How an air-conditioning mechanic in Sydney Australia became an award winning broadcaster in Britain; Part 184.


Ofcom, the government quango that regulates radio broadcasting in the UK is still dealing with a complaint about me from 2008.

I was the host of the Breakfast Show on TFM in the North East. We lived on a suburban estate and I used to talk about my neighbours. I never said exactly where I lived or used my neighbours real names. The whole thing was a massive exaggeration of the truth.

I would play the music from the old TV show “Soap” and talk over it every morning describing what my neighbours were up to. I always started with, “My neighbours are a bunch of freaks…” and ended each bit with, “…I’m the only normal one in the street!”

When I noticed that one of our next door neighbours had put her ironing board in the garden and was doing her ironing outside using an extension lead, I decided they must do EVERYTHING around the wrong way. I called them the “Bizarros” and said they lived in a bizarro world where indoor activities are done outdoors and vice versa. I said that they also vacuum the lawn and mow their carpets. “Their dog’s called Tiddles and their cat’s called Rover. They sit on their food and eat with their bums! They are the Bizzaros and I’m the only normal one in the street!”

Across the road from the Bizzaros were the Volkswagens. They owned a fleet of them and would only ride in VWs because of a phobia of every other brand of vehicle. The Volkswagens lived next to the Door-slammers who lived across the road form our other next door neighbour, ‘The Unabomber’. He always wore a hoodie and dark glasses and carried a bundle of papers that was more than likely the blueprints to his doomsday machine.

One day the Unabomber moved out and I waited to see which next bunch of freaks would be added to the cast, I wasn’t disappointed. One Saturday afternoon a crew-cab pick-up truck pulled up and unloaded an assortment of bric-a-brac including an old rocking chair. A rough and ready family spilled out squabbling onto the street and tried to control a large dog that looked as if it had been banned from guarding a scrap yard because it was too scary.

My new neighbours soon became known as The Beverly Hillbillies. When I talked about them on the air, I dipped the “Soap” music and played the bluegrass banjo picking from ‘The Beverly Hillbillies’ TV show. I talked about how their lawn was decorated with tyre swans and used kitchen appliances. Apart from the truck and the dog, everything was exaggerated out of all proportion or completely made up.

Can you guess which one of my neighbours put the of complaint in about me?

Find out in another Craic!

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