BBC 6 Music was almost axed by the BBC.
BBC Radio 6 Music, the station that the corporation tried to axe before a public outcry, hit over 2 million weekly listeners in the final three months of last year. In a landmark moment for digital radio, the station featuring Lauren Laverne, Guy Garvey and Stuart Maconie pulled in 2.1 million listeners, according to Rajar listening figures.
Lauren Laverne presents one of BBC 6Music's morning shows
6Music is the first digital-only station to pass the milestone and achieved the feat just five years after it was saved from closure. Another BBC digital station, Radio 4 Extra, also hit a new high of 1.7 million viewers.
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However, it wasn't all good news for the BBC, with news and sports station Radio 5 Live losing nearly 700,000 listeners year on year following the departure of several high profile names.
Bob Shennan, controller of Radio 2 and 6 Music, said it "felt like a landmark moment" for the latter station.
Jarvis Cocker presents a Sunday show on BBC 6Music and is one of the most popular DJs.
"It is not going to be a mass mainstream station like Radio 1 or Radio 2 but the vast majority of the adult population still don't know about 6 Music," he said. "We will continue to look upwards to the next landmark, 2.5 million or something like that."
6 Music, which has an eclectic mix of talent including Jarvis Cocker, Iggy Pop and Mark Radcliffe, now has more listeners than Radio 3. Steve Lamacq presents the station's most popular show, with an audience of just over 900,000 listeners for his tea-time slot. Laverne and Shaun Keaveney present the breakfast shows.
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