Simpson is one of South Africa’s most prominent commercial broadcasters, having hosted 947’s Breakfast Xpress for seven years, and featured on the breakfast show for seven years before that. Despite his young age, Simpson has already been in the industry for 24 years as he started working at Capital Radio when he was only 16, and went on to broadcast in the United Kingdom for three years and Australia for a year. He’s won numerous awards, including multiple nods for Best local radio personality in the Best of Joburg Awards.
Simpson achieved national fame through his notorious 'Whackhead' pranks, which hit record sales year after year and have totalled over half a million units sold. The prank also featured on KFM Breakfast so there is an existing connection between Simpson and the Western Cape audience. The success of his pranks, plus his TV work and stand-up comedy, have made him a household name in South African entertainment.
In April, he moved to the afternoon drive slot on 947 for lifestyle reasons and, in another lifestyle-motivated move, he will be fulfilling a long-term goal of relocating his family to the Cape.
From July, Simpson will take over the KFM Breakfast show between 06:00 and 09:00, bringing his brand of relatable radio to listeners across the Cape – and yes, there will be a daily prank.
“This is a dream come true for me and my family. To do the breakfast show on KFM in Africa's most beautiful city is a once in a lifetime opportunity. I am incredibly excited,” says Simpson.
Johannesburg audiences will still get their fix as the two stations are both in the Primedia Broadcasting stable, and Simpson will remain on Xpress Drive on 947, which he will broadcast from the Cape Town studios, from 16:00 to 19:00.
“Darren has earned his reputation as a heavyweight in the South African radio industry and we are thrilled to be able to share his radio magic with audiences in both of our broadcast regions,” says Primedia Broadcasting CEO, Omar Essack.
The move will see current breakfast host, Ryan O’Connor moving into the weekday work slot, from 10:00 to 13:00.
The weekday work slot has been a focus area for KFM, as it offers the station a chance to connect with audiences in the busy part of their day, whether they are in their cars, offices, homes, or wherever they are going about their business.
O'Connor has recently won the Best Breakfast Presenter title at the 2017 Liberty Radio Awards, becoming the only presenter to win this award twice.
“Ryan has a fantastic connection with listeners,” says Trish Taylor, CEO of Primedia Broadcasting in the Western Cape. "We believe that he’s going to turn this show into ‘can’t-miss-it’ radio and are thrilled to have such a dynamic broadcaster steering us through this new chapter as we shake up daytime radio.”
O'Connor will be followed by Sechaba Gqeba on early afternoons from 13:00 to 16:00. The afternoon drive will be taken over by Carl Wastie, whose energy will drive listeners through their homeward commute. Wastie joined KFM in mid-2016 and his enthusiasm quickly made him a hit with listeners. Wastie will also host a regional chart show on Saturdays.
The station says goodbye to Rob Vember, who has hosted the afternoon drive since 2014 as well as the Coca-Cola Top40SA.
“We thank Rob for his contribution to the station, and wish him the very best for the next part of his journey,” says Taylor.
Essack adds, “These are bold moves and with this line-up, KFM will become a bold voice in the Cape media landscape.”
Details of the supporting casts of the shows as well as formats and features will be finalised and announced in due course.
The weekday line-up from Monday, 3 July will be:
- 06:00 to 09:00: Darren Simpson
- 09:00 to 10:00: What’s up @ Work (all music requests)
- 10:00 to 13:00: Ryan O’Connor
- 13:00 to 16:00: Sechaba G
- 16:00 to 19:00: Carl Wastie
- 19:00 to 22:00: Brandon Leigh
For more information, visit www.kfm.co.za. Alternatively, connect with them on Facebook, Twitter or on Instagram.