PJ quits KIIS FM Melbourne Breakfast after three years

Publisher & Content Director

After weeks of speculation, Polly ‘PJ’ Harding has revealed she is leaving KIIS FM Melbourne.

Harding’s co-host Jase Hawkins announced a family meeting on air at 7am today, where Harding told listeners she plans to return home to New Zealand to be with her fiancé.

KIIS FM owner Australian Radio Network has since released a statement, saying a replacement will be announced “soon”, but sources tell Radio Today two familiar voices are “in the mix”.

The first is returning Drive host turned 3PM Pick Up regular, Kate Langbroek, along with Lauren Phillips who appeared on KIIS Summer Breakfast with Mornings host Ryan Jon.

Harding and Hawkins signed a new two-year deal with ARN in February 2020 following number of other high-profile renewals, including KIIS FM Sydney’s Kyle Sandilands and Jackie ‘O’ Henderson.

Harding and Hawkins debuted on KIIS FM in 2018, but have failed to gain momentum. In the latest radio ratings, the show was up 0.8 points to 6.2%, on par with smoothfm.

“I have absolutely loved my three years in Melbourne at KIIS 101.1,” Harding said, who will wrap up with the network in June this year.

“Getting to work alongside my best mate Jase and interacting daily with our listeners really has been a dream job which I will be eternally grateful for. I will miss everyone here at ARN and can’t thank them enough for all their love and support.

“For every single person, last year was incredibly tough and in September I was fortunate enough to get back home to New Zealand to spend time with my family and partner BJ. During this time, I got engaged which was hands down the light at the end of a really dark year, and reinforced how important home really is.

“It’s not been an easy decision to make but I know for me it’s the right one and will kickstart a brand new chapter. I will miss Jase and the whole team so much, but rest assured we will definitely stay in contact as Jase is adamant to be my head bridesmaid.”

In last week’s Radio Today Tonight podcast, this writer and editor Vivienne Kelly looked behind the scenes at Jase & PJ in the Morning following a number of notable staffing changes.

On Harding leaving, ARN’s chief content officer Duncan Campbell said the station is sad to see PJ go, but won’t “stand in the way of love”.

“ARN is genuinely delighted for PJ and wish her and BJ the very best for their future together. PJ is fantastic radio talent and she has brought so much fun, laughter and energy to mornings in Melbourne since Jase & PJ in the Morning launched in 2018.

“We are looking forward to making an exciting announcement about the future of Melbourne’s KIIS 101.1 Breakfast in the coming weeks.”

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Oli Shelbourne
24 Mar 2021 - 9:04 am

This is actually super sad! These two had a good little show with some great chemistry and looked like they were on an upward trend and finally gaining the listeners and traction they deserved. Will be interesting to see who replaces PJ as that kind of chemistry is hard to match.

Rye
24 Mar 2021 - 9:07 am

PJ you will be missed and will be very hard to replace. It’s definitely not easy recreating the successes you built in NZ and establishing yourself to a brand new market in Melbourne. It’s been a pleasure listening to Jase and PJ over the six years from Perth. R.I.P Jase and PJ show.

Jake
24 Mar 2021 - 10:29 am

Super sad about this. Jase & PJ and Kyle and Jackie are one of the few very, very good shows out there. They were number 1 in NZ. So I do wonder if Jase would consider a return to NZ once the year is up to reunite the show over the ditch???

Grace
24 Mar 2021 - 1:35 pm

Jake – not correct. They were never #1 in NZ – Highest the show got #3 for one survey otherwise mostly it remained 5th or 6th. Even audience cume – it reached #4.

    24 Mar 2021 - 3:16 pm

    Hi Grace,

    I can’t see where we claim the show was #1 in New Zealand?

    Vivienne – Radio Today

Jase
24 Mar 2021 - 3:26 pm

Calm down Vivienne… grace was replying to jake in the comments section.
Laughing/slightly embarrassed emoji!

    24 Mar 2021 - 3:55 pm

    Normally when I’m wrong, I am anything but calm, but since you said “Calm down”, well, that’s 100% solved it.

    Phew!

    …Mildly embarrassed, but also super calm and relaxed emoji, which also communicates humility in being so publicly wrong…

Podpipeline
24 Mar 2021 - 7:23 pm

Can’t wait to see which podcast Duncan picks his next talent from

Stephen Hanson
25 Mar 2021 - 12:30 am

so , who does everyone think will replace PJ ? , Kate Langbroek ? Lauren Phillips ?
Or none of the above!

Pete Taylor
27 Mar 2021 - 2:17 am

Leaving in June, huh? Conveniently ties in with a new brekky show for start of the new financial year in July, doesn’t it? Given Kyle’s arrangement with ARN, I wouldn’t be surprised if K&J go national (or at least SYD/MEL/ADL) from July 2021. Speaking of which, we also have to speak about the sudden “absence” of the ADL brekky team. My tip is that Jase will be offered “another position within the network.”

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