Gareth Cliff bids farewell to 5FM, takes his team along

2014-04-01 00:00

IT’S not an April Fool’s joke, shock jock Gareth Cliff has left 5FM after a decade with the station.

Cliff, who is also a judge on South African Idols, said his farewells yesterday and according to a statement from the station will be “pursuing further opportunities in his personal capacity”.

In a statement on his Facebook page, he said: “It’s time for a change. My team and my audience are like my dysfunctional radio family and we want to offer something new and exciting.

“After two suspensions and several close-shaves, dozens of BCCSA complaints and almost as many management changes at the SABC, it’s time to get unhinged!”

Cliff’s breakfast team, with the exception of sports reporter Sias du Plessis, have also left the building.

Leigh-Ann Mol, news anchor alongside the DJ since he hosted the Afternoon Drive in 2003 and who moved with him to the Breakfast Show in 2006, said: “I could always stay at 5FM, drink more and continue farming cats or I could do something really brave. I’ve chosen the latter. I must be drunk!”

Assistant producer Damon Kalvari said the timing is now perfect to embark on a new journey, adding: “As 5FM also prepare for their own voyage into the future, we part ways, like an amicable divorce. In this case, of course, Gareth gets custody of the children. I only hope the catering will be good wherever we’re going.”

Executive producer Thabo Modisane, who said it had been a nightmare keeping Cliff within the rules, expressed the hope that he would be spared that in the future.

Commenting on Cliff’s exit, programming manager Tim Zunckel thanked him for his “incredible work ethic, his dedication to his listeners and support of the 5FM brand”.

He added: “It has been a pleasure working with Gareth. He has been a huge asset to the 5FM team and we will miss him as an on-air personality and part of the brand. We’re excited about the new line-up and will be announcing as to what listeners can expect in the near future.”

Grant Nash will be hosting the 5FM Breakfast Show throughout April.

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