How an air-conditioning mechanic in Sydney Australia became an award winning broadcaster in Britain Part 29.


I’m so glad that my first professional job in commercial radio was at a regional station in Australia. My time at 2PK in the Central West of New South Wales gave me a great grounding in so many different things. When you work at those small stations, you have to be able to do everything.

I started at 2PK in August 1993 and the following January, Prince Charles visited the region. I was sent out to Parkes airport to cover his arrival and report live. After that, I headed for the town of Forbes where I reported live again and summarised the speech the Prince gave there. That was only part of my day, which had started in the production studio where I wrote, voiced and produced my share of the radio commercials for the day (the job of producing local commercials was shared between all of the jocks). After I got back from reporting on the Prince, I did my daily five hour air-shift (2pm to 7pm). During that shift, I took a call from London from one of the producers of BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme. They wanted to know how tight royal security had been because the day before, someone in Sydney had tried to shoot the Prince with a starting pistol. While I was on the phone to London, I remember I was at the same time putting a screw back into a tape cartridge that I’d opened up to replace a worn pad.

So I worked as a royal reporter, copy writer, audio producer, voice over artist, disc jockey, BBC correspondent and broadcast engineer. And that was all in just one day! The next day, I was the anchor for the station’s six hours of live horse racing coverage. The studio air-conditioning packed up during that shift so I headed out to the condensing unit, pulled the side panel off and re-set the HP switch.

I think these days there’s a buzz-word, “multi-tasking” or “flex-skilled” but back then we just called it, “your job”.

Craic on!

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