Radio people often talk about “keeping it real”. Today that cliché was put into practice with a very real brush with a popular breakfast radio.
It’s unlikely delegates have ever heard an industry icon talk about everything from doing drugs to sexual self pleasure (and not just masturbation) and the sexual attraction of a co-host, to the rules of radio. [Spolier: “There are no rules”, said Sandilands to Stefanovic’s question.]
Jackie O was originally scheduled to take part in the interview, in the end she stayed in Sydney to spend more time with her daughter.
Karl and Kyle took that stage with the KIIS FM host cracking jokes about taking cocaine. He referred many times during the 45-minute session to smoking weed. Earlier in the day on his Friday breakfast show, Kyle had tried to persuade the NSW Premier she should legalise marijuana.
Karl didn’t quite now how to start off the interview and reference Kyle’s recent contract renewal. “I got divorced and sacked. You offend two of the world’s great religions and get $8m.”
The interview formally started when Kyle started recounting his career track which started at 4TO in Townsville. He seemed to soon tire of telling it one more time, reminding people there is a book, “If you can find it.”
“I was a homeless kid in Brisbane who then went to living with my aunty in Townsville.
As 16-year-old I went for a job for one hour a week in the 4TO promotions department. I lied and told them I’d worked in a Brisbane radio station.”
Kyle revealed it was the lie that got him the job.
“At night I’d listen to Anthony Robbins cassettes.”
His radio journey then took him to Cairns, Rockhampton, Gladstone and Canberra.
And then WA: “In Perth I was so addicted to marijuana. I was the promotions manager and doing breakfast for free. I also had an obsessive/compulsive disorder. I had about seven relationships at work going at once. It was allowed back in the good old days. I was engaged to one and f@#$in six other ones. Everyone was up for it.”
“Then to Darwin, and then to Triple M in Brisbane. But I hated rock music.”
Jeff Alliss then plucked Kyle out of Brisbane for Sydney to work with Jackie O.
What did you think of Jackie O when you first met, asked Karl.
“I thought she was definitely…. [When audience groaned at what we won’t publish, Kyle said, “What’s wrong – don’t you agree?”]
“My ultimate aim was to do breakfast at SeaFM on Gold Coast.” Kyle said he aimed low realistically.
On Jackie, Kyle said they never competed against each other. “I admire Jackie and what she brings and I listen to what she says. We listen to each other and respect each other. Early in my career Jackie and Cathy O’Connor [then with Austereo] had an intervention because I was screaming at people and telling them they were fucked.
“Jeff Allis helped me get rid of my angst and anger. He said people were so terrified of me and he told me to stop being a prick. I just stopped and it was fine. I have never yelled at anybody since.”
Karl on Kyle: “I find it hard to believe you are still on the radio. I have tremendous respect for your ability and you are very honest which takes courage. Your humour comes from the raw honesty.”
On leaving Austereo: “I knew I could take the audience with me. I was so loyal to that company. They thought our show could only last 10 years. That management are now all selling cars.”
On the move to ARN, Kyle said he called Duncan Campbell – “a genius programmer. I was high on weed and called Duncan with an idea to put the best show on the shittiest station.”
Kyle’s non radio rules
“Nothing is ever planned – I do very little to zero preparation.
” There is a method to that, it is not just laziness. I like to go in and hear things like a listener. I like to go in with virgin ears and hear things for the first time.
The K&J Show goes until 10.30am many days. “They get an hour and a half free.”
“I am always as horrified as anyone else if something goes wrong. Our mantra for our show is it should be a group of friends getting together and taking the piss.
“I have said plenty of dumb things, but I’m not going to run around licking assholes all day.”
“I don’t know if half the shit I say is right. If I hear a better idea or opinion then I will change.”
Working at ARN: “It’s old school radio, not like working for the ATO, which is what it was like at Austereo.”