BBC Breakfast: Jon Kay discusses his Fairy Meadow podcast

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Jon Kay spoke with Dan Walker and Nina Warhurst on Wednesday’s BBC Breakfast about the project, which looks into the disappearance of Cheryl Grimmer. Jon, who covers mainly news in Bristol, created the podcast to try and find out what happened to the three-year-old when she went missing in Australia 52 years ago.

The BBC podcast titled Fairy Meadow looks at the events that led up to the girl’s disappearance on January 12, 1970.

Cheryl had been at a shower block at Fairy Meadow beach when witnesses claim a man took her and ran off.

The youngster has never been found but her family have never given up hope.

Jon went on to explain Cheryl’s parents tragically passed away before they found out what happened to their little girl.

Before speaking to Dan and Nina about his podcast, they played a clip of the host visiting the place where Cheryl went missing.

He also spoke with her brother, who continues to search for his little sister even today.

Speaking about the moment he heard about the story, Jon began: “It was six years ago and normally I am a reporter down in Bristol, that’s my patch and I know the stories.

“I remember getting this alert on my phone and said the word, ‘Bristol’ about a news story. And it talked about a little girl from Bristol who disappeared on a beach in Australia.”

He continued: “I had never heard about this, I had never heard of the name Cheryl Grimmer.”

The host went on to explain he began to knock on doors to try and piece the story together and to gain background information.

“Nobody wanted to talk to me,” he admitted. “And eventually I contacted Ricky (Cheryl’s brother) who you saw in the VT there and he agreed to meet me in a cafe.

“He spoke for four hours and I just listened.”

“And I just thought, I’ve got to tell this story,” Jon added.

Jon’s eight-part podcast is hoping to encourage people to come forward with new information about Cheryl.

Speaking about getting answers for Cheryl’s parents, Vince and Carol, the presenter said: “Their three sons promised them on their deathbed they would try and get answers.

“To try and find her or get answers about what happened to her.”

As the interview came to a close, Nina pointed out this podcast is very different to his usual role as a news presenter and a host on BBC Breakfast.

“Quickly Jon what is it like as a journalist when you go from doing news reports here that are very quickly turned around to really delving into a story like this?” Nina asked.

“It’s really hard to answer,” Jon replied. “I never intended it to be this big, a big project.

“I thought it might be a news report but there are so many levels to this. What happened in Fairy Meadow that day, had to be told.

“It has been a relief to finally tell the story for my purposes and for the family’s purposes.”

BBC Breakfast airs weekdays at 6am on BBC One.

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