CORRECTION: This article was originally based on information that had been pushed to industry media by Ben & Liam’s personal management team. It, and the subsequent industry reporting of radio Survey 8 ratings, failed to mention that Lucy Smith helmed the Triple J Breakfast shift for 7 of the 11 weeks covered in the ratings period following Ben & Liam’s departure in early November. We have amended the below article to better reflect the contributions made by Lucy and the broader Breakfast team.

When a young Ben Harvey and Liam Stapleton took over the coveted Triple J breakfast slot back in 2017, they were well aware that they had huge shoes to fill after the departure of Matt & Alex.

But according to Radio Today, the Adelaide duo helped hoist Breakfast past Matt & Alex’s final Triple J ratings, which is a huge win for the team behind the show.

The previous hosts, Matt Okine and Alex Dyson were absolutely adored by fans, and were potentially the most successful hosts the breakfast show had ever seen.

So naturally, Ben and Liam were met with a pretty subpar reaction from Triple J’s dedicated fanbase.

Fans are obviously going to give feedback to new hosts, but Ben and Liam copped it all. Social media trolls, hate messages on the text-line and even a death threat.

Yes. A death threat over a radio show. People really are that horrible.

Obviously, we all remember Liam’s brave speech on R U OK Day back in 2017, when he publicly admitted that he was struggling to deal with the immense amount of public scrutiny.

“Taking after a colossal show like ‘Matt & Alex’, it’s tough. You don’t expect everyone to like it — we still don’t. We understand that,” Liam said back in 2017.

Thankfully, the Adelaide natives eventually managed to win over the hearts and minds of listeners and went on to host the coveted Triple J breakfast show until the end of this year.

But if snapping up a commercial breakfast slot for Nova Adelaide wasn’t enough, the final numbers sure will be because the 2019 Breakfast team ended up toppling the numbers Matt & Alex set for the shift at the end of their run.

Bolstered and elevated by the efforts of Lucy Smith, who anchored the Breakfast shift for 7 of the 11 weeks of the survey after Ben & Liam departed the show in early November, Triple J’s final Breakfast numbers for the year went as follows:

Syd: 5.6%

Bris: 9.5%

Perth: 9%

Melb 4.7%

Adel 6.3 %.

For comparison, Matt & Alex’s final survey period included 5.3% (Syd), 8% (Bris), 8.7% (Perth), 4% (Melb) and 5.97% in Adelaide.

Ben and Liam will kick off their hosting duties back in Adelaide in early 2020.

“Working at Nova has been something we’ve wanted to do ever since we started in radio,” Harvey said. “We can’t wait to start the next phase of our careers back home in God’s Country.”

The Triple J Breakfast show will be taken over by Sally Coleman and Erica Mallett next year.

Image: Instagram / Liam Stapleton