Comedian and performer Sammy J will take the helm of ABC Radio Melbourne‘s Breakfast show in 2020, replacing hosting duo Jacinta Parsons and Sami Shah.
Sammy is well-known to ABC audiences, presenting his weekly satirical sketches on ABC TV each Thursday evening. He has also been a regular contributor to ABC Radio Melbourne, guest-presenting the Breakfast show in September and taking part in many of the station’s big events including the 2018 state election coverage and Jon Faine’s farewell.
ABC’s Melbourne manager Dina Rosendorff has welcomed Sammy J, saying he has already established himself as a popular and engaging personality through his various roles on the station across the year. “Sammy is an acute observer of the world around us and we look forward to his take on Melbourne life in 2020.”
Sammy J says: “Like a stray kitten in need of some food the ABC has welcomed me into their radio household and I couldn’t be more excited. I’m a proud Melbourne nerd and can’t wait to learn, engage, and disgrace myself with an on-air gaffe within a fortnight.”
Sammy J will be the second line-up change for the Breakfast slot since 2017 when longtime host Red Symons left the station. Sammy is one of Australia’s most popular comedians. His work has been recognised with multiple awards and he has played in Edinburgh, Montreal and London. He is best known for his man/puppet comedy show Sammy J & Randy which he has toured around Australia and internationally and which was also the basis of his ABC TV sitcom.
Parsons and Shah will move into another national presenter role at the station, which is expected to be announced next week. Rosendorff says both are “…extremely talented broadcasters and communicators”.
“They have brought a fresh new sound to Breakfast along with a whole lot of new listeners. There is absolutely no way we would want to lose their skills.”
The current Breakfast team ended the year on a high with 425,000 listeners across the week and as Melbourne’s second most-listened to Breakfast show. Rosendorff says the show brought in many new listeners but didn’t connect as strongly with its existing audience.
“This balance between existing and new audiences will be a focus for us in the new year. That doesn’t take away the from the exceptional job Sami and Jacinta have done building their show since early 2018 and we will give both plenty of opportunity to use their skills in the future. They are very much part of the ABC Radio Melbourne family.”