'I had butterflies in my stomach'

'I had butterflies in my stomach'

The wait is finally over.

Popular radio personalities Glenn Ong and The Flying Dutchman (FD) were revealed as ONE FM 91.3's newest breakfast show additions at the Singapore Press Holdings' owned station yesterday, which also marks the reunion of the former on-air partners.

For 20-year radio veteran Ong, this is the first time that he'll be working at a competing station with his Class 95 radio DJ fiancee Jean Danker.

But Danker will not be - and has never been - his source of news from the other side.

"We simply don't talk about work in this relationship, it's so boring to do that. Sometimes if I want to know something, I'll try my luck but she's pretty good at keeping secrets. So we just end up not talking about work and that's a good thing."

Ong, 45, and Danker, 36, have always kept their work and love life separate in their six-year relationship.

"But if I asked her to be a critic, she would do so willingly. She's awesome and I trust her because she has been in the industry almost as long as I have," he said.

It was a sleepless night for an excited Ong.

Danker, he added, is his personal cheerleader and had advised him the night before his ONE FM debut to "go out there and have fun"

He told The New Paper yesterday: "Calling myself a kid in a candy store would be an understatement. I told Jean I had butterflies in my stomach, like it was my first day back at school.


"To be honest, I have been so stressed since I accepted the offer and haven't been sleeping well. After some 20 years, I will be working in a new environment with a new team. The anticipation is crazy."

Wedding bells may or may not ring this year for the couple, who have been dating since 2009 and engaged since 2011.

"Every year, we keep saying it will happen at the end of the year... Maybe, I'll announce on radio," said Ong cheekily.

Ong and FD, whose real name is Mark van Cuylenburg, will host the morning show every weekday from 6 to 10am along with Andre Hoeden and Elliot Danker.

Ong left MediaCorp in January to join F&B and hospitality consulting firm Cir Vis as its director.

FD quit last December to focus on other pursuits - six businesses, including a beachfront restaurant-bar in Bintan called Flyboyz Beach Bar. Following their departure, shocking comments were made in March in a local lifestyle magazine by their ex-colleagues - much to their dismay.

In response to a question on why some DJs left MediaCorp, one of them replied that "there's a reason the company didn't bother to keep them". He added: "You know how Hitler would bring the weak soldiers into a room and shoot them, then conscript the young, stronger guys?"

Another DJ said it was necessary to "cut what you don't need and get people you need".

No names were mentioned, but it came shortly after the duo and DJ Bobby Tonelli left the company.

Recalling the episode, Ong said it was "disappointing".

"We get along with everyone, including them. I personally felt it wasn't very respectful or true. I had people coming up to me, asking, 'Did they fire you guys?...'," he said.

FD added: "It was very painful after so many years of dedication and loyalty and to have something like that said without clarification."

Ong and FD had worked together for a decade until 2013, co-hosting Class 95's The Morning Express.

Ong then paired up with Joe Augustin on the show, while FD went on to host The Gold Breakfast Show on Gold 90.5 with Vernetta Lopez.


It has been a while since Ong and FD last joined forces, but there is still a bromance between them.

In a separate interview with TNP last week, they showed up at Barber Shop at House of Timbre wearing matching outfits - blue jeans and white shirts with folded sleeves.

"I don't think anything has changed now. There are certain partnerships that can take a break and then resume like nothing happened and I think we do that," said FD, 59.

For both, radio has remained a calling, even after they left.

"I didn't miss radio until two weeks ago. I did an interview and walking into a studio, I thought, 'Damn, I've missed this'," said FD, who first hit the airwaves in the 1980s.

For Ong, it took all of three weeks for him to feel the ache.

A rejuvenated FD and Glenn are excited and raring to go with the new breakfast team.

"It was an easy decision to make. It's a new station and I love the concept and spirit of everyone. I couldn't pass this up," said Glenn, who made his radio debut in 1995.

"You have to remember that we had six months to recharge our batteries, something our competitors have not had. I'm a ratings man by the way. So two words - game on," said Ong with a laugh.

Not to be outdone, FD piped up with gusto: "The boys are back!"

FD: The show will get more exciting

For Glenn Ong and The Flying Dutchman (FD), their first day at work was about adjusting and settling in.

The duo, who were revealed as the morning show’s new blood at about 8am yesterday, bantered and joked with their new colleagues.

For Ong, who said he was a little “rusty”, the show can only get better and “sleeker”.

“I feel a little tired but it was all right. We need to just understand each other a bit more and get used to working in this setting. Hopefully by (tomorrow) I’ll be all right,” said Ong, when contacted after the show yesterday.

FD agreed that they needed a bit of time to figure out the system, but he was very happy on his first day back, doing what he loves.

“It felt really good to be working with Glenn again. Give us all a few days, it will get more exciting with everyone because the new dynamics are great,” he said.

No one was happier than technician Hanafi Arifin, 34, who won $10,000 cash in ONE FM 91.3’s Guess the DJ contest.

He had correctly guessed that the mystery DJs to join the station would be Ong and FD.

He told The New Paper: “I was driving my wife to work when I told her that we should tune in because I had entered the competition. It turned out I guessed correctly and was picked the winner.”

He had frequently tuned in when the duo were previously on air together and is glad about their comeback.

“They keep things local and real and are very funny,” said Mr Hanafi, who will be donating a portion of the money to charity and using part of it for Hari Raya preparations.

Avid listeners and fans of Ong and FD took to ONE FM’s Facebook page to express their excitement.

Said Rose Lai: “Welcome back Glenn & FD! Glad to hear you back on air! So missed both your voices. Great week ahead!”

Fan Kwan Jung Hong wrote that with his “two favourite DJs back together again”, morning radio will be “legen-wait-for-it-DARY once again”.

This article was first published on July 07, 2015.
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