Chris Moyles announced July 11 that he is to step down from the Radio 1 Breakfast Show.
Speaking on the programme he has presented for over eight years, Moyles said it was his dream job. “I know some kids wanted to be a professional footballer or a fireman but not me, I’m a geek. I wanted to be on the radio,” Moyles said. “I wanted the biggest radio show you can get and eventually, I got it, and for the last eight and half years, I’ve had the best time of my life, and I’ve got to share it with a small group of friends and 8 million strangers, every morning for three and a half hours a day.”
Moyles added that there had been constant speculation with regard to his future, and that it was the right time to depart. “The weird thing about doing this job is that almost since day one there has always been speculation about how long it would last, rumours that the boss wanted me out, newspaper stories saying I’m going to be fired by the end of the year, printed whispers of my successor and when they would take over,” Moyles said. “Throughout all of it, the one thing that has remained constant is me and the team coming into work every day, doing the show, making the audience laugh and the bosses at Radio 1 were happy.”
Radio 1 controller Ben Cooper has been under pressure to ensure the station maintains a younger audience, as it emerged that a BBC Trust report said Radio 1 needed to engage more listeners under age 30, according to press reports. A Radio 1 spokesperson told Kettle that the average age of a Radio 1 listener was 32 and that Radio 1 was trying to get more listeners in line with the 15-29 year old demographic.
According to a report from The Guardian, Moyles had been in talks with Radio 2 to present a programme. A Radio 2 spokesperson told Kettle that no programme with Moyles had been planned.
In a statement, Nick Grimshaw, who is succeeding Moyles, said he was excited to start. “I’m super excited to be hosting the iconic Radio 1 Breakfast Show,” Grimshaw said. “It’s been a dream of mine since the age of 11 and to be honest it hasn’t really sunk in yet. I love Chris and have always looked up to him as one of the best broadcasters ever.”
In a statement, Cooper said Moyles was a talented broadcaster. “I’d like to thank Chris. Quite simply, he has been the most successful breakfast show host in Radio 1’s history,” Cooper said. “For the past eight and a half years he has been entertaining millions of listeners every morning, which is testament to his incredible talent as a broadcaster.” Cooper added that Grimshaw would be a hit on the Breakfast Show. “Nick is a great broadcaster with a passion for music and a mischievous sense of humour, which has made him a hit with our listeners,” Cooper said.
Moyles is to step down from the Breakfast Show in September, but is under contract with Radio 1 until 2014, according to a BBC report. A Radio 1 spokesperson added that the station is currently discussing Moyles’ future after he steps down from the Breakfast Show. Cooper added in an interview with BBC Radio 5 live that Moyles would reinvent himself with his new show. “I’ve got an idea of a new role for him on the station,” Cooper said according to interview remarks reported by The Guardian. “Maybe we’ll surprise people again in a short time.”
Moyles attracted over 7 million listeners to the programme, according to the latest RAJAR statistics.
Zoe Nicholson, a student and Radio 1 listener, said she was inspired to pursue a career in radio because of Moyles. “Throughout my whole time at secondary school and even before that at primary school, I’ve been waking up and turning on my radio to Chris and it won’t be the same without him,” Nicholson said. “He is the main reason my passion for radio began and therefore one of the main reasons why I aspire to work in radio in the future.” Nicholson notes that the contributions from the team, which includes Comedy Dave, news and sport presenters Dominic Byrne and Tina Daheley, and producer Aled Haydn Jones, also aided the programme and they too would be missed.
Nicholson added there was still room for Moyles at Radio 1 and hoped he did another show. “Just because he’s done the breakfast show doesn’t mean he can’t do another,” Nicholson said. “Sara Cox was a breakfast show host and now she does a popular weekend show. He’s a legend of radio and his 8 million listeners prove that!”
Nicholson added that Grimshaw is an entertaining presenter and he would do well. “I’m sure he’ll be given a great production team to continue the great work he already does on the station,” Nicholson said. “He’s bound to take many knocks and face many critics as he is filling such huge shoes, but I wish him all the best for September!” Nicholson added that she would continue to listen to Radio 1 and enjoy it as much as she does currently.
A Radio 1 spokesperson added that Grimshaw would start on air duties at Breakfast at the end of September.