Radio 1 breakfast show sheds listeners but the kids are alright

A decline in reach over the last year is partly made up for by an increase in the show's younger target audience during Nick Grimshaw's time in charge

Nick Grimshaw’s first three months in charge of the Radio 1 breakfast show put him on a par with Chris Moyles’s previous quarter in terms of audience size, and have seen him increase his stake in the station’s target youth audience, despite the programme having lost half a million listeners over the last year.


The show reached 6.69 million people each week between September (when Grimshaw took over from his long-serving predecessor) and the end of 2012, compared to 6.73m in the last quarter and 7.24m during the same period last year. But it added almost 250,000 quarter-to-quarter in its key 15-24-year-old demographic.

The figures follow a similar pattern for Radio 1 as a whole, with 11.09 million listeners – a 7.4% audience share – tuning in each week, against 11.20m (8.2%) last quarter and 11.67m (8.5%) in the previous year, while 15-to-24-year-olds increased to 3.43 million from 3.27 million in the previous three months.


The results come in the wake of the BBC Trust’s orders that Radio 1 must target a younger audience, after it was revealed that the average age of its listeners had increased to 32. The appointment of Grimshaw, 28, in place of Moyles, ten years his senior, was part of that strategy, as implemented by station head Ben Cooper.