How an air-conditioning mechanic in Sydney Australia became an award winning broadcaster in Britain – Part 13.


I look back at the six months I spent at the Australian Film Television and Radio School as the happiest time of my life. I couldn’t believe I was there, studying something I loved instead of fixing other people’s air-conditioning. At AFTRS you’re taught by the very best of the best. The film students were being shown what to do by Dean Semler, the cinematographer on the Mad Max movies and ‘Cocktail’. He’d won an Oscar for his work on “Dances With Wolves”. The TV writers were learning from the writers of American TV sitcoms who’d been flown in and the radio students got to work with the very people that had inspired me while I was driving around Sydney in my work van listening to them, it was mind blowing.

One day I was sent to the Sydney talk station 2UE. At that time it was the number one station in Sydney. I recorded interviews with famous Australians including the Australian pioneer rock musician Col Joye. A few years earlier, I’d watched Col on a video. He was playing a rock ‘n’ roll revival show with Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, The Everly Brothers and Jerry Lee Lewis, now here I was talking to him! 2UE’s studios were in three glass boxes. I was in the center box, to my left was John Laws who was presenting his live networked show to stations across Australia. To my right was Alan Jones who was pre-recording bits for his Sydney Breakfast show the following day.

Just three weeks earlier I’d been listening to Laws and Jones on the radio, now here I was, along side them chatting to Col Joye.  It was the first of many surreal situations that I’ve found myself in since I gave up the cold air business and switched to hot air.

Craic on!

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