Emma Ayres leaving Classic FM breakfast | radioinfo

Emma Ayres leaving Classic FM breakfast

Thursday 03 July, 2014

Emma Ayres has given notice to ABC Classic FM that she plans to leave the network's breakfast show.

She is due to be a guest presenter on Radio National, then to take holidays, but will return to see out her breakfast show duties until the end of the year, giving the network time to choose a replacement.

British born Ayres is a graduate of the Royal Northern College of Music, and various European music universities.She was a member of the English String Orchestra and joined the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra in 1992.

Ayres left the orchestra in 1999 and cycled on her own from England to Hong Kong, raising money for music therapy. On her back for this whole year, and all 16,000 kilometres, was a violin and Bach's Sonatas. Emma played for French farmers, Greek schoolchildren (and goats), Iranian police and Pakistani border guards; she cycled over the Karakorum Mountains, along the most westerly part of the Great Wall of China and is one of the few people to have cycled across the Taklamakan Desert.

She turned to radio in 2001, feeling glad to finally sit down, and began working at RTHK. She immigrated to Australia in 2003 and after the character-building new immigrant job of dish washer, gradually started working for ABC Classic FM. Ayers still plays the viola and has recently played with Bombay Chamber Orchestra and the Afghan Youth Orchestra, about which she has made two radio documentaries. She has introduced the idea of adventure viola playing to the world.

An ABC spokesperson has told radioinfo:

"On Tuesday morning this week Emma Ayres announced on air she will be leaving the Classic FM breakfast program at the end of the broadcast year.

"We acknowledge Emma’s decision and know that Breakfast audiences may be saddened at the announcement. She will be guest presenting Life Matters on RN from 14 to 18 July, before taking two weeks leave. Emma will return to Classic Breakfast on Monday 4 August."

