If there’s one thing B&T pride itself on, it’s our obsession and fascination with Kyle Sandilands and Jackie O, and we finally got to chat with them!
I swear, it goes beyond the fact that they are the holy grail of clickbait. They are both just really bloody interesting. They’ve been around for two decades, are pop culture icons, just got inducted into the Radio Awards Hall Of Fame and have just beaten Ben Fordham in the radio ratings.
It’s a good time to be Sandilands and Jackie O, although maybe the joke is that it is always a good time to be them.
When I catch up with ARN’s golden team, they are naturally in a very good mood. All laughs, jokes and savouring their win. This is perhaps part of their schtick. After twenty years in the game, neither of them is above relishing a survey win, probably because they are so bloody aware of how the game works and aren’t above playing it.
Jackie O is good-natured about beating Ben Fordham; she said: “I think it boils down to the fact that the weather is getting good, and people want to have fun!”
Sandilands bites back, “You are pinning our success on the weather being nice?” he joked.
Undeterred, Jackie O quickly fobbed him off, “No, but people just want to escape and have a laugh.”
It feels exactly like I am on the show, which is the magic of Sandilands and Jackie O. They aren’t putting it on. They are two mates that clearly really amuse each other, like a slightly more dysfunctional Hamish & Andy.
Both are gracious about beating Fordham, happily admitting that while they are enjoying the victory, they don’t want to get too cocky.
When asked about the disparity between Fordham’s $1.5 million a year contract and their cool $5 million each, Sandilands responded: “It is true, and I spoke to him, and I said, why the fuck would you do it? And he said I got big shoes to fill, and I said, Alan wears size seven women’s shoes. They aren’t that big to fill, and he said, well, I’ve done it now, and If I rate well and work hard… and I thought, oh my god, this is like a netball coach, but he’s a nice bloke.”
Besides Fordham’s salary, there’s also plenty to talk about; there was drama when Sandilands got on-air and denounced reports that advertisers were pulling out due to his lewd language. A story that Sandilands took very personally because he really enjoys ads. He said: “We like the advertisers. I actually like ads that bewilders Jackie, but I like to know who has the specials on and what TAFE courses are available. I do like ads!”
So, it particularly annoys Sandilands when stories emerge that his show could end up with fewer ads.
Sandilands explained: “It drives me crazy they make this shit up, and people would read it in the newspaper and believe it. But we’ve got a bigger platform, so we will jump on and set the record straight. We haven’t lost any advertisers, but I think it is nasty when the journalists ring up advertisers and say, “Kyle hates transexuals; why are you still advertising?”
Jackie O pointed out that sometimes the outrage can stem from a joke being taken out of context or, “It is easy to take one snippet out of the conversation, and then people get this wrong idea about Kyle, and suddenly it looks like he is a horrible monster. It can be a little bit skewed and nasty,” she explained.
Sandilands acts generally touched that Jackie O would jump to his defence, “Why didn’t you tell me that? I never knew you felt that sweet about me.”
Jackie O laughs off his surprise, and then as expected, they are back to bantering, but still, there’s a big question to ask. After two decades in the game, and two decades of sharing jabs, are they feeling like they are finishing up? Sandilands is quick to say no.
Sandilands, “We never feel done,” he explained.
Jackie O added: “We don’t do it for the ratings. We do it because we love it. One of us one day will die on air, and it will be on air. We want to do it for as long as possible, and I don’t know what we’d do without this job,” she admitted.
To lighten the mood, Sandilands makes an easy crack, “I wouldn’t be able to sustain my lifestyle for one week without this job.”
And there it is again! You feel like you’re on their show. A part of their segment, but it’s because they both effortlessly balance each other out, providing both light and shade, truth and jokes. So would they ever do radio without each other?
Jackie O, “It would be the worst thing in the world. The only reason I’d ever do radio without Kyle is if I was short on money!” she explained.
Sandilands shares the same sentiment. “We know what we’ve got, and we’ve worked hard towards it! I don’t think of radio without her,” he said.
That could be the real magic of The Kyle & Jackie O show. They value each other and know what they have is very special.
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