Updated March 6th 2004,
media. You have to be an Aussie, eh,
in 1989 when I dragged my young ass to Australia, the very first thing
I did when I arrived in my hotel in Perth was, you guessed it, turn
on the radio. I challenge any anorak to NOT do that when
they arrive in a new country! Of course, there was no internet in
1989 so one could not listen to radio around the world as we do now.
Coming from Ireland-and indeed, Irish radio, I understood
that you would never hear an Indian accent on the radio (unless it
was Tony Allan doing a Nova promo for "Nova Bingo Bonanza"
- remember that?), or a black newsreader on RTE! After all, the only
people living in Ireland at the time were, well, the Irish. (Okay
a few immigrants too).
Anyway, when I received a letter from the Australian Government to
my dirty little flat in the East end of London, informing me I was
allowed to go and live in Australia, they supplied a booklet with
various (and hilarious!) notes on how to make my new home comfortable.
They had a list of words Australians use, and what they mean! Like
"dunny" means toilet. "snag" means sausage! "streuth"
means wow! It was hilarious! They also informed me that Australia
was inhabited by many many different cultures from all over the world.
And its true. If you walk down Sydney's George street (one of the
biggest streets in Sydney) you might well think you're in downtown
kowloon. We also have a massive population of Chinese, who have been
here since the gold mining in the 1800's. I digress.
So I switch on the radio in my hotel room in Perth and have a great
time working out who's who in the zoo (as you do!). I checked out
the TV and looked on in amazement as the programmes were interrupted
by ads every 7 minutes! The ads. were fast and furious. I knew that
in Britain there was a law that you had to have a quarter of a second
between commercials, so as not to give the viewer a sense of "rush".
Not to do this was considered as "visual pollution". Well,
not around here, mateeeee! The ads were (and still are) played LOUDER
than the programme. In the UK you have to be in Actors Equity to perform
ads. on TV. Not around here, mateeee! Any ol' Bruce or Shiela can
go on air and flog anything they like, from second hand cars to indian
carpets! Talk about noise pollution! They would go on and just scream
at you for their allocated 30 seconds. And they still do! There I
go digressing again.
"ugliest man on radio" Doug Mulray was THE top dog on
triple M breakfast in 1989. He may be ugly, but he's white!
thought I'd try my hand at a bit of broadcasting here in my new
country. Hell, I had worked on Irish radio for about ten years
(and a very brief stint on BBC World Service). I applied to Triple
M, 2DayFM, and all the commercial stations, sending them my rich
Irish voice on tape. Not a word from them.
to 1989. It slowly occured to me that, despite this "multi-cultural"
country, all I could hear on radio, or see on TV were "true-blue-Aussies".
That is, Anglo-saxons with Aussie accents. Having lived in the
UK, another "multi-cultural" country, I was used to
good ol' Trevor reading the news on Channel four (I assume he
still is???). Indeed, I was used to seeing people of many races
on UK TV. So why not Australia?
very cool and collected Trevor McDonald on Channel 4 news, UK
called them up. "We'll call you".
Anyway, I got this phone call from some dude in Triple M. Perhaps
a job then? No, mateee! Why, eh, matey?
So, he tells me "This is the story mate,
you have an Irish accent". And...? "Well,
mate, we don't want to isolate our audience". Excise me?
"Its not our fault mate. You see, the advertisers
have us by the balls. If we go putting forign accents on the
air they won't advertise with us". So I said to him, look
this country is full of immigrants. Did you know that since 1965 over
6 million people from 200 countries emmigrated to Australia? . "Huh?
Look, I don't make the rules mate. Why don't you try SBS,
they'll let anyone on there. Have a nice day". THANK YOU
SO VERY MUCH, EH, MATEEEE!
The year is now 2004. Still no forign accents on commercial radio.
And nothing but fake-tanned "aussies" on commercial TV.
Gee, it's great living in a multi-cultural society. But you'd better
go out and meet your fellow immigrants on the streets, 'cos you ain't
gonna see them on the box! I decided to get into computers.
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ARCHIVE 10: LETS NOT CRY OVER SPILT MILK - OR SHOULD WE?
ARCHIVE 9: Q10 WHO?
ARCHIVE 8:FREE RADIO CANNOT
DIE. JAMES JOYCE NEVER DID!
7: IT'S ALL ABOUT QUALITY MY FRIENDS!
ARCHIVE 6: COMREG CLOSES
PIRATES IN DUBLIN
5: MURDOCH: DON'T TOUCH THAT DIAL
4: FALLING INTO THE PAST!
ARCHIVE 3:-PETER MADISON
ARCHIVE 2: PRE-SUPERPIRATES
1: BROADCASTING TO THE WORLD
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