Radio royalty and icon of Australian broadcasting Doug Mulray was inducted into the Commercial Radio Hall of Fame at the 31st annual Australian Commercial Radio Awards. He was inducted by Triple M Sydney’s current breakfast host Lawrence Mooney.
Mulray was recognised for his outstanding achievements and unique contribution to the Australian radio industry at the event in Brisbane in front of nearly 1000 guests. Mulray wasn’t on hand to accept his award, but he gave his acceptance speech by video. Even though he wasn’t in the room he still managed to get a standing ovation.
Mulray’s first foray into radio was at the small country station 2AD in NSW. His next on-air role was at 2GO Gosford on the Central Coast. Making the move to Melbourne in the mid-70s, Mulray headlined the 3AW program Mulray & The Man, before heading back to NSW in the late 1970s and a gig at 2JJ (now Triple J).
It was in the early 80s where Mulray truly cemented his place as an influential voice in Australian radio when he became one of the faces of the newly launched Triple M.
As Sydney’s breakfast presenter at the network he became a dominant force in the radio ratings, growing the show from a ratings share of 2.6% up to over 18% at one point. Mulray followed his highly successful stint at Triple M with on air roles in the drive time slot on 2SM and at station 2WS, signing off in 1999.
Mulray – or Uncle Doug as he was affectionately called – is well-known for his quick wit and outrageous comedy skits featuring a variety of memorable characters.
During his time in radio, Mulray worked alongside some of the biggest names in Australian media including Andrew Denton and Peter FitzSimons. Outside radio, Mulray recorded several comedy records, including I’m A Punk, which was equal #1 in NSW alongside The Rolling Stones’ Start Me Up in 1982. His single You Are Soul reached #34 on the ARIA singles chart.
He also featured on Australian TV shows such as Beauty and the Beast and Mulray. In 2003, he hosted the ahead of its time breakfast show Breakfast From the Basement, which was simulcast each weekday morning online and on Foxtel’s MusicMax channel.
“There is no disputing the enduring place that Doug Mulray has in the fabric of the Australian radio industry. His formative impact on breakfast radio and broadcast comedy still resounds through what is heard on air today, making him one of the most respected and unforgettable voices in Australian radio,” said Joan Warner, chief executive officer of Commercial Radio Australia.
In a message to Mulray, Andrew Denton, who worked with him at Triple M and who considers Mulray a mentor, said, “You broke the mould. In fact, you reinvented the idea of a mould. You single-handedly, as far as I could see, put commercial FM radio on the map. You were the first ever to take a commercial FM radio station to number one against the then dominant AM radio.”
Mulray said: “It’s nice to be included, to be inducted. I’ve never been inducted before, I hope it doesn’t hurt. I appreciate being remembered fondly by the industry. It is a great pleasure and a great privilege.”
He also acknowledged those who contributed to the success that he experienced during his career, particularly the production unit that he worked with at Triple M.
“It would be dumb for me to receive this award without acknowledging those people, generally if I can’t mention all the names. Genius people. And I think that too often when my success is discussed they’re overlooked and I really couldn’t accept this award without including them in my thank you.”
Previous inductees to the Hall of Fame include Amanda Keller, Ray Hadley, NOVA Entertainment Chief Executive Officer, Cathy O’Connor, Jeremy Cordeaux, Peter Harvie, Kevin Blyton, Graham Mott, Tony Pilkington, Derryn Hinch, Neil Mitchell, John Laws, Bob Rogers, Janet Cameron, Gary O’Callaghan, Paul Thompson, Bob Francis, Rod Muir, Frank Hyde and Lee Simon.