Blog 2011

Gareth Cliff is a tall, blue-eyed man from Pretoria, the capital city South Africa. His ancestors oppressed many people over their 300-400 year tenure in Africa. Gareth intends to remedy this with a terrific radio show. 5FM Mornings, Gareth’s radio show is on from 6h00-9h00 in the mornings, every weekday on 5FM (not Umhlobo-Wenene, as is often thought). While the hardworking people of Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Polokwane, Bloemfontein and all the other cities (even Port Elizabeth) head off to work early every morning, we keep them company. We spread cheer, information and ribald humour, often upsetting a few old ladies and occasionally upsetting the government. The show has been on the air for a few years and has managed to attract listeners from all walks of life – clever, lovely people and even the poor. South Africa is the most amazing place to host a radio show – every day there are a thousand things going on in the news, in people’s lives and in the empty spaces between politicians’ ears. Gareth started his radio career at TUKS FM in Pretoria in 1998, which is when Julius Malema attempted matric for the fourth time. He was fired for doing outrageous things on the air and was snapped up by 702 Talk Radio as a producer. He hated this job and almost became a lawyer. Luckily for the Legal Profession, Gareth was eventually given a show of his own – which distracted him sufficiently to make him forget about lying and stealing as a lawyer (Gareth suffers from ADHD). Later on at 702, Gareth got his big break and took over the then most well-known morning show in South Africa from the legendary John Berks in 2001. “What a boykie!”, John Berks said (Berks might have meant the comment for the cleaner who helped him pack away his things that day). Having grown tired of discussing depressing hard news, Gareth moved to 5FM, the national youth station, allowing him to talk to more people his age and corrupt a far larger audience. Gareth does not subscribe to celebrity culture – we all know celebrities have no culture… He believes the only real celebrities in South Africa are Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu. Despite his resistance to it, Gareth has become a household name in South Africa (although in some households his name is accompanied by swear-words). He has won a few awards including the People’s Choice Crystal Award for Favourite Radio Personality ; Kids Favourite TV Presenter and Favourite Radio Presenter; he’s often in Heat magazine Hot 100 for reasons still unknown and is regularly listed in the Top 3 in the YOU magazine Favourite Male/Radio Celebrity category. In 2010 he won “Breakfast Show” in the inaugural radio awards. That’s thanks to you! Beyond the public eye, and in spite of his opinionated style, Gareth has demonstrated his commitment to his audience and his passion for South Africa by giving generously of his time to causes which are close to his heart. These include fighting the abuse of women and children; supporting literacy; helping those suffering from brain injuries and promoting nation-building. He regularly makes time for charity and cultural events and can be found trying to get school kids to stop being nasty to each other, and listen to their teachers. He is often hauled before the Broadcasting Complaints Commission for talking about things openly and honestly and regards his record with the BCCSA as a badge of merit. Gareth is outspoken about education, opposing drug-use, opposing irresponsible “sleeping around”, politics and religion. Lately he has taken to persuading young people to speak their minds and have opinions – and to vote – and become politically aware. Gareth is also a Director and partner of One on One Productions, where they manage talent, offer presentation training and develop radio ideas. He’s also on the wildly popular “Idols” TV show – as a less-wildly-popular judge – Season 7 is now underway. He has has also hosted the 13-part television talk show “The Gareth Cliff Show” on M-Net Prime Time and has the largest Twitter following in South Africa. He also has just about 300 000 followers on Facebook, so you can’t ignore him and he won’t ignore you. Join Gareth on 5FM from 6 -9 every weekday morning, or right here, for some fun, info, opinion, and a place where you can have your say and join the conversation.


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