How an air-conditioning mechanic in Sydney Australia became an award winning broadcaster in Britain; Part 89.


The show must go on! Sometimes, you’ve no other choice.

In 1997, Julie and I were almost broke. We’d spent most of our savings moving to Britain so I could present the Breakfast Show at 2CRFM in Bournemouth. The exchange rate wasn’t in our favour. One British pound was worth almost three Australian dollars. What little money we brought with us wasn’t worth much and my pay, which was roughly the same as I’d been getting in Australia, didn’t go nearly as far.

We rented a tiny ground floor flat in Boscombe, turned the only bedroom into an office so I could write & do show prep and slept on a sofa bed.

After ten weeks, our stuff arrived from Australia. That included a 12″ JVC television that we’d had for ten years. After getting it converted to run on the UK system, we finally found out what Chris Evans, Dale Winton and Jonathan Ross looked like.

We’d arrived in the UK in February, one day in June, we got a phone call. Julie’s brother Kevin in New Zealand had died in a road accident, he was 36.

Julie had to go home to New Zealand to be with her family. We couldn’t afford for both of us to make the trip.

Getting Julie on a flight that day turned out to be tricky. At first I called local travel agents until one of them recognised my voice from the radio and decided I must be winding her up. In the end I called around the airlines and found out I could book Julie onto a flight via Singapore as long as we paid cash at the airport. I withdrew the money from the bank, drove her to Heathrow, bought the ticket, watched her disappear through the doors into departures and then stood there in the middle of the terminal, sobbing.

The next morning at 6am, I was back on the radio.

Craic on!

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