My 19th year at 2Day FM

My 19th year at 2Day FM

This month I go into my 19th year working at 2Day FM, but let me go back, to when I started several decades ago. It was 1997 and I was working at 2GB in Sydney, a news talk station with wall-to-wall politicians and talkback callers. In my job as afternoon newsreader I got to break many amazing stories and loved it, but to be honest I was looking for a change. Then out of the blue I received a call from Mandi Wicks who was news director of 2Day FM and MMM. She asked me if I was interested in a job! On that day I decided I would move to the FM band and I have been there ever since. I will never forget the first week I was at 2Day FM. The music director came racing into the newsroom, grabbed me and told me she was taking me to meet some girls I’d like. Next thing I was in the production studio with Posh, Ginger Spice, Mel B, Mel C and Sporty Spice sitting on a couch. This was more exciting than politicians! Back then there was no Facebook, no Twitter and no camera phones so that moment exists only in my memory now, but what a cool way to start your new job. There were no iPods or downloads then either so 2Day FM was THE place to go for the latest hits and new songs from the big artists. So quite literally half of Sydney’s teenagers would listen to our nightly countdown of the biggest hits. I remember meeting Ugly Phil, the host of the countdown show on my first...
Grow up, or go away!

Grow up, or go away!

When I was a kid my Dad played rugby league for the Nowra Warriors. I was never a huge fan of the game, but I used to go along to most of the matches and a few times a year we’d go to Kogarah Oval to watch the mighty St George! Back then it was all about the game and the skill of the players, and although I was and will never be a sports mad person, I used to look forward to heading to the big smoke to see the game live. Over the years I’ve watched the game from the sidelines, and in recent years read my news from State Of Origin matches in Sydney and Brisbane and from the  clubrooms of the team’s involved in the grand finals. Unfortunately over the last decade I have grown increasingly frustrated with the game, mainly because of the shameful antics of some of its highly paid and increasing arrogant players. While I do not want to lump everyone into the same basket, as a newsreader I am totally sick and tired of hearing about and then having to report on the hijinks and crimes of players off the field. Already this year we are hearing stories of players spitting and brawling in bars, and the season hasn’t even started! I’ve lost count of the amount of air time devoted to , brawls, cheating allegations, assaults, drug taking, drunkennness, drink driving etc etc. In fact the misbehaviour of rugby league players has spawned an entire industry, devoted to analysing the behaviour of grown men who are well paid, are supposed to be...
9 years ago today

9 years ago today

It’s hard to believe it’s exactly nine years ago today, November 25th 2005, that Jason and I tied the knot in what was billed Sydney’s first “illegal gay wedding”. It was broadcast on the 2Day FM breakfast show, repeated across the Austereo network, broadcast live on Seven, covered in New Idea and the Sunday papers, and made the nightly TV news. I remember as the wedding convoy left Parramatta the skies opened up, but by the time we got to the marquee at Circular Quay it was fine, with my mum waiting outside to walk me up the aisle to Jason. Jason and I will never forget the crowd of well wishes, many of them listeners, who turned up on that grey cool morning to support us. We were blown away by the dignity of the occasion, and the wedding singers who entertained us including Human Nature, Ricki-Lee  and 70’s superstar Leo Sayer (you can see the song he sung to us in the Popshot section of this website). Despite all the publicity and the positive response, nothing has changed and we are not seen as a married couple in the eyes of the law. Ridiculous really, when you consider Jason and I have been together 21 years. Here’s some memories of the big day. Hopefully soon we can make it a legal gay marriage!...
Coming Out And Being Gay, A Gift From God?

Coming Out And Being Gay, A Gift From God?

Apple’s chief executive has created headlines by coming out as gay! Timothy Cooke has become the most prominent executive of a public company to come out. In an essay Mr Cook says “Let me be clear, I’m proud to be gay” and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has even given me” While I may not necessarily about it being a “gift from God”, I think it’s great that a man is such a powerful position has made it clear there’s nothing to be ashamed of about your sexuality. My dream is that one day in the future there will be no need to “come out” because we will all be humans without labels, but at the moment it is still necessary, given the discrimination and fear many people in the LGBTI community still suffer. I remember when Ian Thorpe announced he was gay earlier this year, that some people asked whether it was really necessary? In my opinion it was, as it is in this case, because we need to show governments who are still pursuing policies that discriminate, that we are a force to be reckoned with, and will not tolerate being second-class citizens. High profile people coming out also helps young gay people with self-esteem issues, and will hopefully reduce the above average suicide rate. So the more people that “come out” the better in my opinion, because eventually it will become a non-issue and we can all live together, in what I hope is more accepting society. Only time will tell, but I think Timothy Cook’s “coming out” is a great move...
Does coming out still matter?

Does coming out still matter?

Before I give you my thoughts on this issue, may I wish Ian Thorpe all the best in the future and honour him for his decision to be true to himself. In spite of all the media attention over the ‘revelation’ in the interview with Sir Michael Parkinson, I know he will find a greater sense of peace in himself. That said I really believe a person’s private life is exactly that, private, but seeing Ian has previously stated he’s ‘heterosexual’ I think it was important he decided to be honest. This matters not only for his own sense of wellbeing, but also to countless other young gay and lesbian people who might now find the courage to no longer live a life in the shadows. I have been in Ian’s shoes. Back in 2004 when I began working on the nationally syndicated 2DayFM drive show I was asked by the hosts if I was happy to be “myself” on-air. At first I had no idea what this really meant, then it dawned on me that if they were talking about what they did on the weekend with their partners, I would have to be open about my life with Jason too. So, the following day hundreds of thousands got to hear about my relationship with Jason. The impact of that hit me the following week when a newspaper published an article about me being the first openly gay newsreader on Australian radio! I became known across the country as Geoff on radio, “the gay newsreader”. To be honest, although I had my reservations I’m glad I did all that because back in 2004 being gay was rarely mentioned on-air....
Jaywalking crackdown

Jaywalking crackdown

Working as a newsreader in Sydney it seems hardly a day goes by without someone being hit by a car or bus. Being a pedestrian can be dangerous these days! In my opinion there are two major contributing factors to pedestrian accidents in our city. The biggest problem is people jaywalking, followed by people not looking where there going as they are distracted by their mobile phones or iPods. I believe we need to do what they have done in Honk Kong. When I was there last month I noticed no-one crossed the road until the lights turned green. That’s because there are huge fines for anyone who jaywalks. Importantly though,they have installed traffic lights that tell you how long you have to wait till you can cross. It’s obviously worked, because that city does not have a problem with pedestrian accidents. Residents there apparently frown on anyone that attempts to cross the road illegally. As for people not paying attention to the traffic here in Sydney because they’re on their phones or listening to music, it’s time for a good old fashioned education campaign to warn people they could end up another casualty. It’s time for tough rules, because as things are Sydney has become a dangerous place for both pedestrians and the motorists trying to avoid...