How an air-conditioning mechanic in Sydney Australia became an award winning broadcaster in Britain Part 38.


The first time I listened to 5SE Mount Gambier, I was a worried man. My second job in radio was there, it was August 1994.

Mount Gambier is over a thousand kilometres away from Parkes in New South Wales where we lived. Julie and I didn’t own a car so had to rent one. “I can give you this Ford Falcon now but the rental doesn’t start till tomorrow, so don’t drive it till then”. That’s what the bloke from Hertz said when he dropped it off. He didn’t want to get up early the next day which was a Sunday. The Hertz in Parkes was also the local lawn mower shop, they didn’t open on Sundays. All of our stuff had been packed into a removal truck and we had planned to spend the night in our empty flat and head off the next day but now we had a car.

We took turns driving, stayed at a Bates motel along the way, left New South Wales and as we were about to cross the Victorian border and head into South Australia we heard 5SE for the first time. There was no such thing as internet radio back then, the only way you could hear local radio was to be close enough to pick it up.

What if we’d moved all this way and the radio station turned out to be a donkey? The signal on 963am was very faint on the Falcon’s car radio at first but it got stronger as we got closer. It sounded great! 5SE was totally professional, really good jingles, well produced ads and a sharp playlist. This was a real step up from 2PK in Parkes where I’d been doing afternoon Drive for a year.

What a relief, all we had to do now was find somewhere to live.

Craic on!

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