Radio review – DJ Fresh: A dawg’s breakfast or a feast?

2014-05-19 08:00

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Fresh at Five

5FM (98.0 MHz)

5am to 8am weekdays

DJ Fresh has found himself in a whole new time slot after eight years of afternoon drive-time radio by replacing Gareth Cliff in the breakfast slot.

This year, the bulky jock celebrates 22 years on radio, and it seems like donkey’s years since he hosted YFM’s Unrestricted Breakfast Show.

He did it with such aplomb, he was poached by the then lily-white 5FM.

In the first week of his new Fresh at Five morning show, the popular DJ launched his Taking Radio to the People campaign.

Coinciding with the 2014 general elections, he decided to embark on a recruitment drive as Radioman, criss-crossing Mzansi for “votes”.

Cheesy, cheap or just plain daring?

He asked if people would listen to his new show. If they said “no”, he promptly offered them bribes. If they said “yes”, he rewarded them. Who needs food parcels to win votes when you can use good old-fashioned cash?

The campaign trail made its final stop in Cape Town, where Fresh interacted with students, workers and people of all hues, from all walks of life.

Once the “electioneering” was over, the Big Dawg settled into the studio with his team: newsreader Carmen Reddy, sports anchor Duran Collett, Sol Phenduka on traffic and Catherine Grenfell as executive producer.

It must be said that the new voices took some getting used to.

Phenduka was a delight in his previous gig as producer and co-host of Flava in the Morning on YFM.

He now finds himself in foreign territory as a traffic reporter. After his first week, we thought he was about to die a quick radio death, but this week he was back – loud, cheerful and bold as brass.

So is DJ Fresh?–?back with a bang and livelier than his drive-time persona. Fresh at Five marks his return to high-energy, laughter-packed breakfast radio.

The new breakfast show offers a good mix of “black” and “white” music, song requests, the Freshman Mix, born-free classics and hot debates to offer an ideal morning radio experience.

The only downside: too many commercial breaks.

Fresh is a strong broadcaster who can make every South African chuckle.

His ability to bring a diverse nation together should not be underestimated.

It’s radio as usual for the experienced DJ and it’s doubtful he lost too much sleep over his new gig?– cos?he’s a natural.

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