Nick Grimshaw, it turns out, is something of a marmite-like radio presenter, with the Radio One breakfast slot suffering a dramatic fall in listeners since the DJ took over from Chris Moyles in September last year. The station's flagship how now has it's lowest audience pull for a decade.

According to the latest official Rajar audience figures published today (May 16), the show has averaged 5.8 million listeners each week in the past three months, a far cry from the numbers he drew in at the beginning of his term as breakfast DJ, which saw a 900,000 increase in listenership. Meanwhile, on Radio 2, Chris Evans' rival breakfast show is at it's highest audience level to date, drawing in 9.8 million each week on average, an increase of nearly 600,000 since the beginning of the year.

Nick Grimshaw
Nick Grimshaw has the station's backing

The current audience figures are only just higher than the ones Sara Cox managed in 2003, in her last three months in the job. The figures stood at a 5.5 million average before she was replaced by Moyles, who oversaw a dramatic rise in audience numbers until the tail-end of his tenure with the station, when numbers began to plummet. Grimshaw was brought in to attract a young audience to the show, with Radio 1 controller Ben Cooper aiming to appeal more to 15 to 29-year-olds, after the average age of its audience crept up to 32. The demographic for the show may have changed now, but we doubt that Cooper was also aiming for a fall in audience numbers.

A Radio 1 spokesman said that in spite of the drop in audience numbers, the station are fully backing Grimshaw, with the plan to draw in a younger audience part of a "two year plan." The spokesperson added; "When you put in a new schedule and target new listeners it takes time to build a new audience, both for Grimmy and the entire station... Even though the audience is slightly smalle,r our focus is on the younger demographic."

Chris Evans
Chris Evans is the country's favourite radio presenter