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Neil Mitchell to retire from 3AW

Neil Mitchel will retire at the end of the years. Picture: Nicole Cleary
Neil Mitchel will retire at the end of the years. Picture: Nicole Cleary

Radio titan Neil Mitchell has shocked listeners by announcing his retirement from 3AW Mornings after 34 years.

Confirming the news on his show on Friday morning, Mitchell jokingly said he was looking forward to the “odd lie-in past 4am” before saying the decision to retire was “his and his alone”.

“Apart from my family, radio has been my life and my love, but it is time (to retire)” he told listeners.

“After 34 years of 4am starts, pedaling flat out is getting a little hard.”

On hearing Mitchell’s announcement, listeners immediately flooded the airwaves to pay tribute to the radio host.

NEIL MITCHELL
Neil Mitchell addresses listeners on the day he announced his retirement from 3AW Mornings. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Luis Enrique Ascui

“I just don’t know what I’m going to do, I’m 36 years old and I’ve listened to you my whole life,” one listener called Carly told Mitchell in tears.

“Thank you for everything you’ve done for us, Neil, I really appreciate it.”

Mitchell’s impact extended beyond his home market of Victoria.

“I’m in Sydney and my phone hasn’t stopped ringing all morning asking if I’ve heard (about the retirement),” another listener told Mitchell.

Mitchell has often been a controversial figure, with his decision to interview anti-transgender activist Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull in March attracting a fierce backlash.

“I do not agree with much of what this woman says, but I don’t regret interviewing her,” Mitchell said at the time, before adding it was “dangerous territory” when media outlets only interviewed those they agreed with.

Mitchell attracted controversy for his interview with anti-trans activist Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull aka Posie Parker in March
Mitchell attracted controversy for his interview with anti-trans activist Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull aka Posie Parker in March

Mitchell is also well-known for his battles with politicians and public figures.

“Don’t celebrate yet Daniel Andrews, I am here until December,” he said in a swipe at his nemesis.

Mitchell and the Victorian Premier have had a longstanding feud, with Andrews boycotting the program since 2017.

Mitchell recently called on Andrews to resign due to his “secrecy and arrogance”, and failure to answer key questions.

‘Garbage’: Radio host’s feud with Andrews

Sports figures have also felt Mitchell’s wrath, with the radio host slamming tennis superstar Novak Djokovic for being “ungracious” after defeating Aussie Alex de Minaur at this year’s Australian Open.

“Deport him again,” Mitchell then said in a joking reference to Djokovic’s controversial expulsion from Australia during the pandemic.

Mitchell also described former cricket captain Michael Clarke as a “bozo bogan” after his infamous Noosa park row with Karl Stefanovic in January.

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Mitchell is leaving his morning show after 33 years as host.

3AW Mornings has dominated the ratings for years under Mitchell’s stewardship, with a 20.1 audience share in his 9-12 timeslot according to a gfk survey released this week.

Mitchell confirmed he will continue to do the weekly podcast he started this year, “Neil Mitchell asks why,” which has attracted notable guests such as Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.

Speaking on Friday morning, Mitchell said he had received a text from the PM wishing him well.

“I have not yet received a text from Daniel Andrews,” he chuckled.

Mitchell reserved special praise for his listeners, saying there was no show without them.

“Thanks to all for the superb support over the years.”