Chris Moyles shocked Radio 1 listeners by announcing that he was leaving the Breakfast Show this morning. The outspoken Yorkshireman had signed a contract to stay until January 2014 last summer but he will be departing at the end of September after the BBC Trust called for the station to cater for a younger audience last month.
At 38, Moyles is well over the age that Radio 1 is trying to connect with but bosses dubbed him “the most successful Breakfast host in the station’s history” as he made the announcement this morning. Yet recent research showed that the average age of Radio 1 listeners was 32 and that the median rose to 33 for Moyles show, so a youthful replacement seems a certainty.
The BBC announced that one of the station’s current specialist DJs, Nick Grimshaw will be replacing him.
Moyles and his sidekick Comedy Dave took over the prestigious morning slot in 2004 after Sara Cox moved on and took audiences from 9.73 million to a peak of 11.82million in 2010.
Yet audiences have since sunk to just over 7 million and Moyles lost much popularity in the summer of 2010 when he launched a 25 minute tirade at BBC bosses, complaining that he hadn’t been paid in two months.
The DJ, who was said to be on a £630,000-a-year salary at the time, ranted: “I haven’t been paid since July. Why should I bother hauling my a**e out of bed? Why should I come in to work? It’s a huge lack of respect to me. I know the name of the moron in this building responsible. I don’t do this for free, you know. Can you imagine if Terry Wogan or Chris Evans didn’t get paid for two months? It wouldn’t happen.”
Yet Moyles also won many plaudits for his charity commitments and raised £2.4 million for Comic Relief when he completed the longest ever broadcast (52 hours) in March of last year. The record has since been broken by presenters of Vixen 101 in Hull.
Here’s Chris Moyle’s farewell statement in full..
So I have an announcement to make, as I said – I have my announcement to make, and I am now going to make my announcement. Thank you very much. And for most of our audience, it’s probably the last thing they want to hear me say. But you know me, I don’t do things by halves – so cue the sad music.
I started this radio show in the morning back in January 2004 and it was my dream job, the one I wanted since a child – the coveted Radio 1 breakfast show. 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. 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. When I started, I wanted to do the show for 10 years and everyone thought I was nuts and some mornings it didn’t even feel like I was going to make it o 10 o’clock that day, but we always did.
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. And 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.
So I find myself at a time where nobody is looking my way, it’s all gone quiet. There aren’t any rumours about me being fired. It’s like people got bored with making stuff up and distracted by the rain and the Olympics. So I’m going to say it, not the papers or twitter, me. We’re going to leave the breakfast show. We’re not going to go yet, were going to be here next week and the week after that and we’ve got holidays booked in August and we’ll come back after that. I just want to give you a heads up and tell you that we’re going to wrap it up.
Radio 1 are going to find someone new to host the show and they’ll put their take on it – Radio 1 can do that when they want to do that but this show is all about me and it’s all about the team and with the hope of sounding over the top and melodramatic I wanted to say thank you to everybody listening to the show for giving the team and me the best time ever.
Me and Dave and Dom and Aled we’ve been here every day since the beginning and now Freya and Pippa and Tina have joined us and we love it, it has been the most fun, the best time ever and even during tough times this show has honestly been the best 3.5 hours of my day, every day. And I know that’s sad, but I am sad, I’m a geek, I’m a radio geek. I’m living this dream with millions of people every day listening, having a laugh, knocking around and I know it’s just a radio show but we’re all in it together. Me, the team, and every single one of us – 8 million of us, but it’s almost time to go and so were off, so I just wanted to let you know.
A couple more months of us and then it’s someone else’s turn to have a go, so thanks for listening and I hope you stay with us until the end because I promise it’s going to be brilliant and for those people who are thinking Jesus it’s just a radio show stop banging on about it, you don’t get it, and for everyone else who does get it – you know it’s all about me. I don’t do things by halves, my tongue is always buried deep in my cheek so thank you for listening, the show may now continue. In fact let’s go back to what this show is all about, let’s play some music.