Ben & Liam just toppled Matt & Alex’s final triple j ratings record

Staff Writer

Fresh out of community radio in Adelaide, Ben Harvey and Liam Stapleton had very big shoes to fill when they joined national broadcaster triple j in 2017.

The previous breakfast show, much loved and respected duo Matt Okine and Alex Dyson, had captured the hearts an minds of triple J listeners.

Okine and Dyson were one of, if not the most, successful triple j breakfast show in its history.

Ben & Liam debuted in January 2017 and received what could only be described as a lukewarm reaction from core listeners.

They were criticised via social media and on the in-studio text line, even receiving a death threat.

Stapleton addressed the negative reaction on 2017’s Are You Ok Day.

His video and appearance on Ten’s The Project seemed to finally quash the savage listener reaction.

Triple j listeners are known to be not too keen on change, and most new Breakfast shows have received the “they’re not as good as the last show ” diatribe.

Things finally settled down, Harvey and Stapleton found their groove and started to show strong ratings gains around the country in markets like Perth, Brisbane, Sydney, Newcastle and the Gold Coast.

Listeners not only warmed to them but voted with their feet. Their hard work was to be rewarded.

Former triple j duo Matt Okine and Alex Dyson

Three years on and the savvy network programmers at Nova seized the opportunity to recruit the duo for a prime breakfast hosting role at Nova Adelaide, their hometown.

So how did Ben & Liam end up faring against previous triple j icons Matt & Alex?

The boys probably surprised and exceeded everyone’s expectations, including their own.

Looking at Survey 8 2016, Matt and Alex’s finishing survey, and comparing it to Survey 8 2019, Ben & Liam’s final survey period, the latter won hands down.

Ben & Liam*

Syd 5.6 %, 
Bris 9.5 %, 
Perth 9%, 
Melb 4.7% and 
Adel 6.3 %.

Matt & Alex

Syd 5.3%, 
Bris 8%, 
Perth 8.7%, 
Melb 4 % and 
Adel 5.9 %.

Harvey and Stapleton also managed to beat heavyweight Sydney commercial breakfast shows like Lawrence Mooney on Triple M, Jamie Angel at 2DayFM and they even got to within about one percentage point of new network stablemates, Fitzy & Wippa.

The boys are about to tackle the competitive Adelaide breakfast market, and only time will tell if they can maintain their recent success. We wish them well

UPDATE: * Although fill-in presenter Lucy Smith was on-air for some of Ben & Liam’s final survey period, programmers will know that listeners don’t change listening patterns, and certainly not recall and diary entries, in a matter of few weeks.

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25 Dec 2019 - 10:32 am

Nice work boys. Smart move by Nova. These blokes were made for commercial radio, too good for public radio.

25 Dec 2019 - 11:31 am

Good effort lads. Things got off to a rocky start but you won us over. Best of luck at Nova.

27 Dec 2019 - 8:45 am

Whatever happened to Matt & Alex ? Triple J have had some good shows.
Used to love Merrick & Rosso.
Wil & Lehmo should do a new show.
Liked Tom & Alex.
Not sure about the new shows replacing Ben & Liam though.


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