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26 Comments

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WJW
3 July 2014 - 2:09pm
No... Emma can't go! How can I face mornings without her dulcet tones gently bringing me from sleep? Can I stage a sit-in at the ABC to stop her going???
lynette
3 July 2014 - 2:25pm
Hearing Emma is leaving breakfast radio certainly made my day. I caught her announcement immediately after the 7 am news on Tuesday which was a lucky break as I'm usually quick to turn the radio off after the news in order to avoid starting my day with her spluttering and inane chatter.
Please, when you are interviewing prospective replacements, can you include voice tests as part of your criteria? I know half dozen people who bemoan their waking experiences and it's a hot topic and smiles all around when Emma is on hols or has a sicky.. Remember its the start of your listeners' day.
Happybookworm
18 July 2014 - 7:36am
Ooh Lynette! Someone needs more sugar on their weeties! What a sour and mean spirited comment! Emma is just wonderful. She has opened the stuffy classical music cupboards and encouraged the listener to try on a whole new wardrobe! All power to her and whatever she chooses to do. We will miss her terribly and hope she pops up somewhere on the airwaves. She is too good to just slip into the ether. Not that our Emma will do that!!
welshdog
28 July 2014 - 9:23am
I *do* appreciate that for some, Emma's dry wit might be an 'acquired taste'. For my own part I've really missed her when she's goes off on her jaunts to places such as Afghanistan etc. Those puns, 'asides', and gentle pokes at various subjects as she wakes me have been a pleasure over the years. Besides which, I like the sound of her voice and I think she'll be a hard act to follow.
Cateye
6 September 2014 - 10:33pm
Well, what a blow. I thought Emma just didn't sound her usual cheerful self a while ago and so had an idea that this might happen. Emma has a deep knowledge of music, musicians and all aspects of being a musician. Read her book, Cadence, to begin to understand her humility and humanity, warmth and depth.
Great to know Emma will still present on ABC.
So glad to have you in Oz.
Chris
14 September 2014 - 10:08pm
I am very disappointed to hear Emma is leaving abc mornings. You have eased me through the stress of the mornings with such a calm and spiritual voice.
I have just finished reading Cadence, and admired your courage in taking on such an extraordinary journey.
Please return to abc radio soon.
mt
16 September 2014 - 6:24am
Classic fm is not the same without Emma Ayers. She is inspirational and fascinating; and her voice in the morning magical. Please bring her back.
MariaSantos
19 September 2014 - 10:06am
My household, students, and friends, are devastated that Emma Ayres is leaving Classic Breakfast. She has helped us get through good times and bad, and assisted me in introducing classical music to new listeners. She is inspirational and has given birth to many dreams and ideas in young people especially, both travel and musical. Please don't stop influencing people to live larger than life!
davidH
22 September 2014 - 10:34am
Good morning to you Emma
We have been wondering where you are. You reached out to a lot of us and made our mornings better than they might otherwise have been without you.
You are and will be sadly missed, but we wish you all the very best of everything life offers you forward from this point.
Cheers,
D
greenparrot
23 September 2014 - 10:02am
Dear Emma,
Your wit, kindness and beautiful voice are irreplaceable. Classic Breakfast is not the same without you and never will be.
We wish you every happiness in your future life, and thank you for the years of happy mornings and laughs you've given us.
mimi
25 September 2014 - 2:38pm
My husband & I love Emma!! I'm not sure if we'll be able to continue listening to classic breakfast without her dulcet tones & inimitable style. I've been teaching music for 36 years, often quoting her erudite musicological commentary. You're a beautiful person Emma, best of everything for your future!!
JulieBJ
25 September 2014 - 3:20pm
Emma I'm devastated! - you have driven to work with me for years as we moved across Australia (I started listening in Geelong then on Yorke Peninsula SA, and then in Broome and now back in Geelong) best wishes for the future - I'm sure whatever you choose to do you will be successful! Thank you for years of enjoyment, education and fun!
Fred R
25 September 2014 - 9:39pm
Emma’s arrival at ABC FM Breakfast was wonderful. Stories of motorbikes with ‘cellos on the back! Her beautiful voice reminiscent of black coffee and honey made the morning easy to deal with, and her deep understanding of music and of musicians made me much more aware of what I was listening to and enjoying. Emma you will be very greatly missed.
doctortrish
26 September 2014 - 9:04am
I'm with Lynette. I did not find Emma Ayres's wit dry or funny but boring, repetitive and childish. "Answers on the back of a postcard" was funny... once. The frequency with which she gave the wrong time was appalling, and she made no attempt to learn the correct pronunciation of Australian place names. It has been a breath of fresh air (no pun intended) to have Guy, Stephen, Ellen and other presenters for breakfast. I still reminisce over Arthur Burridge in the 1970s.
AndrewR
29 September 2014 - 8:13pm
Great Emma is leaving breakfast...Her chat and other goofy comments make me reach for the off switch time and time again. How many times does one need to know that Gregory Keane selects the music. Goodness sake. The ABC should listen to the presenters on the BBC's Radio 3 breakfast program. No dribble, no social commentary, no oh I've been on holiday again! no I love the sound of my own voice so I will keep prattling on, just people who know and play music..Get a grip ABC
Silvertongue
30 September 2014 - 6:27am
Oh Emma, I am so disappointed to read that you are leaving the breakfast program, and I know that my kids will be too. We have been avid listeners during the school drop off drive for many years, and you really did make us laugh or cry so many times. Don't go - reconsider, please...
Donna
30 September 2014 - 10:10am
I am very sorry that Emma Ayers is leaving....appears to have left....Classic Breakfast. She has brightened and enlightened my mornings and my commute with her warm tones and music intellect and, especially, the vibrant sense of her very human self that she brings to presenting. Although I enjoy listening to classical music, I won't bother with Classic Breakfast any more.
wilkorad
30 September 2014 - 10:39am
Devastated. Best presenter in 20 years. My favourite person on radio and maybe in the whole world!
Jill Hankinson
30 September 2014 - 1:21pm
I am so sorry that we have lost your beautiful voice on our morning show. It is no longer the same on classic f.m. and I have had to go back to 702 but must admit I'm not a Robbie buck fan. Emma; I wish you all the best in your new career , whatever that will be. We miss you very much!
carolynbronte
30 September 2014 - 6:35pm
Emma no matter where you go or what area you decide to pursue, go knowing that you've brought such joy and happiness to so many Classic FM listeners over the many years. To the few mean spirited and nasty comments made above, listening to a particular radio station has never been compulsory. If you're so pertubed by the annoucer, go somewhere else - it's that easy. There are still a few options around i believe. Emma, thank you for the music, the humour and the sheer enthusiasm over the years. No matter where in the country I am, we find you on the radio and all is well for the morning! Your program has been a joy - thank you and take care. Carolyn
Elma
2 October 2014 - 8:54am
Where is Emma? Has she left already? My whole family ranging from 8 - 80 love her. I wake up to her every day and my daughter has said Emma helps to keep her calm as she negotiates her path through traffic each day. We just love her lovely soft voice and the interesting conversations and viewer input each day. It will be a sad day for us when we know we won't hear her any more. Think carefully when you replace her - Phillip Stammits (sorry about spelling) would not be a good choice. It will be very difficult to replace Emma!
Margaret
4 October 2014 - 5:03pm
Hi Emma, we do miss your lovely voice and knowledge of music and most of all the sentiment you bring to the mornings. We hope you find a more conducive working environment at Radio National and that in due course you will be able to bring your gentle influence for the greater good to that place too. All the best, Margaret and Roelant.
DRA
8 October 2014 - 6:12pm
I agree with all the positive posts and will miss Emma between 8 & 9 am when I listen to ABC Classic FM. Loads of FUN. Obviously both Lynette July 3 doctortrish 26/9 are mean spirited people. Perhaps they might share with us what they bring to others lives and what makes them so superior. I can only assume that they can correctly pronounce every town & city in the UK as Australians. I wish Emma all the very best in whatever she moves on to.
lookseeau
9 October 2014 - 7:11am
It is disappointing to learn that Emma has decided to move on, but we must accept change,and I pray that she will find happiness and satisfaction in all that she chooses to do.
GaryPHayes
9 October 2014 - 7:59am
Yes real shame. Radio presenting goes way beyond pressing play or pronouncing place names correctly and her wit and bubbly charm combined with a deep 'musicians' vs historian-style knowledge of classical music made for me Classic FM a must listen morning show. Sadly the current replacements with their watered down humour have turned me off the channel and have found alternatives. I suspect a bit of anti-Brit ABC has come into play as it often has there, and have witnessed this first hand several times and also visa-versa at BBC radio and TV where the 'australian accent' was rarely featured as permanent talent. But regardless good travels Emma and as a fellow musician/cyclist your spirit will prevail in what ever you do :)
jeremy blank
16 October 2014 - 1:25am
Mornings in OZ are not the same. The mix of Ivan & Emma was such a truly inspirational start for any morning. Since Emma's absence the show is a very pedestrian affair. The presenters while worthy are just that & Gregory's programming (or whoever is doing it now) lacks the depth and range Ivan brought to the show. Now if Julie stops doing DRIVE that will probably see me abandon the station altogether.
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