Classic FM presenter Julia Lester has been behind the wheel of the drive shift for 12 years, but will hand over the keys to someone else in September, when she retires from the ABC.
Her distinctive voice and engaging presentation has accompanied countless Australians on their musical journey home and into the evening hours.
Announcing the news, ABC Classic FM Manager Richard Buckham said:
“Listeners have never stopped telling us that they’ve loved Julia’s style, energy and wit for more than a decade of Classic Drive shows. Back in 2002, Julia joined Classic FM for what was going to be a short stay – so we’ve been very fortunate that her time with Classic Drive turned out to be a long and rich final chapter in Julia’s remarkable 30-year radio career. We wish Julia all the best for the future.”
With 20 years of experience as a radio and TV broadcaster, and as a trained pianist, violinist and singer, Julia Lester has brought an extensive media background coupled with a love of all things musical to Classic Drive, one of the most popular of ABC Classic FM’s programs.
Music has always been central to Julia’s life, both as performer and teacher. She spent several years in commercial TV and radio before joining ABC South Australia in 1985 as a classical music presenter. She went on to present various Radio National programs with a focus on music, arts and social history, then enjoyed ten years on Adelaide’s ABC Local Radio as host of a daily talk and current affairs show.
Presenting Drive for ABC Classic FM has been “a delicious opportunity” for Julia to indulge her twin passions of radio and music.
Julia Lester said: “It was the proudest moment of my working life to be joining an organization I admired so much….My recent years with ABC Classic FM have been a joy, sharing my life-long passion for music.
“I’m fortunate enough to have been able to say ‘I love my job…’ Thanks ABC, and thanks to you, listeners/viewers from around the country and now around the world.”
Julia’s last program will be Thursday 24 September 2015. A new driver has not yet been named.