Sydney’s #1 breakfast co-host takes sick leave: Is the radio year over for Jackie O?

Jackie O

iHeartPodcaster Brittany Hockley steps up to co-host while Jackie is away

Listeners to the Kyle and Jackie O Show have noticed something wrong with co-host Jackie Henderson for the past few weeks.

That cume audience of 818,000 in Sydney (and lots more around Australia and the world via the daily Hour of Power highlights show and K&J podcast) has heard Jackie battling with a cough that she hasn’t been able to shake.

At the start of the Monday show, Jackie was online again from her Sydney home, but not for long. She started the show to explain she’s been to visit the doctor again about her illness. The advice from the medico was that she should immediately take leave from her early morning starts if she wanted to shake the lingering flu.

Although reluctant to step back from the program she loves, Jackie has realised that the punishing schedule she’s been keeping for the past few weeks has been preventing her recovery.

On air for just a few minutes this morning, co-host Kyle Sandilands and breakfast show news presenter Brooklyn Ross both encouraged Jackie to take the break.

ARN released this short statement early this morning:
Regular listeners of the Kyle & Jackie O show will know that Jackie has been struggling with fatigue and illness since having Covid, so on her doctor’s advice she is taking a couple of weeks off to rest and properly recover. Jackie will be back on board as soon as she’s feeling better.

How long will Jackie O be off air?

Jackie indicated this morning she will take as long as needed to ensure a complete recovery. When Brooklyn Ross suggested what if it was only a couple of days, Jackie explained it could be a couple of weeks.

With just three weeks left in the radio ratings year, there is a possibility that Jackie O might not return this year. Although unlikely given her work ethic, if Jackie needed three weeks off it would mean she wouldn’t return to the KIIS 106.5 breakfast microphone until Monday January 16 in 2023.

Jackie O

KIIS 106.5 breakfast team celebrate recent radio ratings win

Jackie’s life in the fast lane

The Kyle and Jackie O Show hosts have been in career-best form for the past few radio surveys. There have been record ratings several times this year.

Here’s a recap of their performance in GfK Survey 6, 2022:

On Kyle & Jackie O’s record results, ARN’s Duncan Campbell said: “Kyle and Jackie O is a powerhouse of a show that keeps on growing.  To be the #1FM Sydney breakfast show for 30 consecutive surveys, and achieve a record-breaking cume, is an incredible achievement and highlights the enduring and powerful connection Kyle, Jackie and the entire team have with their audience. This show is as topical and relevant today as it was 30 surveys ago, and we thank the loyal listeners for their continued support.”

The radio duo then went and smashed that previous record out the park in GfK Survey 7, 2022:

Kyle & Jackie O are Australia’s biggest and most successful radio show ever after Survey 7 results were released today. The long-running show has moved into the #1 Breakfast position overall in Sydney ahead of rival Ben Fordham, while again breaking cume records and attracting the most listeners ever for any radio show in Australia.

The Kyle & Jackie O Show enjoyed a surge in listeners this survey, claiming a 14.9% share, up 2.1%, while also attracting 818,000 listeners, up 80,000 from Survey 6. This is the highest number of listeners ever recorded for any radio show in history. This is also Kyle and Jackie O’s 31st consecutive #1 survey result.

Jackie O on stage at the Mediaweek Power Lunch

K&J awards from Mediaweek and ACRAs

Two major awards for radio’s finest have been announced in the past month. First up in mid-October, Kyle and Jackie were announced as the winners of the first Mediaweek Star Power List where they ranked #1. The list was unveiled the same day that Kyle and Jackie O walked off air at KIIS 106.5 after issues with the censoring of their content. That didn’t stop Jackie visiting the Mediaweek Power Lunch to accept the award. With Kyle unable to attend because of Australian Idol judging, he sent a long video thank you that he and manager Bruno Bouchet compiled for Mediaweek.

Then just one week later, Kyle and Jackie O became the youngest-ever members of the Commercial Radio Australia Hall of Fame after being inducted during the 2022 ACRAs. Both Kyle and Jackie accepted the award and then appeared onstage several times during the ceremony to collect other awards.

Hall of Fame: Kyle and Jackie O with their team including Bruno (left) and Kitty (right)

Who’s replacing Jackie O?

ARN found a great option today when the show’s first guest Brittany Hockley was asked to stay around for several more segments. Hockley slipped straight into the role and before she knew it she was discussing penis length, lovemaking, indeed many subjects she might also discuss on her hit podcast Life Uncut. After a quick negotiation, Hockley has agreed to join Kyle, Brooklyn and the K&J team each day until Jackie returns.

Situations Vacant: Team Kyle and Jackie O

Having Jackie off air for a number of weeks is not the only challenge facing ARN in Sydney. The producer of Sydney’s #1 breakfast show, Sonia ‘Palestine’ Jahshan, has only a few weeks left on air before moving on to a role in breakfast TV in Sydney.

There has been no decision yet about who will take on the top job from 2023.

Starting on the show today was new breakfast recruit, producer Josh Fox who Kyle indicated was poached from Nova breakfast where he worked with Fitzy and Wippa. Kyle indicated it took “just one phone call” to persuade him to join KIIS 106.5. Listeners didn’t learn too much about the new arrival early on today, except crucial info like he is circumcised!

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