Big ideas are a ‘curse’, reveal Hamish and Andy

Radio duo Hamish Blake and Andy Lee have admitted big ideas are a “curse” when it comes to radio because they create an unrealistic level of expectation for both the performers and listeners.

Speaking at the National Radio conference in Melbourne, the HitFM national drive show hosts said they like to grow ideas “plant lots of little seeds and see which one grows”.

Hamish Blake and Andy Lee, Hamish and Andy, speaking at National Radio Conference 2016

Hamish Blake and Andy Lee, Hamish and Andy, speaking at National Radio Conference 2016

Asked about their feelings about starting with big ideas, Blake said: “If that’s how the conversation starts I reckon there’s a 1% chance it will be funny. If the conversation starts with ‘what’s a big idea we can do?’ it will be over-thought and nervous and the chances of it being big and funny are minuscule.

“But if the conversation starts with ‘what’s a fun idea we can do?’ and as a by-product it becomes a large event, then fine.”

“With every idea we have we make sure we leave it open to be as big as possible,” added Lee.

The duo used an example from 2006 when Lee won a beauty pageant and then used the money to buy a greyhound at the suggestion of a user, which evolved into touring it round the country racing it.

Hamish and Andy with their greyhound Fred Bassett in 2006

Hamish and Andy with their greyhound Fred Bassett in 2006

“None of that was ever planned and we were leaving it open,” Lee added. “2007 came around and in the first meeting the bosses came in and said ‘so what’s the greyhound idea for this year?’ and it’s the most daunting thing anyone could have asked, and we got Steve the racing falcon.

“With any idea Hame and I never like to play in the same area again as we know it won’t be as good as that one last time.”

The duo also opened up on their radio style, which sees the two, who are best mates from university, continually mocking each other.

Andy Lee: The radio show changed our relationship

Andy Lee: The radio show changed our relationship

Lee admitted in the early days the radio show did change the nature of their relationship with each other.

“Heading into 2007 we got to realise a lot of people are relying on this friendship, friendship is all we’ve got,” he said.

“It changed the way our friendship worked for a few years, we just preserved it. It was like a marriage when you’re having a kid, this thing is coming along and it’s more important than us and we’ve got to protect it.”

Asked how they manage not to cross the line with each other live on air while continually “hanging shit on each other”, Lee said: “The rule became if there’s something you don’t want me to bring up you should have told me.”

Talking about the nature of the humour Blake likened it to the sports entertainment property, WWE: “We’re fighting but not really fighting.”

But he said it becomes uncomfortable to listen to other presenters who use a similar style but don’t have a strong enough relationship.

Hamish Blake: Our show is like WWE

Hamish Blake: Our show is like WWE

“It can be dangerous to do when you’re on air and you’re not mates with someone,” he added. “Sometimes it becomes more like UFC than WWE. Watching someone actually break someone else’s nose is not fun for anyone.”

The pair also talked about their work on one of the biggest radio events of last year, The People’s Cruise, where they took 100 listeners as ‘stowaways’ on a Carnival cruise ship for a week, broadcasting live each day.

Speaking on how it came about Blake said: “The cruise ship came about with us going ‘do you reckon it would be fun to go on a cruise ship?’.

“We all work in commercial radio and know how these things normally come about with P&O coming to SCA and saying can you do something and us going, ‘Oh no’, but with this we went and said we’d love to do a cruise and take 100 people aboard a baot with 2,000 other people like stowaways and try and win the boat over in the course of a week, and because we have a brilliant team they went and found a cruise liner who would let us do it.”


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