners will literally live the experience through the show plus a lucky few will be joining Chris and the team as they live the dream in Monaco.”
Wireless CEO Scott Taunton said: “This is an exceptional set of results for the new Chris Evans Breakfast Show with Sky. The breakfast slot has grown its audience to over one million listeners - seven times what it was in the last quarter - while Virgin Radio UK has trebled its overall audience year-on-year thanks to Chris and our friends at Sky. This is the first milestone in our ambition to become the UK’s leading commercial digital station and we are all delighted.”