Staff Writer
Staff Writer

Absolute Truth: Christian O’Connell to front Gold104.3 Breakfast in 2018

After months of speculation and rumours, Australian Radio Network has confirmed who will be the face (and voice) of Gold FM Melbourne Breakfast in 2018.

As scooped by Radio Today, the replacement for Jo and Lehmo is non-other than UK broadcaster Christian O’Connell, who recently departed Absolute Radio after 12 years to set out on a “new adventure”.

O’Connell told Fairfax the decision to depart ended up being more difficult than he had envisaged.

“When you’re on-air five days a week doing personality radio, you’re sharing a lot of your life,” said O’Connell.

“You really feel like you know them. We live in an information overload, but people still want to hear someone who’s a filter – someone who steadies their world a little bit.

“I was offered a long-term deal to stay where I am, but this excites me more. It’s a real challenge and Melbourne is a fantastic city. There’s a lot going on.”

The previous Breakfast pair were let go in November last year, despite becoming the #1 FM breakfast show in Melbourne, overtaking Fox FM in Survey 7.

Last year Duncan Campbell told Radio Today that ARN had all but locked in two talent; one from “inside the network” and a second from “another network”.

Upon today’s announcement, Campbell added that O’Connell’s new show will be “like nothing Melbourne has heard before.”

“His sense of fun, relatable humour and quick wit will be perfect for Gold,” he said.

The station began Survey 1 of 2018 with former Jo and Lehmo anchor Troy Ellis in the Breakfast slot.

To get up to speed on what O’Connell has achieved in the UK, you can read our introductory piece here.

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Recent comments (22)
Anonomous
2 Feb 2018 - 8:13 am

Greg Burns hasn’t worked or rated here as if this clowns going to do well on Gold!

Sounds different.
2 Feb 2018 - 8:47 am

“O’Connell’s new show will be “like nothing Melbourne has heard before.”

…except for what Nova is doing from 9am.

#TakingBackTheColony

Anon
2 Feb 2018 - 8:49 am

Duncan Campbell said “ this change is a bold, progressive move for ARN and the entire local industry “ The entire local industry ? they just sacked a couple of home grown local talent and imported a guy from the UK. How can that be good for local industry ?

Sally
2 Feb 2018 - 9:03 am

How is this good for the local industry exactly !

Claire
2 Feb 2018 - 9:32 am

Is this a Betoota article?

Gold Digger
2 Feb 2018 - 9:42 am

“Who?” – Population of Melbourne, 2018

Adam
2 Feb 2018 - 9:46 am

Claire’a Betoota’s comment is comment of the year. maybe this was meant for April 1st they snuck in early.

Fan
2 Feb 2018 - 9:49 am

Christian is excellent. Look up his interviews on YouTube. He has a funny, casual, inviting style. It’s a coup to have him down under imo.

Ian
2 Feb 2018 - 10:45 am

Another dud like that Kiwi guy on Ten Breakfast

Anne
2 Feb 2018 - 10:58 am

I noticed all the comments on the Gold 104.3 facebook page are people asking “who?” interesting move and only time will tell but the “who is he?” factor will be big

TheT
2 Feb 2018 - 11:38 am

I’m sure the CEO’s of ARN and APN are fans of this guy- since they are both expats….the population of Melbourne? Not so much.
Audiences (particularly the Gold audience) don’t want to wake up to an English accent.

Dave Smith
2 Feb 2018 - 12:04 pm

Let’s face it, talent is talent no matter where it comes from, we watch and love tv shows from all over the world, we listen to podcasts from all over the world, Waking up to a personality from another country might be another thing but It is a CD’s gig to find the best possible talent for their station full stop.
As a lot of other people have said to me though, Surely in this great country of ours with some of the best content and talent on the planet we could find 2 Aussies to fill the Nova network spot with England’s Greg Burns, whose quite good but definitely not better than some of our own talent, And now Christian O’Connell for Gold 1043 breakfast who is a multi-talented and award-winning personality in the U.K. So has our talent pool just become a talent puddle? with fewer and fewer opportunities for
our own new talent and Radio Training schools closing, due to a lack of students willing to take the chance of getting a gig.
Having said that I will look forward to hearing The All New New Christian O’Connell Show and finding out what a difference he will make.

Tim Lee
2 Feb 2018 - 12:19 pm

Maybe I’m naive due to wanting to work in another country at some point, but I’d like to think content is more important than accent..? Chris is a proven gun – good luck man!

nick bartlett
2 Feb 2018 - 12:44 pm

Gold 104.3 just became Bronze 104.3

I don’t get it
2 Feb 2018 - 2:41 pm

Who cares where he’s from or what accent he has..? And who cares who knows who he is…? The same people who bemoan putting people on a show for their profile when it doesn’t work appear to be now bemoaning the lack of profile before the show’s even started.

If the content’s good that’s all that should matter.

If there was an Australian who could deliver the same level of content as Christian, who wasn’t already on a major show I would say there’s no doubt they would have gotten the gig.

Everyone talks about how bad 2DAY breakfast is, then bemoans the installation of someone foreign. If 2DAY Sydney can’t get an Australian breakfast show that works, what’s to say Gold would…? aren’t you better off bringing fantastic content to your station..?

I don’t get it.

Oh, and how Australian is the hate on here. Trust Aussies to hate anything that comes from overseas. The guy’s not even in the country yet, let alone put a show together. Wait til he’s on air. When did we forget that the proof is in the pudding…?

paul
2 Feb 2018 - 10:31 pm

Talent is talent. I didn’t hear the Brits whinge when Jono Coleman went over to the UK, or when Zane Lowe went to BBC1 and then onto Beats 1. Christian is a class broadcaster who in my opinion will nail it. he’s a consummate professional and has fun on air.

Also I don’t see people not going to see movies, watch TV shows with American’s / Brits in it.

Pete
3 Feb 2018 - 3:08 pm

Melbournians love their Aussie Rules. He won’t know a thing about it. And which team will he support in a Test ? England ?

Anonomous
3 Feb 2018 - 3:16 pm

I think if this guy was put on nights or late nights he could get some traction. Ive heard his podcasts and he can do radio. Maybe if he was on drive over time he could build an audience but that would be a big ask up against the giants of Melbourne and national drive shows. But to be put into breakfast as an unkown and being from the UK well its proffessional suicide. I hope he has a long and juicy contract. I heard from a taxi driver the other day that our other English export from the UK hates it in Australia and hates being at Nova. The two countries have very distinct cultures and Im afraid this will well and truly end in tears.

Anon
3 Feb 2018 - 8:27 pm

The new Jonathon Coleman yeah. Btw Paul Jonathon is from the UK.

Bob
4 Feb 2018 - 8:07 am

Localism, the very thing that still makes breakfast radio relevant, is what is being ignored here. The same content directors that bought a ‘So Sydney’ radio show are the very people who import two shows into the most parochial market in the country. A great broadcaster, im sure and no doubt there is an ex AFL player or Melbourne comedienne waiting in the wings. But radio, get your story straight. Is it local content? Chemistry? Proven talent from overseas? Or is it a content director doing his mates a favour? Surely this is the last chance to get ARN Melbourne Breakfast right.

Anonomous
4 Feb 2018 - 4:47 pm

Biggest mistake since Vega

paul
5 Feb 2018 - 9:34 pm

Wow Anon – Jono Coleman is from the UK. Did australian DJ’s kick up a stink when he went on air