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Chris takes over breakfast - Heat, 18-24 October 2003

DJ Chris Moyles hopes to rescue Radio I from its ratings slump after being handed Sara Cox's breakfast show. Coxy will take over Moyles' afternoon drivetime slot just months after official figures showed almost 500,000 listeners deserted her breakfast show in the summer. At the same time, it was revealed Radio l's overall ratings had dipped below the ten million mark for the first time ever.

Moyles has made no secret of his ambition to take over the prestigious early-morning slot, telling heat last year that "I could absolutely kick anybody's arse on breakfast." Speaking to heat again last week, he said he was chuffed to be getting the chance to prove himself at last, and reiterated his past claim that he was the station's "saviour".

"I don't think there can be any doubt that I am the saviour of Radio 1," he joked. “Seriously though, it's like, a dream come true. It's the biggest gig in radio."

He refused to be drawn on whether he thought he could do a better job than Sara but did say: 'I'm going to try to get more listeners, which would be nice. They haven't said, right, go and get more listeners or you're stuffed, but Andy [Parfitt, Radio 1 controller] thinks the show will work well at that time of day."

Radio 1 bosses are denying suggestions that Sara was axed from the breakfast show because of the listening figures, saying that, after three and-a-half years at the helm, it was simply time for a change. Sara has, in fact, been the stations longest-serving breakfast DJ since Simon Mayo, outlasting both Chris Evans and her best mate Zoe Ball.

Coxy insists she's happy with the move: "I have had a really brilliant, time on breakfast, this show is my baby. But now I get to have a lie-in." She says she can't wait to hit the town for a big night out, saying. "I'm going to be pictured in heat tumbling out of Chinawhite with Martine McCutcheon on one arm and at least one half of Blue on the other." Sara, we can't wait to see it.
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