How an air-conditioning mechanic in Sydney Australia became an award winning broadcaster in Britain Part 53.


It’s been said that eighty percent of success is just showing up. I don’t know if the percentage is accurate but it does have a lot to do with it. Another big factor though, is pure dumb luck and that can go either way.

In 1994, I was the host of The Breakfast Show on 5SE in Mount Gambier, South Australia. Things were going badly since the new Program Director had arrived. I’d become very popular with listeners very quickly but he didn’t like what I did on the air and was making that clear. Bosses always give you direction but unless it’s specific it’s useless. This bloke’s idea of constructive criticism went along the lines of stopping me in the corridor and saying, “That was the worst show you’ve done all week”, “You’re waffling again”, and my favourite, “I didn’t listen today but I’ve heard it wasn’t very good”. For all I know, he was right but how exactly was I supposed to improve if all I got was opinions and some of them weren’t even his?

I was sending out demo tapes every day and getting proper feedback from Program Directors all over Australia. Mark Vale, the PD at 3GG in Warragul, Victoria said he liked what he’d heard on my demo.  Julie and I didn’t own a car so we decided to rent one and make the 884km, thirteen hour round trip to Warragul so I could talk to him.

Mark took us to lunch at the local Pizza Hut and he turned out to be a great bloke. I knew I really wanted to work for him. The only problem was, he didn’t have any jobs.

Craic on!

You can listen to the worst show I did all week, plenty of waffling and stuff the Program Director didn’t listen to but had heard wasn’t very good on 5SE in 1994 here:

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