Ali Clarke unexpectedly quits ABC Radio Adelaide

Ali Clarke

ABC Radio’s Ali Clarke has quit her top-rating breakfast show out of the blue, breaking the “heart wrenching” news to colleagues on Friday morning.

Clarke recently spoke with Adelaide Now’s Sunday Mail (subscription required) about her departure.

“It was heart wrenching to tell my producers Luke Franklin and Eliza Kirsch and very upsetting because the job has been such an important part of my life and I have loved every challenge and minute of it,” said Clarke.

“The team work extremely hard and we’ve been rewarded with success in the ratings.”

Ali explained the pressures of juggling family commitments pushed her into making the call to leave the show.

“I have a daughter starting high school next year and the kids are getting older which brings different challenges,” Ali said.

“Plus (husband) Matt (Clarke) is the head coach of an AFLW side so it’s a lot to juggle and we need to find the best fit for everybody, so if it’s right for them, it’s right for me.”

There has been speculation about whether Ali will return to the FM dial, but Clarke did not confirm or deny the rumours.

“My immediate focus is having some time off and time away and I will look forward to whatever comes next,” Ali said.

Ali did however comment on the differences between AM to FM formats. She also says she regrets about not having the chance to say goodbye to listeners on-air when the show went into recess last week.

“I always say that going to AM from FM is like telling a netballer to play basketball because the ball is round but it’s a totally different set of skills,” Ali said.

“I had always worked with an on-air team and this was the first time I was doing it by myself which was really challenging.”

“When I spoke to (co-host) David Bevan on Friday he said, ‘I get how lonely it can be behind the mic by yourself sometimes.’ But the listeners become your co-host in AM, and my one regret is that I haven’t been able to say goodbye to them on air.”

What does the future hold for Ali Clarke after the break?

UPDATE: Now we know. Ali Clarke has joined Mix 102.3.

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Ali listener
13 Dec 2021 - 11:50 am

She won’t be off air for long mark my words. Adelaide needs Ali.

13 Dec 2021 - 11:52 am

I bet she turns up at Mix!

13 Dec 2021 - 11:55 am

Hey Mixxer
Someone would have to leave first. Who’s going?

13 Dec 2021 - 1:41 pm

Back to SAFM?

13 Dec 2021 - 5:26 pm

Waits patiently for old mate to tell us she’s “off to SEN” like every other radio person that is moving on from their job.

In 3… 2… 1.

Cullen of Adelaide
14 Dec 2021 - 8:13 am

She was the best broadcaster I’ve known after 30 years of avid consumption of 891. Big loss and I wouldn’t follow her to FM. Ali was great in the role and I wish I got the chance to say goodbye. 🙁

14 Dec 2021 - 11:13 am

Best Crissy present I could have had…no more 5KA style presenting at 891!…(hopefully)

14 Dec 2021 - 7:05 pm


15 Dec 2021 - 7:52 am

Good riddance. Now I don’t have to hear about when she washed the sheets, or what her kids had for breakfast.
Or hear her dumb “next”, “coming up”, etc etc
And I sure won’t be tuning into her new show, if she decides to return to the media.
She single handedly made me turn OFF the ABC, after being a listener for 40 years. Best Christmas present I could have hoped for.
I hope Spence, or someone of his ilk takes over. Then I can listen to the ABC in the mornings again, without the cringe.

15 Dec 2021 - 2:29 pm

I am absolutely devastated to hear that Ali Clarke is leaving ABC Breakfast. My only reason for getting up early weekdays is to listen to Ali. I hope to hear Ali in some other media setting. All the best.

15 Dec 2021 - 3:52 pm

Very sorry to see Ali Clarke leave 891. However given that main reasons given are ‘family’ , if she then turns up at another station I would suspect that it’s more about $$$ . Then she will be compared to politicians who make a habit of it

18 Dec 2021 - 11:01 pm

I loved Ali. I got up at 6am to listen to her. She was bright, bubbly.funny and I loved hearing about her family. 891 Breakfast will never be the same again. I am gutted.

Jeanne Scardigno
26 Dec 2021 - 8:01 am

I am already missing Ali, normally at this time of the year I am counting the days until her return, but the prospect of waking up to Spence every morning is just too much, am looking for an alternative station – after all these years, too sad.

Carolyn Ochryn
7 Jan 2022 - 1:53 pm

Loved listening to you every morning with your bright and bubbly personality and will really miss you.
All the very best to you and your family and hope to listen to you sometime in the future.Take care and keep safe.
Kind Regards
Carolyn and Bohdan

15 Jan 2022 - 9:47 pm

I am so glad to hear that Ali will not be flogging FM style fairy floss anymore on AM. It will be difficult to hear news again rather than how bad her kids sneakers smell. What will the ABC do with the melamine cereal bowls?
Maybe they should donate them to a homeless charity.

Good riddance, and now lets get rid of the intellectually challenged Jules!!!

Eliza Jane Tucker
18 Jan 2022 - 4:48 pm

Ali is fabulous. I loved waking up with Ali but I also love Stacey and Nickoli. Thank you ALI for being a great way to wake up in Adelaide Hills.

21 Jan 2022 - 9:17 am

Crikey, I didn’t even know she’d left. Thought she was on holidays. I’d prefer it if Jules Schiller left, but he did force me to tune in to the erudite Philip Adams on RN.

A Listener
2 Feb 2022 - 10:04 am

So glad Ali has gone. Sport and children with Ali Clarke. It was like listening to Grandstand. (Which I also don’t listen to.) She would use ‘aaaah’ as a gap-filler, because radio hates silence, and then progressed to a ‘false-laugh’ as a gap-filler when she caught a quick breath, and then finished-the-rest-of-what-she-wanted-to-say-so-quickly-you-could-almost-not-understand.

“My 2 were power-walking around the living room last night ha-ha-aaaaah-ring-in-and-tell-me-what-your-kids-have-suddenly-refused-to-eat.”

And almost without fail, she would segue-way an otherwise almost interesting off-topic segment, directly into sport. She interviewed Matt Preston (chef) over a new show or new direction. Before the interview finished, she had to quickly ask;

“If you were at a football match, what’s your preference, pie or pasty?”
Or something like that. Couldn’t believe it, Masterchef ——> Sport. Completely irrelevent for the guest and listeners.

I stopped listening to ABC in the mornings, and moved to 101.5FM because of this person.


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