Zoe Ball starts big battle for listeners against Virgin Radio rival Chris Evans


The new voice of Radio 2’s Breakfast Show has announced that she is eagerly awaiting a one-on-one with ex-host Chris, 52, who has launched a campaign to draw listeners to his new station

Zoe threw away the glove, telling Chris Evans “bring it on”

Zoe Ball says she can’t wait to take on her radio rival Chris Evans, declaring “bring him”.

She took over from him yesterday on Radio 2’s breakfast show – the same day he launched a campaign to get his former listeners to join him on Virgin.

The couple will face off again after Zoe followed in his footsteps in 1997 as host of the Radio 1 breakfast show as he began his first stint on Virgin Radio in the same time slot.

Zoe, 48, who revealed Chris sent her a ‘lovely’ message ahead of her debut yesterday, said: “It will be like history repeats itself.

“I don’t remember the result, but it was always so brilliant and supportive, so, yeah, go for it.”

Speaking after the show, she said Chris’s post told her to “remember to breathe”.

Chris Evans hopes to poach some of the Radio 2 Breakfast Show listeners at Virgin



Zoe, Radio 2’s first weekday breakfast host, added, “I was nervous but … the listeners were so positive.”

One person who didn’t listen was her daughter Nelly, who turned nine yesterday. Nelly appeared on Radio 1’s breakfast show and when asked which station she was on, she replied, “Radio 1”.

She was asked if she had heard the first link from her mother that day and she replied, “No”.

Zoe is the first weekday breakfast host on Radio 2


ADAM GERRARD / Daily Mirror)

In clips promoting his return to Virgin from Monday, Chris, 52, is joined by wife Natasha Shishmanian and sons Noah, nine, and Eli, six, at home with message cards saying: “Come and have breakfast.”

Sara Cox, 44, who was a regular replacement for Chris on Radio 2 and who many believed should have gotten the job he left vacant, called her girlfriend Zoe’s show to wish her luck.

Yesterday Sara started as the host of Radio 2 Drivetime, dedicating her first song Sisters are Doin ‘it For Themselves to Zoe.


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