Gareth Cliff

Celebrity radio DJ and TV personality, Gareth Cliff, joins the ranks of Damian Lewis, boxer Evander Holyfield, Ben Stiller, Kelly Clarkson, Tina Fey and Seth MacFarlane – all of whom have lent their voice for Disney XD’s award-winning animation, Phineas and Ferb. Debashine Thangevelo got the lowdown on his first animated voice-over work, where Cliff breathes life into a Ducky Momo salesman character…


GARETH Cliff is out-spoken. While he often tends to stir a hornets’ nest, he is also celebrated for touching on issues that afflict the nation.

That explains why he has a massive following on his 5FM Mornings breakfast show, twitter and as a judge on SA Idols (season nine is set to air in a few months with auditions in full swing).

Now he is lending his voice in a quirkier light – as a Ducky Momo salesman in Disney XD’s Phineas and Ferb.

In an interview with Cliff last week, he revealed: “Disney do this with various people in their various territories… and they approached me. I have never done a cartoon voice-over before and, through Taryn Fritz (PR), they set it up.”

With so many Hollywood celebrities lending their voices to characters in the channel’s hit series, Cliff says he jumped at the challenge.

Did I mention that US first lady Michelle Obama is one of 289 million fans worldwide?

Cliff continued: “It is a terrifically successful show. Luckily, I have watched it before. Once asked, I paid more attention.

“To be asked to do something on this scale, with Jonathan Ross to David Beckham being on it…”

He revealed that they recorded a month ago.

“The actual recording took half an hour. You sit in the sound booth and provide the voice-over to the picture.

“Then they got the producer, Jeff Marsh, he listened, watched it and was happy.

“I knew what the context of the character was,” he pointed out. “We had discussions about what I needed to know. It wasn’t a lot of dialogue so it was very, very easy. He is a salesman and is trying to sell something to Candace, who is Phineas and Ferb’s sister. But he also wants something in return.”

Ducky Momo appears in the Tri-State Treasure: Boots of Secrets episode, in which Phineas and Ferb venture on a city-wide quest to help their father unearth a piece of Danville history. But they are oblivious to the unscrupulous shenanigans of the antique dealer who attempts to use Candace as his pawn.

If another offer for an animated character came his way, Cliff wouldn’t say no.

But he said radio would always be his first love.

He explained: “No, I don’t like TV, I like broadcasting on radio. It is more relevant and fun – something you don’t feel with TV. Certainly when TV is not live like Idols. And this season we have a whole different audience and I’m excited to do it again.

“But TV is very time-consuming. My real love is always going to be radio.”

An intellectual with a finger on the pulse of what’s happening around the globe, Cliff deserves his plaudits for speaking his mind and growing a skin thick enough to deal with his detractors.

Now that’s one colourful character – in animation and real life.

Gareth Cliff’s character surfaces in Phineas and Ferb on March 16 on Disney XD (DStv Channel 304). And the fourth season airs on April 17 at 5.50pm.