They were the hottest radio show of the 90’s.
And now, ‘Ugly’ Phil O’Neil has revealed why he suddenly walked away from hosting the Hot30 Countdown with his then wife Jackie ‘O’ Henderson.
Speaking on the You’ve Gotta Start Somewhere podcast, Phil explained the stress of work and his marriage breakdown had become “all-consuming.”
“I was tired of doing the Hot30,” he said.
“I was like, ‘Hey, I’m 37-years-old and I’m mates with guys from Hanson who are 15. I’m too old for this.”
“I got offered a job in London to go and work there and I just needed to get away,” Phil, now 54, added.
He also confessed that over the period of five years, his role saw him working non-stop” for “six to seven days a week” with frequent trips interstate wearing on him.
But while he admits he didn’t appreciate it at the time, looking back, Phil remembers his stint on the show with fondness.
“It was fun to do. We had a great interaction with the audience,” he said.
“We had the opportunity because we were a national show to get these great prizes. We got some amazing overseas trips in retrospect looking back at it now, but… at that particular time you’re not enjoying it because none of us ever live in the moment. And then you look back and go, ‘Wow, that was fantastic, why didn’t I love that more!’”
Ugly Phil was quickly replaced by Kyle Sandilands, who with Jackie O by his side went on to form one of the most successful on-air partnerships in Australian radio history.
Ugly Phil returned home from the UK in 2008 and now hosts a Triple M daytime show in Sydney and Melbourne from 1pm – 4pm weekdays.
This article originally appeared on New Idea.
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