“I’m not joking, I’ve been surviving there for several years on my knees,” he said solemnly during the broadcast. “Sadly, I’ve had the same issues for years and years and they’ve not changed […] I’ve poured my heart and soul into this, three hours every day […] I needed to draw a line in the sand.”
In a statement to THE FACE, NTS said: “Charlie’s announcement on Do!! You!!! this morning was as much a surprise for us as it was for our listeners. A little bit of chaos has always been part of the fabric of his show.
“All good things come to an end. We’ve made some great radio together over the past ten years and we all wish him the best in whatever he does next. We don’t currently know who’s going to be taking on the NTS breakfast show, but we’re excited to figure it out.”
Bones’ unpretentious, unpolished flagship show has been an NTS fan favourite since its inception in 2011, when the station started.
It has become a morning staple from Monday to Friday for thousands of people. With a heaving chat room, chaotic guest slots and even more chaotic call-ins from listeners, Bones’ three hour show established itself as the antithesis of commercial radio, providing a gold mine of classic and underground tunes alike.
In many ways, Do!! You!!! reflected NTS’ ethos. Founded by Femi Adeyemi, the station is now synonymous with freedom and musical expertise, broadcasting a mind-boggling array of genres from most major cities around the world.
To celebrate NTS’ 10th anniversary four months ago, Bones told Mixmag: “The biggest draw of NTS was the freedom. I’ve been on and off radio since I was at college and was on a soul pirate at the time.
“If I veered off and played rare groove I was getting called up and getting in trouble – it’s so restrictive on pirate. So when Femi asked me [to come to NTS] I said ‘of course’. It was total freedom and what I’d been looking for the whole time – the freedom you have to go in any different way.” [Editor’s note – Charlie has clarified that it was Vanuatu water drumming he got in trouble for on pirate radio – not, in fact, rare groove.]
Something has obviously shifted since then, though.
After Bones’ announcement this morning, listeners were in a frenzy. Truants tweeted: “Thank you, thank you Charlie Bones ! You’ve brightened our mornings, connected us, and put us onto such wonderful music. You’ve also helped so many of us through an incredibly turbulent last year, and we’re forever thankful for that. Time to do you!”
“Calm down everybody, I’ve just got to step out. Hopefully it’ll work out,” he reassured them on the show. “I’m going solo, I won’t be working for anybody else. I’m going to need your help.
“Out to all the beautiful guests over the years, and the difficult ones, they were blessings in themselves […] It had to happen someday,” Bones continued. “NTS do what they do very well, I hope they continue to grow. Outside of that, my life is a living hell and I deal with tremendous pain and loneliness. I need to make a move in the right direction.”
Although we’ll collectively miss Charlie’s 11:11 announcements, musings and musical selections, Do!! You!!! will always be a family affair – and by the sounds of it, he’s got something up his sleeve.