The Radio 1 Breakfast Show

The Radio 1 Breakfast Show is a radio show that is broadcast across the UK from 6:30am to 10am (7am to 11am for a while due to the 2019-20 coronavirus pandemic, Monday to Thursday. The show is the most listened to broadcast on BBC Radio 1. It is hosted by Greg James who took over from Nick Grimshaw on 20 August 2018 as the show's 16th presenter.

Radio 1 Breakfast
Other namesRadio 1 Breakfast
GenreMusic, chat
Running time240 minutes (7:00 am–11:00 am)
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Home stationBBC Radio 1
Hosted byGreg James
Produced byChris Sawyer, Will Foster and Daisy Jarrett
Recording studioStudio 82A, Broadcasting House, London
Original release30 September 1967 – present
Audio formatStereophonic sound
Opening themeHigh Hopes by Panic! at the Disco
WebsiteRadio 1 Breakfast with Greg James
PodcastRadio 1 Breakfast the best bits with Greg James

The show ran six days a week until February 1968 (see BBC Genome Project), then five days a week until June 2018, when the Friday show was dropped and incorporated into the station's weekend schedule, hosted by Weekend Breakfast hosts Matt Edmondson and Mollie King.[1]


The first breakfast show presenter was Tony Blackburn, who spoke the first words on Radio 1 and remained in the slot for nearly five years. Other DJs who have hosted the breakfast show for more than five years are former hosts Nick Grimshaw, Mike Read, Simon Mayo. and Chris Moyles for eight years, Moyles was the longest-serving Radio 1 breakfast show presenter, having hosted Radio 1's The Chris Moyles Show for eight years from 2004 to 2012.

No Presenter From To Duration
1 Tony Blackburn 30 September 1967 1 June 1973 5 years, 244 days
2 Noel Edmonds 4 June 1973 28 April 1978 4 years, 328 days
3 Dave Lee Travis 2 May 1978 2 January 1981 2 years, 245 days
4 Mike Read 5 January 1981 11 April 1986 5 years, 96 days
5 Mike Smith 5 May 1986 17 May 1988 2 years, 12 days
6 Simon Mayo 23 May 1988 3 September 1993 5 years, 103 days
7 Mark Goodier 6 September 1993 24 December 1993 109 days
8 Steve Wright 10 January 1994 21 April 1995 1 year, 101 days
9 Chris Evans 24 April 1995 17 January 1997 1 year, 268 days
10 Mark and Lard 17 February 1997 10 October 1997 235 days
11 Kevin Greening and Zoe Ball 13 October 1997 25 September 1998 347 days
12 Zoe Ball 28 September 1998 10 March 2000 1 year, 164 days
13 Sara Cox 3 April 2000 19 December 2003 3 years, 260 days
14 Chris Moyles 5 January 2004 14 September 2012 8 years, 253 days
15 Nick Grimshaw 24 September 2012 9 August 2018 5 years, 319 days
16 Greg James 20 August 2018 present 1 year, 288 days

Nick Grimshaw (2012–2018)Edit

Nick Grimshaw replaced Moyles as host of the breakfast show on 24 September 2012.[2] Features include Call or Delete – a game carried on from his previous show on Radio 1, where celebrity guests choose to either prank call a contact on their phone or delete their number altogether.[3] Other segments include The Nixtape – which sees Grimshaw select 30 minutes of party-oriented music before a DJ comes in to mix listener requests to close the week on Friday morinings, Happy Monday, a half-hour of uplifting songs on Monday mornings, Showquizness, an irreverent daily quiz based around pop culture, Happy Hardcore FM, which sees listeners phone into the show to scream over happy hardcore beats, and the daily Waking Up Song, which features celebrities encouraging listeners to get out of bed to the sound of Pharoahe Monch. Grimshaw's incarnation of the breakfast show has received strong critical reviews through his tenure[4][5] but has polarised public opinion, which is reflected in the show's often fluctuating listening figures – in February 2015, the show had 5.9 million listeners, with a small increase in listenership of 100,000.[6] On 26 October 2017, it was reported that the show recorded 4.93 million weekly listeners between July and September – down from 5.5 million last quarter, a record low.[7] The Newsbeat news and sport bulletins are presented by Tina Daheley at 6:30, 7:00, 7:30, 8:00, 8:30 and 9:30; there is also entertainment news from Sinead Garven at approximately 7:45 each morning.

Greg James (2018–present)Edit

Greg James replaced Grimshaw as host of the breakfast show on 20 August 2018. Roisin Hastie reads the bulletins for Newsbeat every half-hour except at 09:00. Features include Yesterday’s Quiz and the Ten Minute Takeover, alongside Game of Phones and Unpopular Opinions.

In March 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Radio 1 Breakfast was moved to 7am until 11am. Adele Roberts' Early Breakfast Show was extended by thirty minutes until 7am. Scott Mills, Chris Stark and Clara Amfo rotate their shows every week between 11am and 3pm and Nick Grimshaw starts his show at the earlier time of 3pm. It's to help Radio 1 promote social distancing and to limit the number of staff allowed in the studio.


Holiday cover is usually provided by another prominent member of the Radio 1 presenting team – the job rarely goes to an outsider. Although in 1985, Noel Edmonds covered the programme for 2 weeks when then presenter Mike Read was on holiday. Additionally, transitions between regular hosts have often been bridged by stand-ins. These have been:

Current cover presentersEdit

Previous cover presentersEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ McIntosh, Steven (10 April 2018). "Major schedule changes for BBC Radio 1" – via
  2. ^ Nissim, Mayer (6 August 2012). "Nick Grimshaw's BBC Radio 1 breakfast show start date revealed". Digital Spy. Digital Spy. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
  3. ^ Corner, Lewis. "Ellie Goulding pranks Dougie Poynter on Radio 1 with 'Johnny Depp'". Digital Spy.
  4. ^ Wolfson, Sam. "Why Nick Grimshaw can afford to lose a million listeners". The Guardian.
  5. ^ Hogan, Michael (24 September 2012). "Nick Grimshaw, Radio 1 Breakfast Show, review".
  6. ^ "BBC 6 Music reaches two million listeners". RadioToday. 5 February 2015.
  7. ^ "Worst ever listener results for Grimmy". 26 October 2017 – via
  8. ^ "BBC Radio 1 – Dev, The Radio 1 Breakfast Show". BBC. BBC. Retrieved 14 November 2016.
  9. ^ "BBC Radio 1 – Huw Stephens, Huw's here for breakfast..." BBC. BBC. Retrieved 14 November 2016.

External linksEdit