Stuff didn't ask me to write this blog.
I mean, Stuff allowed me to write this blog and wanted me to write this blog - but it was actually my idea: I proposed the idea of a television blog after reading a terrible review of the Lost finale that ran on the site in June 2010.
There was no TV blog at the time and, convinced that I could write a better review than the one I had seen, I set about contacting Stuff and offering to do so. I had the email address of the entertainment section editor at that time, thanks to a t-shirt I'd won, so I sent him an email. He passed me on to the blogs editor and I pleaded my case.
"I have noticed that there isn't a TV blog at Stuff," I wrote. "Let me write one for you."
It took a couple of months to get sorted. During that time, I had to write a couple of test posts - one about awful sci-fi drama FlashForward, another about Go Girls. I had to come up with a title and get a photo taken for the banner; that photo of me at the top of the page was taken over three years ago in my parents lounge by my friend Nat, and I never got around to replacing it. I had to write a short blurb about myself. It was all very exciting.
My first post went live on August 16, 2010. "Why do girls like Top Gear?" the headline groans at the top of the page. It makes me cringe when I read it now. Regardless, I excitedly told friends that I was writing about TV for Stuff and shared the link to that first post. Many of my friends questioned why I would bother writing about television; they didn't believe television was worthy of discussion or that anyone would read it.
On The Box was an almost immediate success. It was well received by readers and built up a small community of regulars. I would receive a monthly traffic report from my editor and, no matter how many hits it had received, I always felt humbled that people would read what I was writing. It was often the most read blog of the month.
This is my final post at On The Box. Forgive me if I come across a little sentimental today.
It has been over three years, covering some 660 posts; today is post #661. But all things must end. And I am glad that I was able to end On The Box on my own terms; this was entirely my decision, and I want to be clear that Stuff have been nothing but supportive of me and the blog. It is my choice to pursue new opportunities and head out on my own. It's an exciting time. Terrifying, but exciting mostly.
There are people I need to thank.
I'd like to thank Nick Barnett, first and foremost - until recently, Nick was the blogs editor here at Stuff, and a tireless supporter of On The Box. I sincerely believe that OTB would not have succeeded without his input and guidance. Thank you, Nick, from the absolute bottom of my heart.
I'd like to thank Jule Scherer for her help and support, particularly in the last month or so. I'd like to thank Chris Schulz, who passed that first email on to Nick. I also want to thank my fellow bloggers, both current and departed - it's been a privilege to write alongside the likes of Simon Sweetman, Gerard Campbell, Margaret Agnew, Karen Tay and Charlie Gates in the entertainment section. Thanks are also due to the marvellous Moata Tamaira, with whom I've collaborated a few times; I'm going to miss our awards day live-blogs.
I want to thank my beautiful wife Rhianon, who puts up with a ton of bad television, and my daughter Shayla, and the rest of my family; your support and belief have made this journey all the more rewarding.
Lastly, I want to thank you - the readers. If it weren't for you, On The Box would have quickly faded into obscurity. Your comments and interactions and support have made the last three years some of the best of my life. Thank you all.
But this is the last time I'll be posting here at On The Box. And so, I bid you all a very fond farewell.
See ya' in another life, brotha.