Radio 1 is down nearly 1 million listeners, hits lowest audience figures in 12 years

Breakfast presenter Nick Grimshaw plummets to record low

BBC Radio 1 has lost 830,000 listeners in the first three months of this year when compared to the same period in 2014.

The station has fallen from 10.5 million to 9.7 million listeners a week according to official Rajar listening figures, as reported by The Guardian. This represents its lowest audience since the end of 2003.

Breakfast DJ Nick Grimshaw attracted an audience of 5.5 million, his lowest listening figures since taking over the slot from Chris Moyles three years ago. This too is the first time in 12 years the total has dropped so low, with over-30s accounting for around 90 percent of the fall in Grimshaw’s listenership.

Ben Cooper, controller of the station, said: “Since Radio 1 has been completely focused on younger audiences – and the most common age of a Radio 1 listener is 21 – it was highly likely some older listeners would move on, like the half a million over-30s that left us this quarter.

“I’m pleased that Grimmy is doing what I’ve asked of him by keeping his young audience happy and scaring off the over-30s.”

Meanwhile, Radio 1’s sister digital station, 1Xtra, was also down nearly a quarter, to 839,000 listeners a week.

It’s been a time of upheaval for Radio 1. Zane Lowe left the station earlier this year, while Monday will see chart show host Clara Amfo take over from Fearne Cotton on the morning show. Cotton had been with the station for a decade.