Nick Grimshaw’s Radio 1 breakfast show has plunged to its lowest listening figures since he took over the slot, dropping below five million for the first time in his tenure.
The Radio 1 Breakfast Show with Nick Grimshaw pulled in 4.93 million listeners a week in the third quarter of 2017, down from 5.50 million in the second quarter and 5.25 million in the same period in 2016, according to the latest figures released by audience research body Rajar.
It is the first time the broadcaster has dropped below the five million listeners mark since he took over from Chris Moyles in 2012.
In his first full quarter at the helm of the show, between October and December of that year, he drew 6.69 million a week. That number dropped to 5.78 million in the first three months of 2013 and has fluctuated between 5.1 million and 6.3 million ever since.
The station as a whole added listeners, pulling in 9.70 million listeners a week in the third quarter of 2017, ending September 17, compared to 9.59 million in the second, but marking a slight drop since the same three months of 2016, when it drew 9.9 million.
Ben Cooper, controller of BBC Radio 1, 1Xtra and Asian Network, hailed Radio 1 as the “most relevant youth brand in the UK today with…a record five million subscribers on YouTube and 9.45 million subscribers on social media”.
A source at the station added: “Grimmy is the number one breakfast show in the UK for young audiences and that’s all they really care about.
“Teens are addicted to their phones so you can see why Radio 1 does so well on YouTube and Facebook.”
Chris Evans’ BBC Radio 2 breakfast show grew its listeners in the third quarter of the year, pulling in 9.35 million a week in the three month period, compared to 9.01 million in the second quarter.
Ken Bruce’s Radio 2 show also saw a boost in its audience, helping him achieve a record weekly reach of 8.77 million, up from 8.3 million in the second quarter and 8.48 million in the third quarter of 2016.
Helen Thomas, network editor of Radio 2, said: “Ken Bruce joined BBC Radio 2 in 1982 sitting in for Ray Moore, so for him to attract a record weekly audience of 8.77 million listeners 35 years later is a huge achievement. Congratulations to Ken – the ultimate PopMaster!”
BBC Radio 4’s Today programme saw a drop in its audience after enjoying a huge growth last quarter.
The news show pulled in 7.06 million listeners a week in the third three month period of 2017, dropping from the 7.66 million a week it achieved in the second quarter and returning to the region of the 7.10 million it pulled in in the third quarter of 2016.
Digital station BBC Radio 6 Music attracted a record 2.43 million listeners a week in the third quarter of the year, an increase from 2.24 million in the second quarter and 2.34 million last year.
Bob Shennan, director of BBC Radio and Music, said: “These are great results for BBC 6 Music which is one of the most exciting radio innovations in the last 20 years and is second to none for its brilliant roster of music curators across the schedule.
“It’s pleasing to see continued growth of all our digital stations with their unique range of programming from classic comedy and sports to urban music and specialist DJs.”
Rajar bases its figures on an annual sample of approximately 100,000 respondents aged 15 and over. Participants are asked to keep a diary recording their radio listening for a week.