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Em Rusciano to take a break from radio to deal with miscarriage

Em Rusciano has announced she will take some time off from her Sydney breakfast show on Southern Cross Austereo’s 2Day FM to help her cope with the miscarriage she suffered earlier this year.

Rusciano said she simply can’t be funny this week

Comedian and regular guest of The Em Rusciano Radio Show with Harley Breen, Celeste Barber, will fill in for Rusciano.

Rusciano’s due date would have been Thursday this week and she told listeners this morning she couldn’t bring herself to be funny during this difficult time.

“I was supposed to give birth tomorrow. And I wasn’t really sure, and this was another thing, when you lose a baby – and I lost my baby at 14 weeks – no-one really tells you what to do when the due date comes around. There’s no manual. There’s no, yea, I was just going to try and power through it and then it’s been looming on the horizon like a dark cloud. And I didn’t think I could probably get on air and do three hours. I don’t know what to do with myself,” she said.

“I just don’t feel like being funny. It’s really hard. This whole week’s been really hard,” she said before foreshadowing how she would get through the next few days.

“Yea I think I just need to – I don’t know if I need to sit or watch trashy camp movies. Barbra Streisand – what I’m going to do is, my best friend Michael Lucas is coming over and he is bringing a bottle of gin. And Barbra Streisand is releasing her Netflix special tomorrow, because Babs knew. Babs knew I needed her. And so we’re going to watch Barbra Streisand’s Netflix spectacular and drink gin. And that’s how I’m going to be spending the day I was supposed to be giving birth.

“And I know a lot of people have been messaging me saying they’re thinking of me and a lot of women have said they didn’t know what to do on the day that they were supposed to give birth. And there have been some lovely suggestions: that we have a birthday. He’s in a plant in my front yard, so I’m going to hang out around the plant. I mean it’s weird and sad, but I think it’s really important I keep talking about it – and I don’t want to. Every instinct in me is just to shut it down and make jokes and power on, but I realised through this ordeal that one in four pregnancies end in miscarriage or in something happening to the baby. And women carry this pain around in them and in their heart and this gaping hole, but we’re expected just to power on and get over it and that’s been said to me a few times – ‘Just get over it’ – but you don’t get to tell people how to process grief. So I just wanted to let any woman know who’s listening who has got a due date looming or had one – I don’t know how you did it. I don’t know how I’m going to do it. But I’m just going to do as I always say and get up tomorrow and put one foot in front of the other and get to the end of the day – look, probably crying and drinking gin and singing Barbra Streisand.”

Breen – who is leaving the show at the end of this year to spend more time with his family and dedicate more to his stand-up career – said Rusciano was making the right choice.

“I think it’s a good choice mate. My thoughts are with you and I think you’re making the right choice. You don’t need to be in here talking to people in Sydney on that day.  And you’ll be the better for it…. Comedy is tragedy, plus time. Not just tragedy,” he said.

Rusciano and Breen have struggled in the traditional radio ratings, securing just 2.9% of the Sydney breakfast market in the latest survey, according to GfK. Rusciano and SCA, however, have consistently maintained the show has strong online engagement and unrivalled podcast listenership.

Commercial Radio Australia’s chief executive Joan Warner however defended the methodology and the numbers it produced, arguing they are “robust, consistent and reliable”.

Ed Kavalee, formerly of Triple M’s Brisbane breakfast program, will replace Breen in 2018.

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