Is Chris Evans the Right Man to Host BBC Radio 2’s Breakfast Show?

It’s been over a month since Sir Terry Wogan announced he will soon be leaving BBC Radio 2‘s breakfast programme. The decision for Chris Evans to be his replacement has been very controversial… but I believe people are being very unfair here.

R2OK! is a forum dedicated to Radio 2, and here are a few quoted made since Wogan’s announcement that I would like you to see:

I agree with the one lone voice on here-give Chris Evans a chance.

I think he will be excellent in the role.

The breakfast show needs a makeover with new features etc and Chris is the right person to deliver a breakfast show fit for 2010 and beyond.

Good luck Chris.

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This is a post I agree with; whilst I do enjoy Wogan’s show, it lacks development and has stayed the same for a number of years – the format needs to change in order for Radio 2 to sound fresh and appropriate for an ever changing audience.

Wogan moving to a new weekend slot means that he is not really lost – he has simply moved on and will appeal more to Radio 2’s present audience, which is very different to what it was when Wogan first joined the station.

I personally don’t think that Evans will make the Breakfast gig the same as his current drivetime show but it will freshen up the breakfast slot. Ok so a lot of the current listeners will go elsewhere but a different audience will take it’s place, most likely a lot of the current Drivetime audience will tune in.

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Again, a post I agree with; a lot of people are failing to recognise that listeners switching to another radio station for a breakfast show they like does not mean a reduction in listeners. New listeners come along and take their place.

Radio 2’s target audience is 25 and over; the appointment of Evans to breakfast means that Radio 2 now has a daytime show catering for listeners who have outgrown Radio 1.

I’m very impressed how Chris has matured over the years.
As he said, when Terry made his anouncement this morning shortly after 8, he (Chris) was changing his baby’s nappies. Some years back, he said, he would have been in some hole 2doing all the wrong things”.
Chris spoke of how his life had changed & how he had changed, & this is reflected in his shows.

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The fact that Evans has matured was highlighted to me when I watched Evans on last night’s edition of Friday Night with Jonathan Ross; talking about his passed and how he “lost control of the situation” earlier in life; he said he main a couple of silly mistakes and then nearly “threw it all away”.

Although I was too young to listen to Evans on the radio in previous years (early to mid 1990s), from reading about what he did in earlier life, it is apparent that he has clearly learnt from his mistakes.

That is why I personally feel Evans is the right person to be future of Radio 2’s breakfast slot. But how many other people feel the same? I return to the forums to answer this question:

As an exercise in alienating 90% of Terry’s listenership I think the Beeb has excelled itself. The bosses at Heart and Smooth, their accountants, advertisers, bankers and investors, must be rubbing their hands with glee, cos that’s where most of the TOGs will go.

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Well argued? No. I think 90% is a massive exaduration here; whilst some TOGs will be very upset to have Evans on breakfast, there is a large number of TOGs who will welcome his appointment. Many people also listen to Radio 2 out of routine – and couldn’t care less about who hosts their breakfast show.

In fact, in an effort to find out eactly how massive an exaduration 90% is, I selected the top 20 posters on the R2OK! forums in order to find a more sensible percentage of those for and against Evans’ appointment to Radio 2 breakfast:

  • For: 9 seperate users –  45%
  • Against: 11 seperate users – 55%

So, I would say the country is split. If 45% of Radio 2 listener’s are for Evans’ appointment to Radio 2’s breakfast, then Evans’ new breakfast show has an excellent chance of being successful.

In fact, a recent study has shown that the average listener of Wake up to Wogan is aged 53. The average listener to Chris Evans’ drivetime show is 51. Wogan is 18 years away from his average listener, whilst Evans’ is 9 years away from his average listener.

As Evans said on this morning’s edition of Saturdy Kitchen, someone who is 51 today was 19 when the Sex Pistols were at #1 in the UK chart – so if he plays punk, he’ll be OK!

The all new Chris Evans breakfast show starts at 7am on January 11th (3 months tomorrow)! My message to Radio 2 listeners… Give Evans a try. If you don’t like it, listen to something else. But don’t complain. Evans has been chosen as Radio 2’s breakfast host for a reason. The right reason.

Fred Hart

Stock Controller and Radio Presenter/Producer

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