Our Rex is hanging up his headphones
Written by John Grant on April 1, 2022
That unique signature laugh will be sadly missed from the airwaves when Rex hangs up his headphones for the last time today.
Rex has in his own words had a meaningful discussion with himself and has made the decision that the time has come to say adios to his radio career and time to focus on a book about his life journey. A book that many people will be looking forward to reading when it rolls of the presses at some stage in the not-too-distant future.
Rex joined Coromandel’s CFM in March 2020 when we went into the first Covid-19 lockdown and has been turning out daily shows Monday to Friday ever since. He came onboard at a time when we were responding to ever changing circumstances with Covid and Rex brought his calming, information packed shows to our listeners.
Rex has a long and successful career in Media. He’s probably best known for children’s television. Rex was originally trained as a teacher, before joining Television New Zealand in Wellington as a presentation director in 1976.
He then moved to Dunedin two years later as a Playschool director, before redefining New Zealand children’s television with programmes which treated children as thinking, rational people, such as Nice One Stu, Howz That?, You and Me and the very well-known What Now?, that has just passed a milestone of 40years on NZ television.
There is no doubt he influenced generations of kiwi kids with his kiwi style flavour of education through entertainment.
Many would not know that Rex was the production manager of Praise Be, as well as The Renovators and Beauty and the Beast.
His radio career has spanned many years. His natural enthusiasm for positivity and entertainment are a great blend and he enjoyed a strong support base of listeners. His career started under a pseudonym of “Dougy George” so he didn’t breach his contractual responsibilities with the state broadcaster. He worked on 4XO “Radio Otago” in Dunedin and prior to that had numerous on-air shifts going as far back to his teenage years in Gisborne where he first hit the airwaves as a 15-year-old.
“I like the contact with the audience and that I am director, producer and talent. I also really appreciate the fact that you have to be ‘up’. You can’t be a sad sack on the air,” he says.
“I thank God I had radio when I did. It helped keep me sane, because I had to be happy. Otherwise, I could have easily slipped into a very depressing place.”
Rex has a long association with radio on the peninsula and was breakfast host on Coromandel FM with his well know brand of ‘Rex on the Radio’. He remained on Coromandel FM till it transitioned to More FM and he took a break from many years of Breakfast Radio.
He has also put a lot back into the community, as a TCDC local board member, and one of the creators of the Thames Heritage Events Trust and chairing the Thames Musicians Club and Hauraki Safety Network.
Rex, thanks for all you have done, and we look forward to reading your book.
Here’s a summary of Rex’s last hour on CFM from 12-1pm on Friday 1st April (and no this wasn’t an April Fool’s joke)