On August 3rd Triple M Toowoomba’s breakfast announcer Lee Faulkner marks a serious radio milestone – 25 years on air!
Lee Faulkner has seen Toowoomba and the greater region through good times and bad. The 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 25 years, 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 well over 5,000 interviews, with his favourites being a chat with singer Michael Bolton who sang to him down the phone, Glenn Frey (The Eagles), Michael Bolton, Roxette and Stevie Wright. His worst – well that would be the 12 foot Python that pooed all over the studio!!
In reflecting, he said highlights of his 25 years included broadcasting from XXXX island, broadcasting while swimming with whales at Hervey Bay, being one of the last people to interview Glenn Frey of the Eagles, broadcasting from a boat while swimming with the whales, being invited on stage with jimmy Barnes mid-concert, and talking to people from all walks of life. 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!
He started his radio journey in 1989, enrolling in the Max Rowley Media Academy and it would be another seven years before he landed his first job in a commercial station, in 1998 at 4SB Kingaroy where he started doing sales and a Saturday morning shift. In
October that year he was given the full-time afternoon show. Early in 1999 Lee was promoted to breakfast on 4SB, which would eventually see him move to Toowoomba in 2001, broadcasting from the 4GR studios into Kingaroy until December 2004. In January 2005 Lee took over as cohost of the 4GR Big Breakfast with Kim Stokes. Five years later Kim big Lee farewell, and was replaced by now CEO of Toowoomba Turf Club, Lizzy King who departed in early 2016. That same year Lee helmed the change to MMM and has run the breakfast show solo, with the help of producers Col Clifford, Merryl Miller and Rob Morgan.
He said he loved the region more and more, saying it was the most welcoming, generous, tight knit community with the perfect blend of lifestyle and opportunity, and he called out former Mayor Paul Antionio, Shane Webcke, Graham Healy, The Fitzgibbons Family, his two former co-hosts Lizzy and Kim, and former hit star Hamish and his three amazing producers Col Clifford, Merryl Miller and Rob Morgan for a special mention. He said his favourite events each year were the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers, the Red Hot Summer Tour, local shows and the Carols and Christmas Wonderland.