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Hamish and Andy to leave radio to focus on TV careers

One of Australian radio’s most successful broadcasting duos Hamish Blake and Andy Lee are to end their radio show to focus on television, the pair have announced tonight.

However, the duo – who currently broadcast a nightly drivetime show for Southern Cross Austereo’s Hit Network have agreed to do eight more months for the network first

Blake & Lee, whose last show of 2016 was tonight, will return for one final stint on their drivetime show at the end of March, after taking time out to work on their new TV show for Nine.

Hamish & Andy's final show of the year in Byron

Hamish & Andy’s final show of the year in Byron Bay

The announcement came at the end of a week which has seen the show on the road, with their band performing in gigs across the eastern states.

The pair have been associated with the Hit Network – previously know as the Today Network – for 13 years.

The move is not the first time the duo have said they were quitting radio. They walked away from their national drivetime slot in 2010 after years of dominating ratings in their timeslot. On that occasion it was to focus on their Gap Year and Caravan of Courage shows for Nine.

Two years later, they returned with a daily, pre-recorded morning show, before taking an afternoon slot and eventually returning to drivetime, as part of a deal which gave the duo equity in the Southern Cross Austereo business.

They spoke about their adventures in radio during an entertaining session at the National Radio Conference in October.

The pair have a new show for Nine in the works. Although little has been revealed about the show, Nine has described it as a “bold and exciting new concept”, and listeners have been asked to contribute anecdotes to “The Great Stories Project”.

Hamish Andy Great Stories Project

Lee said in the announcement that the duo had contemplated leaving radio at the end of this year. He said:“In light of new TV arrangements we were actually thinking of finishing up this year, but we are having so much fun so it seemed crazy to stop.”

Meanwhile, Blake suggested that like their previous withdrawal from radio they could return in the future.

He said: “It’s been 13 years of regular radio with SCA. It’s been awesome and our listeners are awesome, so it’s nice to head into 2017 with them knowing it will be our last. We’re not saying we’ll never return, but this will be our last radio year for some time.”

Hit Network’s head of content Gemma Fordham said “2017 will be a celebratory year for Hamish and Andy. The Hit Network has been their home for 13 glorious years and we look forward to jumping back into the archives and reliving the magic that has made them household names and the country’s unrivalled radio duet.”

Ahead of their return to live radio on March 27, the Hit Network will fill the timeslot with a “10 Years in 10 Weeks” series featuring the duo’s best moments.

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