Chris Moyles
Chris Moyles returns to the airwaves on "male-focused" Radio X

Radio 1 Breakfast DJ Chris Moyle's has announced that he is to leave the show after eight years.

The 38-year-old presenter will bow out of the show at the end of September.

The move follows poor listenership figures in May which revealed that BBC Radio 2 DJ had surged ahead of his Radio 1 breakfast rival with his biggest-ever lead of more than two million listeners.

It was Evans's biggest lead over Moyles, with Evans scoring an average weekly reach of 9.23 million listeners in the first three months of 2012, ahead of Moyles's 7.1 million, according to official Rajar figures.

Moyles, who is the longest-serving Radio 1 breakfast show DJ, broke the news of his departure live on air on Wednesday in typically dramatic fashion.

Complete with sad music he told listeners in a four muinute speech: "We're going to leave the breakfast show ... I'm just going to give a heads up that we are going to wrap it up.

"I wanted to tell you myself. I didn't want you to see it in the newspapers or on Twitter.

"A couple more months of us. Then it's someone else's turn. Thank you for listening."

He added: "I don't do things by halves, my tongue is always buried deep in my cheek so thank you for listening. I've had the best time of my life."

Despite signing a £1m contract last July to stay with the station until 2014, speculation has continued to mount that he was set to announce a move to BBC Radio 2 for a new presenting gig.

His departure comes as the Radio 1 faces increased pressure to appeal to a younger audience and on the tail of exits by veteran DJs Judge Jules and Gilles Peterson's.

The station is said to be in the process of a complete over haul after a report from the BBC Trust found it needed to attract more under 30s.

Moyle's replacement is expected later this morning.

Greg James has been tipped ad the front runner for the job.

BBC Radio 1 controller Ben Cooper released a statements saying: "I'd like to thank Chris. Quite simply, he has been the most successful breakfast show host in Radio 1's history.

"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."