Iggy Pop and Lauren Laverne help 6 Music break 2 million audience mark for the first time

The BBC music station, which had been facing the axe in 2010, records its best ever ratings according to the latest Rajar figures

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BBC 6 Music, the radio station which had been lined up for closure in 2010, has recorded its highest ever audience.

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A combination of talents including Lauren Laverne, Iggy Pop, Cerys Matthews, Guy Garvey, Mark Radcliffe and Stuart Maconie has seen the station attract more than two million listeners for the first time in its 13-year history.

6 Music’s average audience between September 15th and December 14th last year was 2.08m, up on the figure of 1.99m from the previous quarter and 1.96m on the figures for the same time last year, according to data compiled by ratings body Rajar.

It is a record figure for the station that was saved after a public outcry and concerted campaign eventually saw it reprieved by the BBC Trust in July 2010.

Once again 6 Music outperformed BBC Radio 3 which recorded a weekly reach of 2.03m in the same quarter last year, up on the previous three-month figure of 1.91m. In July 2014 it overtook Radio 3 for the first time ever.

Radio 2 breakfast show presenter Chris Evans also continues to thrive. His programme attracted 9.6m listeners per week – compared to 9.3m last quarter and a record 9.82m last year.

The Radio 2 man now regularly gets 4m more listeners a week than his Radio 1 breakfast rival Nick Grimshaw, who registered a weekly audience of 5.90m, up from 5.82m for the last quarter but down on the 6.29m figure from last year.

The overall weekly audience for Radio 2 was 15.28m, which is slightly down on the record figure 0f 15.51m it notched up at the same time last year.

Radio 1’s audience was slightly down with 10.43m listeners during the period – down from 10.55m for the previous quarter and 10.97m last year.

BBC Radio’s total weekly reach over the period was 34.8m listeners compared with 34.85m in the previous quarter and 36.22 million for the same period last year.

Overall BBC Radio attracted 52.8% of the available audience in the three month period, slightly down on last year’s figure of 55.2%.

Bob Shennan, the controller of Radio 2, 6 Music, Asian Network and BBC Director of Music, said: “I’m thrilled that after a huge amount of hard work by everyone at Radio 6 Music, we now have a weekly audience of 2.08m. Huge thanks to our passionate and dedicated audience who have played such an important part in making 6 Music a unique and exciting destination.”

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Helen Boaden, director of BBC Radio, added: “The unique output of our digital-only stations has enhanced the appeal of radio in an era of ever-increasing digital competition.”