Zoe Ball, the first female radio host of BBC Radio 2’s Breakfast Show, has kept the show’s audience after taking over from former host Chris Evans.
From January, when she took over, to March, Ball had an average weekly audience of 9.05 million – almost unchanged from the 9.07 million for Evans’s final three months.
Evans left his job on the Radio 2 Breakfast Show in December after nine years to present a new breakfast programme on rival network Virgin.
Figures show he attracted an average weekly audience of more than one million during his first three months on air across Virgin Radio, Virgin Anthems and Virgin Chilled – up from 427,000 in the same period the year before.
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.”
Ball said she was “supersized giddy” to have so many listeners.
“It was such a gift to be asked to follow Chris and Sir Terry (Wogan) as host of the Radio 2 Breakfast Show but also a great responsibility,” she said.
“Thanks to the listeners for giving us a chance and for getting so involved in the show’s antics.
“We can’t wait to embark on more adventures together”.
Radio 2 underwent a number of line-up changes at the start of the year, including Sara Cox taking over the drive-time slot.
The station’s overall average weekly audience for January to March was 15.4 million, according to the audience research body Rajar.
This is up slightly on 14.9 million in October to December 2018 and unchanged on the same period a year ago.
BBC director of radio and education James Purnell praised the new breakfast line-up on Radio 2 and also 6 Music, where Lauren Laverne took over from Shaun Keaveny in January.
He said: “It’s been an incredible team effort with our talented presenters and their production teams hitting the ground running and bringing joy to millions of listeners in the morning.
“It shows yet again the importance of BBC radio in the daily lives of the 34 million people who tune in each week.”