It’s was a day of mixed emotions for Hope 103.2’s Dan Widdowson, as he ‘hung up the headphones’, saying one last farewell to his breakfast audience and workmates.
The long-standing breakfast presenter has accepted a full-time role as a church pastor on the Central Coast.
Dan said what he’ll miss most is the friendships he’s formed, both on and off the airwaves.
“Hanging out with Laura and having a good laugh every morning, that’s what I will miss the most, and the listeners who ring up and chat to us on and off air,” he said.
“It does feel like a friendship I have with the listeners, because I genuinely care about peoples’ lives and what’s going on in their world, and they care about us. We’ve got people that ring up without fail every week, and if we can’t chat on air we will chat off air.”
As a surprise tribute to breakfast co-host Laura Bennett, Dan composed and recorded an original music video called Laura I Have To Go.
Watch: Dan’s original and touching composition, ‘Laura I Have To Go’
Dan first came to Hope 103.2 in 2007, as breakfast co-host with Aaron Wright. Five years later he said goodbye for a season when he headed with his family to Norfolk Island, to set up a youth ministry for five churches on the island. That youth ministry still exists to this day.
He then returned to Hope 103.2 in 2014 to host breakfast for two more years.
This week Hope 103.2 staff farewelled Dan with a surprise tribute video. (Watch below)
In his new pastoring role Dan will be shepherding a congregation of around 500 people at Bensville, part of Coast Community Church. He said he’s looking forward to being more available to people in his hometown.
“I’ll be able to invest more in my local community and I’m really excited about that,” he said.
He will also continue his role as a youth pastor and directing the Salthouse Theatre Company on the Central Coast.
In a final chat yesterday Dan said the one thing he won’t miss about breakfast hosting is “waking up at 3:14 every weekday morning and driving an hour and half to work”.
“My plan is to wake up at 6 every morning, which will be a sleep-in compared to 3.14am,” he said, “but to be honest I’ll probably sleep in longer – until the kids jump on me.”