Oldies champion Emma Soames, Editor-at-Large of Saga Magazine says the age-confused BBC seems intent on marginalising listeners and viewers over 50 – and moving Chris Evans to breakfast has perpetuated that belief amongst older generations.
“The breakfast slot on Radio 2 needed another oldie. If the BBC was a commercial station, then the inevitable audience fall-off would have caused heads to roll – but for some reason, even the non-commercial BBC seems intent on targeting what it believes to be the younger spenders in the UK,” said Emma Soames.
Chris Evans took over from Terry Wogan in January 2010, but a Populus survey carried out on behalf of Saga revealed that 15% of the 15,393 respondents said they had ditched Radio 2 at breakfast because of the switch, while only 2% said they had started to listen to Evans having not tuned in to Wogan.
“My belief is that the BBC knee-jerked into far too big a change far too quickly. The Radio 2 breakfast show and the Radio 2 drive-time shows are listened to by very different audiences who have been conditioned to a certain ‘type’ of broadcaster in each of those slots. Terry was the best of a series of like-minded presenters in the morning slot, but Chris Evans is poles apart; it's the difference between a styrofoam caffeine-filled morning coffee shot and a slow-brewing pot of tea.”
Listeners in their late 60s and 70s were most put off by the Wogan-Evans switch, those in their early 50s least put off. Londoners in their early 50s were least likely to switch Evans off, those aged 70-74 in East Anglia and the South West of England most likely to vote him off with their volume dials.
For more information please contact the Saga Press Office on 01303 771529.