“I Was Pushed Into Radio”: Hamish Blake

“I Was Pushed Into Radio”: Hamish Blake

Hamish Blake, one half of the Hamish & Andy duo and arguably one of the best known voices in radio today, has revealed he was pushed into the audio medium.

Emma Mackenzie
Posted by Emma Mackenzie

While Blake (pictured left above) had a passion for radio, when he was first getting into the medium he said it had never occurred to him to actually really be the voice people listen for.

“It’s not like we didn’t care about radio because I loved radio growing up, but maybe it was a lack of self-confidence because I was able to somehow have a deep love and passion for radio yet the thought had never occurred to me to follow that dream,” he told Craig Bruce, former content director for Southern Cross Austereo.

“Here I was, not even falling into the dream, but forcibly pushed by Jules [Lund] and having people at the biggest radio station in Melbourne going ‘you’re not terrible’.

“Looking back it doesn’t get much better than that.”

Initially, it was Blake, Andy Lee and Ryan Shelton on the show, but after Blake said he and Lee realised how lucky an opportunity it was and how much they liked it, it was time for a proper chat. Shelton ended up leaving to finish his advertising degree and pursue his passion for TV.

The friendships weren’t broken between Lee, Blake and Shelton, but speaking on Bruce’s Game Changers Radio podcast, Blake said sometimes you’re playing with friendships.

“[Radio] can be really tough time but it can be a really great time,” he said. “I highly recommend getting into it with friends, but you are playing with friendships.

“You don’t realise it at the time but what you’re essentially doing… is going ‘can we commercialise our friendship?’ Can we sell our friendship? But at the same time, keep it real?”

During the Cronulla Riots in 2005 (the duo had only been on radio for two years by then), Blake said he and Lee were really nervous to speak about the situation. “What if we say the wrong thing?

“It doesn’t feel right to jokes here but we also don’t know really know how to talk about this.”

Further in the discussion Blake said he never got used the hours of brekkie radio. Hamish & Andy currently host the national drive show on the HIT Network from 4-6pm each weekday.

“[Brekkie] doesn’t play to our sweet spot,” he said. “Drive is essentially what we set out to do, create a silly world that is our escape for the day.”

Listen to the full podcast here.