How an air-conditioning mechanic in Sydney Australia became an award winning broadcaster in Britain Part 51.


As performers, we crave feedback but constant negative feedback can be damaging.

The Program Director that hired me said he loved what I did on the air. The new boss that replaced him only disliked two things, they were; everything I said and everything I did. I know that because he told me every day.

It was 1994, I presented the Breakfast Show on 5SE in South Australia and it was clearly time for me to look for another job. I made up about a hundred packages which contained a folder with my CV, a photocopied certificate from The Australian Film TV & Radio School, clippings from articles I’d been mentioned in from local newspapers and an industry magazine called ‘The Jock’s Journal’. It also contained my demo cassette. I sent the packages out to every commercial radio station in Australia that had a bigger potential audience than 5SE.

A week after sending the packages out, every day after my show, I walked down the street to the public payphone on the corner and for an hour, I worked my way down my list of program directors I’d sent tapes to and tried to get them on the phone. If I did actually get hold of them, I asked them if they’d got the package OK. If they said yes, I told them I would really like some feedback on my work and asked for a good time to call them back when they would have had a chance to listen to my tape. I wrote the day and time in my diary and called them back at that time. It turned out to be only a handful of PDs but the feedback they gave me was really useful. I worked on the areas they suggested and made sure there were examples at the start of the next bespoke demo I sent them. A week later, I called them back. None of them had job openings at the time but I knew that when they did, I’d have a good chance of getting an interview.

Things were going really badly at 5SE but I was becoming a better broadcaster because I was now getting some really positive feedback from some very good programmers at some very big radio stations.

Craic on!

Listen to what I sounded like a 5SE, back then, here;


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