Radio 4 goes “from strength to strength”

Dame Jenni Murray on Woman's Hour Radio 4, whose presenters include Dame Jenni Murray, attracted a weekly audience of 10.83m

BBC Radio picked up an extra 435,000 listeners over the last year, according to the latest Rajar figures.

Statistics for the last quarter (Q4 2011) show that 46.7 million people tuned into radio overall, with BBC Radio drawing a weekly audience of 34.9m, while commercial radio's reach dropped by 0.7% year-on-year to 32.8m.

In terms of share and reach, the total audience for BBC network radio has increased slightly over the last 12 months, with Radio 4 boasting a 5% audience growth to achieve 10.83m weekly listeners, just under its record high of 10.85m.

Flagship show Today attracted an extra half-million listeners, posting an audience of 7.1m.

Tim Davie, director of BBC Audio & Music, said the figures showed that radio was in 'rude health'.

'Radio 4 goes from strength to strength and proves once again that distinctive, intelligent output and broad appeal are not mutually exclusive,' he added.

Stuart Maconie The audience for 6 Music, whose presenters include Stuart Maconie, grew by 27% to 1.44m
Big breakfast figures

Radio 1 and Radio 2 posted annual growth of more than 2% each with respective audiences of 11.67m and 14.27m.

Compared with Q4 2010, Chris Moyles lost 210,000 listeners although his breakfast show still attracted 7.2m.

But Chris Evans on Radio 2 remained the most popular breakfast show with an audience of 8.9m, including an extra 138,000 gained since Q4 2010.

Radio 3's breakfast show audience grew year-on-year by 90,000. Overall, the station's reach dropped by 5.4%, although their listenership had increased 2.2% between October and December 2011 to 2.1m.

The audience figures for Radio 5live showed a year-on-year drop of 12.2% in terms of weekly reach, with the breakfast show losing 650,000 listeners. In total, the station, which completed its move from London to Salford last autumn, drew 6.34m in Q4.

The audience for its sister sports station, 5live Extra, dropped to 616,000 after a busy summer.

Radio 1Xtra in Hull Radio 1Xtra attracted 1m listeners in Q4 2011 - a 25% rise from Q4 2010

For BBC local and regional radio across the UK, there was 2.4% drop in listenership over the year to 9.6m - with local radio in England drawing 7.3m.

English Regions controller David Holdsworth said: "These figures show that BBC Local Radio has consolidated recent gains and is on track to develop further growth in the long term."

Among the digital-only stations, Radio 4 Extra was the most popular with 1.55m listeners, closely followed by 6 Music, whose audience grew 27% year-on-year to 1.44m.

1Xtra also posted a significant yearly increase of 25%, achieving an audience of just over 1m.

Davie said: '6 Music and 1Xtra are unique stations which are establishing loyal and ever-growing audiences. Their record listening figures are a fitting tribute as they celebrate 10 years on air.'

Asian Network's reach dropped by 1%, with the station attracting 472,000 listeners. Around 1.39m domestic listeners tuned into the World Service - a year-on-year drop of 5%.


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