It’s not an April Fools' joke! Gareth and his team are really leaving 5FM

2014-03-31 09:15
Cape Town - In a surprise move, Gareth Cliff announced on air and social media on Monday morning that it was his last show on 5FM after a decade at the SABC.

"It's time for a change" says Cliff, "my team and my audience are like my dysfunctional radio family and we want to offer something new and exciting. After two suspensions and several close-shaves, dozens of BCCSA complaints and almost as many management changes at the SABC, it’s time to get unhinged!" Gareth said in a statement released by his manager on Monday morning.

Leigh-Ann is also leaving

Leigh-Ann Mol, news anchor alongside Gareth since he hosted the Afternoon Drive in 2004 and moved with him to the Breakfast Show in 2006, has also left 5FM.   

Leigh-Ann confirmed that this was not an April Fools' stunt and that she, in fact, would be joining Gareth: "I could always stay at 5FM, drink more and continue farming cats or I could do something really brave.  I’ve chosen the latter. I must be drunk!"

Thabo is also packing up

Executive Producer Thabo Modisane and Thabo’s Assistant Damon Kalvari crossed the floor from 702 in 2004 to join Gareth on the Afternoon Drive and also moved with him to 5FM Mornings in 2006.   

Both Thabo and Damon will be crossing the floor once again to join Gareth.  

"The timing is now perfect to embark on a new journey with Gareth" says Damon Kalvari. "As 5FM also prepare for their own voyage into the future, we part ways, like an amicable divorce. In this case, of course, Gareth gets custody of the children.  I only hope the catering will be good wherever we’re going."  Thabo added: "It’s been nightmare keeping Gareth within the rules. Hopefully I won’t have to do that where we’re going."

Mabale is going with Gareth

Mabale Moloi, the "baby" of the team, joined Gareth with the launch of his breakfast show when he introduced traffic reports for the first time on 5FM.  Mabale, then an honours student at KZN University, called into the show one afternoon and before she knew it, she became what Gareth called "the listener in the studio".  Mabale commented: "My family thought I was crazy to defy convention and ditch microbiology for this crazy white boy.  It was the best move I’ve ever made and I’m again excited about following Gareth into the future." 

Channel24 also contacted 5FM to confirm that this is not an April Fool joke. "I can confirm Gareth is leaving and no it's not an April Fools' joke," Kim Sears, PR specialist for 5FM, confirmed.

The question remains: Where is Gareth Cliff going? 

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