Fred Botica retires again, being replaced by another former 94.5 legend

fred botica

• “I’ve been doing breakfast radio since 1971 and I’m just really looking forward to a sleep in.”

ARN has announced today that 96FM’s Botica’s Bunch will have a new name from Monday, with Fred Botica deciding to retire after 50 years in radio.

Dean “Clairsy” Clairs will join Lisa Shaw on-air from Monday to launch 96FM’s new breakfast show – The Bunch.

Although The Bunch won’t officially launch until next week, Clairs will be on-air at 96FM from tomorrow morning for the final show of Botica’s Bunch.

Of his decision to hang up his headphones, Fred Botica said, “I’m turning 74 in about a week and after 50 years in radio I’ve decided to retire and do some of the other things I’ve wanted to do for a while.”

Botica’s career began in his native New Zealand. His very first shift was accidental, on a pirate radio station – Radio Hauraki – anchored off the North Island. As a signwriter by trade, Fred turned up to paint a sign, and left with a completely new career. Since 1968, he has met, interviewed, and become personal friends with some of the biggest names in music across the globe, including Bob Geldof, Sting and The Police, Neil Young, and the late Michael Gudinski.

Botica recalled, “I’ve known 96FM’s managing director Gary Roberts since 1978 and he’s been a huge part of my career. He was instrumental in luring me over to Perth with a tempting job on 96FM in 1986. And the fact I got to windsurf each day in one of the best places in the world with the Fremantle Doctor was one of the reasons why I never left.

“There’s nothing else behind this decision, I’m just ready to call time. I’ve been doing breakfast radio since 1971 and I’m just really looking forward to a sleep in.”

96FM’s content director Daniel Underhill said, “Having the legendary Fred Botica return to 96FM, being here for our 40th anniversary, and leading the station to #1 is the kind of reunion you can only dream of in radio. After five decades in broadcasting, and all those early starts waking up Perth, Fred’s more than earned having his time become his own again. We can’t thank him enough.

“As we move to our next chapter with Clairsy joining Lisa we have the rare opportunity for another legend of Perth radio to takeover from Fred. The new show officially starts Monday, but Clairsy will join Fred & Lisa tomorrow from 5.30am to say hello again to Perth.”

The Bunch, with Clairsy & Lisa

Along with Clairs & Lisa, The Bunch will include regular visits resident sports expert Ryan Daniels, comedian Jon Pinder, West Coast Eagle Elliot Yeo, and more.

On joining 96FM and The Bunch, Clairs said, “At the end of 2020, after 38 years on radio, I decided to take a break and tick off some long overdue things on my list like, sleep in until 8.00am, play my drum kit poorly and windsurf incessantly. I’ve had a fantastic few months doing all of that and more, it’s been terrific, but when I got the call offering me the chance to join 96FM, I couldn’t resist. It’s a station I’ve actually wanted to work for since August 1980.

“I’m a huge admirer of Fred and can vividly recall hearing his voice for the first time back in 1986 when I was driving from Bunbury to Perth. I was spellbound. To follow in his footsteps is such an honour, and I can’t wait to join Lisa on air.”

The Bunch, with Clairsy & Lisa, 5.30-9.00am weekdays, starts Monday on 96FM.

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