How an air-conditioning mechanic in Sydney Australia became an award winning broadcaster in Britain Part 26.


What do you do when you come face to face with deadly spiders? My first paid job in commercial radio was at 2PK, in Parkes which is in the Central West of New South Wales. Julie and I moved there from Sydney so I could present the afternoon show. We soon discovered that we shared our new flat with redback spiders.

During the three years we lived in Sydney, I’d only ever seen one poisonous spider. I was working on a rooftop, checking the v-belts of extractor fans above the Forestry Commission laboratory in West Pennant Hills. An apprentice and I unbolted and lifted off a cowling, turned it upside down and I said to him, “That’s a big spider!” It was clinging to the inside of the cowling we were holding. Cool as a cucumber the apprentice said, matter-of-factly, “Female funnel-web”.

We’d only been living in Parkes for a few days when Julie, who was hanging out the washing at the time shouted, “These bugs have got red stripes on their backs.” Now, I’m no Crocodile Dundee but I decided to take on the deadly arachnids myself.

It turns out that although there are at least fourteen reported deaths in Australia from redback spider bites, these venomous monsters are no match for a pasty white Pom armed with a can of fly spray.

Craic On!

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