Triple M Toowoomba’s Lee Faulkner marked a serious radio milestone – 4000 shows on January 25. A radio star in the Toowoomba community and a local legend, Lee Faulkner has been there for Toowoomba for 20 years, through good times and bad, waking the region for breakfast every weekday.
On the occasion of his 4000th show, he was joined by Toowoomba Mayor Paul Antonio, Federal Member for Groom Garth Hamilton, footy great Shane Webcke, and his three former co-hosts Kim (Stokes), Lizzy (King) and Ruby Slipperz. The much-loved breakfast announcer is as much a mainstay of the local community as Shannon’s hot chips at show time, the Carnival of Flowers and a Friday arvo drink at Fitzy’s.
Listeners know him – they know that he loves the Parramatta Eels only marginally less than his wife and kids, that he is a talented cook (courtesy of a cheffing career prior to radio), that he can talk up a storm, and that he is funny. He is often spotted in the studio rocking out to some classic Cold Chisel or Angels or AC/DC, with the music is at full volume, air-guitaring with the best of them.
Lee regards his regular listeners as friends. He knows the names of their kids, what they do for a crust, if their mother has been in hospital lately, and if they are struggling. He has a heart bigger than Phar Lap’s and he’s not afraid to be emotional on air and off, making him more than the real deal. Even after 20 years and 4000 shows, he still gets nervous each morning before the “on-air” sign flashes red, a sign he never takes his role as the region’s favourite bloke for granted. He has chalked up more than 5000 interviews, with his favourite being a chat with singer Michael Bolton who sang to him down the phone!
In reflecting, he said this top three highlights were broadcasting from XXXX island, broadcasting while swimming with whales at Hervey Bay, and being one of the last people to interview Glenn Frey of the Eagles. He also reminisced about locking himself out of the building before the breakfast show on Anzac Day and having to walk past the Mother’s Memorial crowd in thongs to get to a public phone to call the boss to let him in!
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