Portugal’s only English-language radio breakfast show, The Breakfast Show with Si Frater, this week celebrates five years of filling the morning airwaves in the Algarve and Lisbon with its energising blend of chart-storming hits, amusing quizzes, and tongue-in-cheek humour.
Launched in 2012 by the Algarve-based, bi-lingual radio station Kiss FM – which this year marks its 25th anniversary – its flagship programme has done nothing short of revolutionise radio-listening for the country’s English-speakers.
A unique product in Portugal, the Breakfast Show has, over the past five years, attracted a growing number of listeners both foreign and Portuguese, as well as helping to firmly cement the station’s position as a serious contender that holds its own among national peers.
Packed with the latest chart hits, engaging reach-outs and informative components, the Breakfast Show is without doubt as useful as it is entertaining.
But it is probably its host, straight-talking Simon Frater’s enthusiasm that makes it unique.
At its helms since the show’s conception, the Mancunian DJ’s uncontainable energy, inimitable style of presenting and sometimes often rather cheeky double-entendres have earned him a bit of a following.
He recalls, “I had worked for Kiss for a few years doing the Soul Spectrum show. I was approached by the bosses with the idea of doing a breakfast show, and as a radio DJ you’re not going to say no.
“The boss said ‘just do anything – within reason – just make people listen’.”
And this was a challenge he has embraced with successful gusto.
Involved in DJ-ing and music since his teens, Si has drawn on his personal radio idols, Steve Wright, Noel Edmonds, Gary Davis, Dave Ward and Steve Penk, to name a few, for inspiration for his eponymous show.
“I pinched a little bit of all of them and thought, what made me listen to them was just the pace that they went at. The enthusiasm they had for the show. Like it was the best thing they had ever done, and you could hear that.”
His humour, however, can, by his own admission, on occasions be rather “close to the edge: “a bit like ‘Carry On’ comedy; if you’re listening as an adult, it’s rude, if you’re listening as a kid, it’s very, very funny and there’s no rudeness about it.”
With just one “off-day” to speak of in the past five years – “I came in with a migraine” – Si Frater has a passion for the job that is evident both in his animated tempo and his dedication.
“I’ve got tons of friends who hate getting up in a morning; can’t stand going to work, who drag themselves to work. And even though I get up at 7am, usually after a stint of night-time gigs, I still get up in the morning after three or four hours sleep and there’s not one minute I dislike about getting up and coming to work, sitting down and putting those headphones on. Those four hours just fly by. It’s the old adage that, if you love your job, it doesn’t feel like a job.”
So, after a flourishing five years, what are Si Frater’s New Year’s resolutions for the Breakfast Show?
“If I can complete this year as the year just gone, with people still enjoying what I do, and keep coming up with ideas and evolving; If I can continue what I’m doing now and still get up on the 31st of December this year with a smile on my face, and still be sat here having a great time, I’ll be quite happy.”
Listen to Kiss FM in Lisbon on 95 Fm, or the Algarve on 95.8 Fm & 101.2 Fm.
The Breakfast Show with Si Frater is on air every weekday from 8am to 12 noon.
For more information, see: www.kissfm.pt