Chris Evans's popular Radio 2 breakfast show lost half a million listeners over the past year, it has been revealed. The news comes just weeks after it was revealed Evans is the BBC's highest paid personality, triggering a dispute about wage inequality.
Research body Rajar has revealed that Evans' audience shrank from 9.47 million between April and June 2016, to 9.01 million during the same period this year. The figures also show he lost 370,000 listeners between the first and second quarters of 2017.
Despite the drop, Chris Evans' show is still by far the most popular radio programme in the country, which is a large contributing factor to his annual earnings from the BBC.
In July it was revealed that Evans was paid £2.2m by the company in 2016, due to his radio show, his stint as host of the rebooted Top Gear, and other duties.
He topped a list of the BBC's highest earners, which consisted primarily of men - including Gary Lineker, paid £1.75m, and Graham Norton, paid £850,000. The highest earning woman was Claudia Winkleman, who made £450,000.
The BBC came under fire after being forced to reveal the figures due to the huge disparity between what men and women are paid, and the lack of black and ethnic minority stars on the list.
These new listenership figures do offer some good news to the Beeb. Nick Grimshaw's Radio 1 breakfast show has grown over the last year by 350,000 listeners to hit 5.5 million. It's also an increase quarter-on-quarter.
Radio 1 on the whole also saw its audience increase by nearly half a million to 9.6 million people.
Bob Shennan, director of BBC radio and music described the figures as "fantastic news for radio, illustrating its enduring appeal in a crowded digital marketplace."
Rajar's included radio stations across the country, revealing that LBC's listenership increased from 1.7 million to 2 million year-on-year. Alan Brazi's talkSPORT breakfast show lost 400,000 listeners while Classic FM enjoyed a bump of over 200,000.