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Phuket loses its mojo with the death of Jason Wilder

Vale Jason Wilder.

Very, very sad news this morning following the death of work compatriot and good friend Jason Wilder. Jason passed away whilst at the Glastonbury music festival whilst resting in his on-site tent. The BBC reported the passing of one of the attendees yesterday.

Jason is best known in Phuket for his long stint behind the afternoon ‘Drive’ mic at Live 89.5FM, part of The Phuket News empire at Samkong. Every show would open with “Sawasdee krub pi nong krub!” Then it would be three hours of non-stop ‘Jason’ from there on. Listeners just had to hang on and enjoy the ride.

Such a natural-born engager and entertainer – solo behind the mic, or in the company of close friends and family, or in front of thousands. He was certainly the best expat radio talent than ever graced a microphone in Thailand.

Uniquely gifted, always surprising and when he was ‘on’ it was hard to turn him off.

Apart from a huge expat following, he had even more close Thai friends. He spoke his own version of Thai but it didn’t really matter because his intentions were always clear with his wicked grin and wide smile, always embracing anyone near into his world of spontaneous and unscripted fun.

Jason spent much of the post-Covid years living and working back in the UK, mostly in music, and when we last spoke a few months ago, it was about Glastonbury…. Glastonbury, Glastonbury, Glastonbury. And he died there doing what he loved – surrounded by music, friends, and you can be sure, a lot of love and laughter.

Jason lived large and packed a lot of life into his 48 short years.

RIP dear friend.

Written by Tim Newton.

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