Tanya Hennessy is one of those people that is hard not to like.
She built her career in radio and won over even more Australians during her time on 10’s I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here, and now her audience has followed her to the world of podcasting.
Hennessy has amassed a substantial social media following of over 200,000 thousand followers. She is candid about her life, sharing everything from her fertility struggles to the kind of eyeliner she uses.
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She feels like your friend and so it makes sense that she doesn’t need a major radio show to grab listeners. Her new podcast, Hennessy’s Hotline, where she’s created an interactive helpline podcast, is a place for people to call up and tell stories, like an old-fashioned radio format – but with swearing and no strict time limits.
For Hennessy, the move to podcasting from radio has been a complete joy, “I love the freedom of podcasting. It’s still a novelty to me that I can swear or have darker chats,” Hennessy told B&T.
The podcast is also lots of fun and covers everything from what it’s like to have been in prison to being struck by lightning. It’s funny, interesting and at times incredibly moving, bounced along by Hennessy’s undeniable warmth.
Hennessy said: “The stories you hear are better than any book you read, which is what I missed about radio – hearing people’s stories.
“I also love that it can be niche and I can vent for a longer time. I get really cranky because I’ve been a victim of fatphobia recently and now I can rant about that for 15 minutes.”
And there we have it. Despite Hennessy’s enthusiasm for what she makes and creates, that doesn’t mean it’s always easy being a woman in the public eye. This is something Hennessy constantly has to endure.
Hennessy explained: “I’ve gained weight in the public eye, so it’s new to me. I didn’t realise it was harder to make stuff; people don’t want you to photograph for launches and stuff.
“We should have more diversity on our screens, and I need for people to see me because so many people look like me! And they need to see me!”
Naturally, the emphasis on looks is something women only have to contend with; male comedians don’t need to have a stock standard reply to if they are body positive or not. Despite Hennessy being one of Australia’s most successful comedic talents, it’s a question she’s constantly fielding.
Of course, it goes a bit deeper than just the surface level issues that come with being a non-thin woman in the public eye; Hennessy is also just fed up with always having to talk about her body and her looks, she has much more exciting things to discuss! Did you know she’s currently writing a show alongside Rosie Waterland?
Hennessy explained: “Am I body confident? I’m actually pretty body neutral. I actually am more of just like a content person, and I make comedy, and I’d rather you see that!
“I have a really creative brain and let’s talk about that! I just want to create and not have a discussion about how I look!”
So yes, let’s talk about that. Would Hennessy go back to radio, for instance? “Never say never. I’d love to do drive! If national drive came up, it’d be very hard to say no to!”
It’d be hard not to assume there will be big things in the funny girls’ future, but one thing is certain, Hennessy’s work will always speak for itself!