Laurel Edwards, host of the Laurel, Gary & Mark breakfast show on ARN’s 4KQ Brisbane, celebrated her 30th anniversary on air yesterday, making her the longest serving female radio announcer on the same program in Australian radio.
To mark the milestone, a special segment was broadcast which included highlights of Laurel’s time with 4KQ, along with in-studio interviews with Laurel’s first co-host, Kim Mothershaw, and husband, country music star Troy Cassar-Daley.
The segment also featured a series of surprise messages from a huge line up of fellow radio alumni, politicians, musicians, and sports stars, along with family and friends. Those paying tribute to Laurel’s achievement include the Lord Mayor of Brisbane; Jimmy Barnes; Glenn Shorrock; Brian Cadd; Daryl Somers; Wally Lewis; Kyle Sandilands; Ray Hadley; and Brendan ‘Jonesy’ Jones and Amanda Keller.
Laurel said: “I’m extremely proud to be celebrating this anniversary with co-hosts Mark and Gary, my 4KQ colleagues and of course the listeners. When I started at 4KQ I thought I might last a couple of years at best, especially considering when I started there were only a couple of women on-air across all radio stations, so to be celebrating 30 years with the one station is a blessing and a privilege.
“It’s hard to believe our much-loved brekkie show will be finishing up at the end of next month – the end of an incredible era in Australian radio – but I am so proud of what I have achieved and am looking forward to new challenges ahead.”
ARN’s National Content Director Duncan Campbell congratulated Laurel on the celebration, saying: “4KQ listeners have spent the past 30 years with Laurel who has been an integral part of the 4KQ team, and I would like to thank her for the huge role she has played in the station’s success. We’ll be sure to give Laurel, Gary and Mark the send-off they deserve, but right now it’s time to celebrate Laurel’s extraordinary achievement.”
Laurel’s love of radio started at the age of seven when she was given a transistor radio for Christmas and would listen to top 40 stations 4IP and 4BK constantly. After leaving school Laurel hosted shifts on Radio Lollipop at the Mater Hospital, and later went on to join 4KQ on May 18, 1992. The Kim and Laurel Breakfast Show skyrocketed to number one in just eight surveys, and since then Laurel has enjoyed numerous number ones with her past and present co-hosts.
In her 30 years with 4KQ, Laurel has woken up to the 3.30am alarm for over 6700 shows, met and married Troy, and had two children – Clay, 23 who is a radio announcer at 4Triple A and singer songwriter Jem, 21. Laurel’s on air highlights include meeting her teen idols Daryl Brathwaite, James Reyne, Bryan Cadd, Jimmy Barnes, Glenn Shorrock, John Farnham, Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe; broadcasting from Abbey Road Studios for the anniversary of Sgt. Pepper; and spending the entire morning hosting alongside the Bee Gees’ Barry Gibb.
In an interview with Radio Today, Laurel said working with Gary and Mark is good for her. “We have a great time together. When things are getting me down, it’s like therapy for me.”
4KQ has been sold to SEN and will soon change its format to sport.
Laurel in her first weeks at 4KQ, 30 years ago.