The departure of breakfast show presenter Chris Moyles has contributed to a wave of listeners deserting Radio 1 for Radio 2, which in turn has registered the highest audience figures in its history.
Nick Grimshaw, who took on the difficult task of succeeding Moyles, has seen the Radio1 breakfast show audience fall by more than 500,000 since the same time last year. But his ratings of 6.69m were only down 40,000 overall from Moyle’s final quarter and the BBC said it was pleased that Grimshaw, 28, had introduced 250,000 new 15-24 year old listeners to the show.
Radio1’s overall audience has fallen from 11.67m to 11.09m in the last year as the station overhauls its presenting line-up in an effort to meet calls by the BBC Trust to bring down the average age of its audience. As a result, a significant number of older male listeners have abandoned the station.
The principle beneficiary appears to have been Radio 2, which announced a record audience of 15.1m, a surge of 1.2m additional listeners from the previous quarter. Chris Evans, the Radio 2 breakfast host, increased his audience to 9.52m from 8.55m the previous quarter.
Radio 2 enjoyed a lift across its schedule, with presenters Ken Bruce, Jeremy Vine, Steve Wright and Simon Mayo all recording record ratings.
The fastest growing BBC station is 6 Music, which grew its weekly reach by 31 per cent over the past year to 1.89m. Radio 3 (2.06m), Radio 4 (10.75m) and Radio 5 Live (6.12m) all suffered slight falls in audience compared to the same period a year ago.
In the commercial radio sector, Classic FM increased its audience to 5.4m.