Mayday, Mayday, Mayday… Melbourne’s next breakfast radio announcer, Gold 104.3’s Christian O’Connell, has started his final week in his old job at Absolute Radio in London.
The Festival of O’Connell is coming to a halt this Friday when he signs off from Absolute Radio after 12 years with the Bauer Media radio brand. (As he hosts his last week of breakfast radio in the UK, Nova’s Fitzy and Wippa plus Kate, Tim and Marty are using Bauer Media studios to broadcast their royal wedding week back to Australia.)
In what is possibly one of the longest goodbyes ever in British media (because O’Connell gave his employers such a long period of notice), Absolute has branded his final days The Ultimate Week.
O’Connell has hosted farewell live shows and has also treated his colleagues to farewell events. The humour at the live shows was at times pretty raw, with O’Connell saying it would not be able to be broadcast.
There was a sing-along at the show with lyrics to the tune of Men At Work’s “Down Under”:
Fuck off to a land down under
Leaving Richie [co-host] will be a massive blunder
You’re like Batman, he’s your Boy Wonder
Well, off you run, you better take cover
He has also kept his listeners up-to-date about some of the challenges he has faced moving his family down under. “They love red tape in Australia,” he said one morning, as he started to workshop material that might be useful when he arrives at Gold. His transplant from London to Melbourne will give him much fodder. He joked this morning with one caller about something that was happening in the UK in October. “You never know, if it all goes horribly wrong I might be back here by then… doing overnights!”
O’Connell’s final day on air at Absolute is Friday May 18, giving him just two weeks off air before he arrives in Richmond to host his first Gold 104.3 show on June 4.
He has been busy searching for a place to stay in Melbourne and has fielded a number of suggestions from listeners over the past few weeks.
Part of the final week at Absolute will be spent deciding which song to go out on – something that will be a challenge as O’Connell broadcasts across seven different stations each catering to a different music style. He got the list down to five last week, but added another two over the weekend, his final weekend being spent in the UK.
*Mayday, Mayday, Mayday is a reference to a game of Battleships that O’Connell played on air recently at Absolute.