Media Lifeline: Christian O'Connell

The host of Virgin's breakfast show has shown he is one of radio's hottest properties.

1999: Having paid his dues in a number of dead-end jobs (he clearly missed his calling, as he was once Allied Carpets' employee of the month) and served his time in media sales, Christian O'Connell lands a role as a presenter on the mighty 2CR FM in Bournemouth.

2001: Having bombarded the indie rock station Xfm with tapes for months on end, station bosses find a cunning way to end this campaign of harassment by offering O'Connell a job. He is not pursued by the Advertising Standards Authority when he begins promoting his Xfm show as "the 18th most listened-to breakfast show in London".

2004: O'Connell starts to develop parallel opportunities. He replaces Chris Moyles as the host of five's Live With ... show, produced by Chris Evans, but is not a natural. He fares better when he replaces Johnny Vaughan as the host of Radio Five Live's Fighting Talk.

2006: Having chalked up a series of Sony Radio Academy Awards (two in 2004, two in 2005), O'Connell leaves Xfm to succeed Pete and Geoff as the host of Virgin Radio's breakfast show. He brings with him his producer, Roque Segade-Vieito, and his sidekick, Chris Smith. More Sony awards follow.

2007: O'Connell signs a new deal with Virgin that will keep him at the station until 2009. His breakfast show now has 1.2 million listeners and has been instrumental in helping the station as a whole achieve its highest audience reach in four years. It confirms him, in the view of his boss at Virgin, David Andrews, as "one of the hottest properties in British radio".

Fast forward ...

2033: Aged 60, O'Connell resigns from Virgin, having finally been handed the opportunity to replace Moyles as the voice of Radio 2 in its breakfast slot - despite reservations expressed by the BBC chairman Evans. Senior executives at Allied Carpets, which had also been keen to sign him in an ambassadorial role, are moved to express profound disappointment.