PJ Harding's voyage from NZ drivetime to Oz breakfast ... | radioinfo

PJ Harding's voyage from NZ drivetime to Oz breakfast ...

Tuesday 10 October, 2017
Polly PJ Harding and Jase Hawkins

... with a quickie wedding in Vegas along the way 

By last Sunday afternoon, in what was tipped to be a top-to-tail refresh at KIIS, and with rumours all but confirmed that Matt Tilley and Meshel Laurie would not be re-signing, Polly PJ Harding and ZM stablemate Jase Hawkins were hot favourites to land the high-profile timeslot in 2018. Way back in July, there was already plenty of buzz around the corridors of radio networks in Australia amid the announcement the popular New Zealand drive time radio hosts were leaving ZM for a "radio opportunity overseas".

Questions were being asked as to whether they could be Hamish & Andy's successors when they were set to depart the drive shift on SCA's Hit Network at the end of the year. However the NZ pair are definitely not heading to SCA. As anticipated by radioinfo, the duo have joined ARN, bringing with them their highly successful 'Always Awkward' brand of content and #1 show to KIIS 101.1 Breakfast in 2018. The show will play a key role for KIIS 101.1 next year. Stepping in to replace Matt and Meshel, the signing is a coup for ARN, given the pair were reportedly courted by other networks. 

One half of the popular drive show, PJ Harding, went to the New Zealand Broadcasting School in Christchurch and earned a Bachelor of Broadcasting Communications degree in Radio Broadcasting. Following the two-year course, PJ moved to Auckland to complete a 6 month internship. Before making the move to Australia, PJ was with ZM for 6 years, starting out on the night show in 2011 and reading the news on the drive show, before moving onto the day shift and the successful afternoon show with Jase.

Harding also has a marriage tale to rival the conventional. An on-air gag set up by PJ's co-host Jase Hawkins in 2015 was set up after a psychic told PJ she was going to meet a man from Queensland. Jase immediately thought of his Sunshine Coast friend, Michael Batty, and organised a set-up date in the studio where the pair fed each other chicken, blindfolded. Both being allergic to the hot sauce, they removed their blindfolds to find one another covered in hives. 

The pair hit it off and took turns visiting one another on either side of the Tasman, but before long, Jase devised another plan to get the two together - a wedding in Las Vegas. As PJ told NZ website New to Love, 'It was one of the most uncomfortable things I’ve ever done. We went to Las Vegas for four days, had hen and stag dos, got married, ripped up the papers and went home. They got my name wrong on the forms – Michael was technically married to Paddy.” The briefly newlyweds stuck it out for a while as a couple, but alas, Harding's social media account shows no recent trace of her on-air romance.

Harding said of the move to Australia: 'So stoked we can announce our next chapter with you all. We are moving to Melbourne next year! In the scariest, most exciting, pinch myself moment we are so so excited to announce we are moving to KIIS FM breakfast. After the most incredible nearly 7 years at ZM it is time to explore the big bad world and I wouldn't wanna do it with anyone else. Bring it on!!'



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