Flying Dutchman sets sail from MediaCorp after 18 years

Flying Dutchman sets sail from MediaCorp after 18 years
MediaCorp DJs Vernetta Lopez (left) and Mark van Cuylenburg, who is also known as The Flying Dutchman. The Flying Dutchman broke the news this morning about his intent to pursue his own interests.

Popular radio personality Flying Dutchman is saying goodbye to MediaCorp radio after 18 years with the company. He wants to concentrate on his business ventures.

"I believe life is about evolving and change, and you need to embrace change. I have given it an amazing 18-year run. Now, it's time for chapter number two, FD the businessman," says the 58-year-old DJ, whose real name is Mark van Cuylenburg and is affectionately called FD.

He is to host his last The Gold Breakfast Show on Gold 90.5FM today.

The eloquent van Cuylenburg told The Straits Times that he plans to focus on his six business ventures in Singapore and Indonesia, including an events company here and a bar in Bintan, which is slated to open in March.

"It's all a business move to prepare for retirement. I can't let my partners do all the work all the time. It's time for me to start pulling (my) weight as well," says van Cuylenburg, who is married with four daughters aged 20 to 34.

"I want to retire in five years, and I want to be sipping pina coladas on the beach, next to my bar. That's my dream."

He first hit the radio waves as a DJ with Rediffusion in the early 1980s. In 1996, he joined Radio Corporation Singapore (now known as MediaCorp), and went on to host Class 95FM's The Morning Express for 17 years. He switched to Gold 90.5FM, another of the company's radio stations, last year.

What he will miss about his old job is the banter with Vernetta Lopez, his partner on The Gold Breakfast Show, and his listeners.

He says: "I will miss that interaction with people, because I am who I am because of the listeners. I wouldn't be anywhere near where I am today if it wasn't for them."

There is still hope for his fans, though. Van Cuylenburg has not ruled out the possibility of a comeback to radio.

He says: "When all my companies are settled, when I'm ready to retire...MediaCorp would be a good retirement option. Never say never."

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