Tom Jones tells Zoe Ball he has received his booster jab

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The Zoe Ball Breakfast Show’s audience has dropped by almost one million viewers in a year, it has been revealed. The latest radio listening figures are the first to be published since May 2020. Zoe, 50, has been running her show since 2019 and despite now having a smaller audience, it does, however, remain the biggest breakfast show in the UK.

Radio and television presenter Zoe Ball was the first female host of both Radio 1 Breakfast and the Radio 2 Breakfast Show for the BBC.

Due to her popularity, the star launched The Zoe Ball Breakfast Show on BBC Radio 2 in January 2019.

The show attracted an audience of 8.1 million before the COVID-19 pandemic, making it the most listened to breakfast show in the country.

However, new figures have revealed Zoe has lost more than one million listeners in a year.

The figures have revealed many breakfast shows now have far smaller audiences than before the pandemic.

Zoe, Greg James, Chris Evans and Roman Kemp were among the radio stars to find themselves with fewer listeners than the last time ratings were measured.

The figures, published by Radio Joint Audience Research (Rajar), unveiled Zoe’s show attracted an audience of 7.2 million listeners – down from her last available ratings of 8.1 million, recorded in the first quarter of 2020.

Despite the plunge, it is still more popular than other breakfast radio programmes.

The drop can be partly explained by lower commuter numbers as many people across the country are still working from home.

But industry body Rajar urged caution when making comparisons because it is also measuring audiences in new ways.

The latest radio figures are the first to be released since last May and they now incorporate smartphone data in the methodology.

The ratings, from the official body in charge of measuring radio audiences in the UK, cover July to September 2021.

Although some breakfast DJs have seen a plummet in audiences, the data shows radio listening, in general, has increased slightly.

For example, BBC Radio 5 Live recorded a “significant boost” which – according to the BBC – could have been helped by Euros and Olympic coverage.

The station attracted 5.9 million weekly listeners between July and September, up from 5.2 million before the pandemic.

Jerry Hill, Chief Executive of Rajar, said: “As with many sectors, we have faced an unprecedented set of challenges during the pandemic. The team at Rajar have developed a flexible design that both strengthen the service both now and for its future evolution.”

Nick North, Director of Audiences at the BBC said: “Coming out of such a difficult period Rajar has acted with speed and innovative flair without compromising the rigour and quality of its service, to produce a new, best in class industry currency incorporating the electronic measurement of listening.

Ian Moss, Chief Executive of Radiocentre said the return of new Rajar audience data following the COVID-19 hiatus is welcome news.

He explained: “The evolution in methodology is a good thing for the future of the industry, whilst helping to ensure against future interruptions to data collection.”

Zoe Ball’s Breakfast Show is live on BBC Radio 2 weekdays from 6.30am. 


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