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  • Writer's pictureGarrett Gaudet

Saying goodbye to Jase & Lauren/PJ ERA on KIIS Breakfast

I never thought I would be this upset to hear the news that an Australian breakfast radio show was ending. Still, it was so much more than just another morning show for me.

Jase & Lauren
Jase & Lauren

During the Summer of 2020, I was scrolling on my (TikTok) For You Page, and a video of Jase & PJ started playing. It was a segment where radio hosts Jase & PJ and producer Alex were taking calls on how Karens were reacting to the infamous Karen movement. I burst out laughing and immediately needed to get more content from them. I searched and found the Jase & PJ podcast, where the morning show was posted for listening on demand. The podcast feed also featured the Daily Intro/Wrap/Banter - a podcast with the Jase & PJ team chatting away like friends around the office.


I came across the show during the pandemic. It was a time when smiles, laughs, and good times were hard to come by. That changed when I started listening to the show to start my day. Living in Canada in the Eastern time zone (EST), I would wake up each morning to the Apple Podcasts notification that a new podcast had been published. Even the Apple Podcasts notification that a new episode was available made me smile. Quickly, the show became apart of my routine every morning. Wake up and have breakfast with my friends from Melbourne. I fell in love with the show, which embraced authenticity being awkward and weird - unapologetically themselves. Whether it was friendly banter, messing up a eulogy on-air, or committing to the bit. It found a way to brighten your day when you needed it most, but the show wasn't always funny. It could get serious to talk openly about significant issues and to be vulnerable with their listeners when dealing with hardships that were going on in their lives. It was genuine and generous to share the details of one's personal life with the listening public. Those moments made me love the show so much more.


The Jase & PJ show and podcast were supported by a team of personalities that created an ensemble of characters that could make even the shortest podcast entertaining, with people like Tonaroti, the Narc, Swinging Sach, Veggie Boy, Producer Alex, and later Nonna, DVD & Scatman made for so many memorable segments, bits, producer podcasts and podcast episodes. Seeing them move on to do amazing things like Tonaroti with the massive Toni & Ryan Podcast has been incredible. Also in the Jase & PJ podcast universe is Can We Help You with Sach, Jax & Franco (all previously worked on Jase & PJ). This team had something special, and the producers were always active in the show's Facebook Group PJ's Rich (now Relatable Jase), engaging with fans. The group created a sense of community for Melbourne listeners and the "poddies" from around the world like myself. Whenever there was a significant segment or milestone for the team - PJ's Rich members were always super enthusiastic to show their support or be the first to find a mentioned photo or video to share with the group. I have a lot of fond memories from the show, and I revisit my favourite episodes and videos from time to time. Jase & PJ's chemistry is rare, and any collaboration between these two will forever be must-listen content.


Like all good things, they must come to an end. The weight of the world started to become clear on the show - just as I was really getting into the show. Core team members began to depart, and then, in early 2021, PJ announced her departure from the show to return to New Zealand. I recall listening to the show's final days and dreading the last day. The show ended with a live stream, and it felt like the end of my favourite TV show. Only a few weeks later, Jase & Lauren premiered.


I was like a lot of hardcore PJ's Rich members and Jase & PJ fans who were lukewarm on the idea that Jase & Lauren would recreate the magic of the past show. I kept an open mind and listened with many of the producers remaining, except for Clint Stanaway, who replaced Sach as the newsreader. Admittedly, there was a lot of change in a short time, even for Jase. For the first few weeks and months, the show sought to find its identity and worked on the on-air chemistry between Jase & Lauren. I continued to listen to the daily podcast, and slowly, over time - the show found its footing. Jase is no longer a third wheel to longtime besties Lauren and Clint. As mentioned on air, the duo and trio are very different, but by 2023, they worked so well as a show. They balanced each other out and grew into each other's quirks. The heart and soul that Jase carried from Jase & PJ could be felt in the show, especially during complex life events or milestones for the team. Jase has an incredible ability to go from cracking jokes to communicating the feeling of a city or sharing a personal story with the listeners. 2023 of Jase & Lauren was really fun to listen to another fantastic team with Greg & Jaz on the podcast with Jase, Lauren & Clint. Again, as the show was hitting its strides, it announced that it would end on December 1st, with ARN pulling the plug in favour of Kyle & Jackie-O for KIIS 101.1 in Melbourne.


Seeing articles and posts in Relatable Jase about the rumours of the show coming to an end didn't feel real. Still, confirmation of the end makes this feel real and upsetting. Listening to the podcast with Jase, Lauren & Clint announcing the show ending was saddening. Hearing Lauren get emotional made me emotional, and I can't imagine the team's feelings. It's entertainment for me but careers and livelihoods for the team. It's a tough announcement that will take a long time to process as many fans were preparing for the show break in December, but knowing there are only a few more shows left is hard to believe.


I don't live in Melbourne or have listened to KIIS 101.1, but I have loved the Jase & Lauren/PJ shows in Canada as a podcast. Despite the blog post, it's hard to articulate the positive impact that it's had every weekday. Thank you to Jase for making my mornings good mornings and creating enjoyable, fun shows with depth. It's a challenging job to be on every morning and connect with an audience. Whatever you do next, I'll be listening. To Lauren, stepping into a new industry and filling the role of a beloved fan-favourite was a nearly impossible task. Yet, you accomplished it alongside Jase & Clint. It's been inspiring to see you grow on the show and transform over the run of Jase & Lauren. Finally, to anyone who has worked on Jase & PJ or Jase & Lauren, thank you for making memorable shows and the extraordinary efforts that it took every day.


 

In the same week, Jase & Lauren announced the show's end. It was reported that PJ would make her full-time return to radio with a Drive Show with Matty McLean on the Hits Drive debuting in 2024. I'm gutted to see the end of the era, but the blow is fractionally lessened by PJ's return. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a podcast.

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