Ben Fordham has hit back at Kyle Sandilands after the broadcaster slammed him as a 'phony' - as he reveals why he was moved to tears the day before taking over Alan Jones' show.
In an interview with Daily Mail Australia after taking the reins of 2GB's breakfast show, Fordham, 43, said there was 'always going to be people expressing their opinions' and he was 'eternally grateful' to Sandilands for boosting his profile and 'trying to give a young bloke a bit of a break'.
Sandilands, 48, had blasted Fordham's appointment as Alan Jones's replacement as a 'massive mistake', but the talkback host said he 'felt OK' after the first shift of his new show on Monday morning.
The new 2GB breakfast host (above, with son Freddie, daughter Pearl and wife Jodie) revealed he was moved to tears during a family meeting
Sandilands labelled Fordham a 'phony' and said he 'yells too much' in a KIIS FM blast after Alan Jones retired
'I was sitting around having breakfast with my wider family, and I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders,' Fordham said.
'I think it was that awful wait - I've got 24 hours to wait until this thing starts. I was sitting around the breakfast table and I just started crying.'
He said his wife Jodie, mother Veronica, sister Sarah and brother Nick were 'all looking at me going - are you OK? Well, not really.'
Fordham said his father John's death last November 'probably hit me for the first time in a big way'.
It was also 'probably just feeling, oh no - is this just going to be a major, major change to our lives' for himself, wife Jodie and their three children.
He told his listeners the tale about his tears at the end of his program as he was happy it 'went OK', featuring interviews with the Prime Minister, NSW Premier and chairman of the NRL.
But he added: 'I don't want people to think that I'm made of steel.
'The reality was, 24 hours earlier, I was crying in front of my sister and my mum and my brother and my wife.'
Fordham also responded to Kyle Sandilands' on-air taunting after he was revealed to be taking over from Jones.
Fordham during his inaugural breakfast show on Monday morning after taking over Alan Jones's show
Sandilands said: 'If you want to be yelled at by someone who knows nothing, Ben Fordham's your man.
'Friend of mine, but now a mortal enemy to the death. I don't mind Ben as a person, but he's a little bit of a phony. I'm just being honest here.'
Fordham responded: 'I've got lots of listeners and they've all got opinions.'
'I think my friend over there just wants to help lift my profile - and for that, I'll be eternally grateful,' he said.
NEIL BREEN TAKES OVER QUEENSLAND SLOT FROM ALAN JONES
New 4BC breakfast host: Neil Breen
In Brisbane, Channel Nine sports reporter and former Sunday Telegraph editor Neil Breen has taken over Alan Jones's slot on Radio 4BC.
Jones's show has been syndicated to Queensland in recent years with the station's former owner, Fairfax Media, ending most local programming.
Breen said: 'Considering there hasn't been a breakfast show out of 4BC for five years and there hasn't been a local show for some time, you can imagine there wasn't a lot there.
'I think we did alright. It was a lot like we bought a house and moved the family in and there wasn't much furniture and there wasn't a kitchen.'
Breen spent much of his career working at the state's Courier-Mail newspaper: 'I know who's who in the zoo and what's been happening'.
Regular Daily Mail Australia columnist Mike Colman will do the sport on the show in the mornings.
Asked if Kyle was his new archnemesis - with Sandilands having described him as his 'mortal enemy' - Fordham said: 'No, no, mate, I think he's trying to give a mate a helping hand, and I appreciate the fact he's shared my job with some of his many listeners.'
Fordham, who hosted the Drive program on 2GB for nine years, then playfully added: 'I think that's all he's trying to do - give a young bloke a bit of a hand, trying to give a young bloke a bit of a break.
'You've got to expect in a job like this there's always going to be people expressing their opinions and their views and whatever.
'And some you take seriously and some you take with a grain of salt. I'll let you decide which category this falls into.'
Fordham said another radio legend - Jones - had sent him a text message 'pumping up his tyres' last night.
Fordham said he has always been passionate about the bush, like Jones, and that there would be some crossover in the issues the show shines a light on.
But the program will not be the same as his predecessor's for a simple reason.
'It's going to be different from the Alan Jones' Breakfast Show because Alan Jones isn't there.
'That was Alan's big piece of advice as well- make it your own show, it's the Ben Fordham show now...
'If someone hires a chef in the kitchen it's not the like the chef is going to say "hey, what did the old chef cook".
'They're going to come up with their own creations and dishes'.
Ben Fordham airs on 2GB from 5.30am on weekdays. Neil Breen takes over the same slot on 4BC in Queensland.