Baby boom air apparent
Breakfast crews serve up morning sickness in a labour of love
IF CHILDREN aren’t part of your immediate life plan, perhaps you should avoid getting a job in FM radio.
There is something of a baby boom happening among the city’s breakfast crews.
Top-rating FOX FM breakfast cohost Jo Stanley announced on air recently that she is expecting her first child.
The news followed Triple M breakfast announcer Peter Helliar bailing on co-host Myf Warhurst after the first ad break to ferry pregnant wife Brigid to hospital for the birth of third child Oscar.
Not to be outdone, Vega breakfast show presenter Chrissie Swan, of the Dicko, Dave and Chrissie Show, is due to give birth to her first child in November.
Stanley is at a loss to explain the sudden baby boom.
‘‘I’m quite surprised, given the hours that breakfast-radio people do, that they are actually able to see their partners,’’ she says.
‘‘I don’t know what the rationale is behind it all.’’
Stanley took her colleagues at FOX as well as her audience by surprise when she announced her pregnancy on-air.
‘‘They were all very excited. You know, they’re just the best team you could ever work with and it’s really lovely,’’ she says.
‘‘I’ve been overwhelmed by how sweet and supportive and excited everybody has been, not only from my team, but also listeners and people within the station as a whole. It’s just been amazing.’’
Stanley says the hardest part was trying to conceal her pregnant state from the rest of the crew while arriving for 5am starts suffering morning sickness.
‘‘I just made a quiet exit every now and then from the studio off to the loo,’’ she says.
‘‘I tried to focus on the show and tried to keep my mind off it. So that was kind of a great tactic in the end.’’
Helliar is also bemused by the baby bonanza hitting those behind the mic.
‘‘It was funny actually, because we (wife Brigid) heard the girls at reception at our obstetrician talking and they said there was a bit of a (baby) boom in radio,’’ he says.
‘‘We didn’t know anyone else who was pregnant and they weren’t allowed to say who.’’
Helliar recently caught up with Swan, who revealed she is seeing the same doctor.
Helliar got the news only a couple of minutes before going on air that his wife was going into labour.
He somehow managed to get through to the first ad break before heading out the door.
That doesn’t mean his shift on air was done.
‘‘The guys rang me about 7.15am. I was actually supposed to be timing the contractions, but I lost count,’’ Helliar says.
As with most aspects of breakfast radio DJs’ lives, Helliar and Stanley readily admit they will share the trials and tribulations of pregnancy, childbirth and parenthood with listeners.
‘‘There are obviously some things that I will keep to myself,’’ Stanley says with a laugh.
‘‘(But) I’m the sort of person to get myself into calamitous trouble fairly frequently, so I will be sharing those kinds of embarrassing steps along the way with the listeners.’’
When it comes to work/life balance, Helliar says his gruelling early morning starts may actually work in his favour.
‘‘With Liam (6) and Aiden (3), I got up for feeds and did all that,’’ he says. ‘‘But I think Brigid knows I obviously have to be up at 4am and there’s no point both of us being buggered at the end of the day, so it actually works out pretty well.’’
AS WITH Swan, Stanley says she will try to remain on air as long as possible leading up to the birth, along with balancing motherhood, early starts and life behind the microphone after the arrival of her baby, due in March.
‘‘Though I will say that perhaps I might be limited when it comes to all the crazy stunts that we do as I get bigger and bigger,’’ Stanley says.
While remaining flexible on work arrangements, neither Stanley nor Swan are keen to go down the path of mother of three Kate Langbroek on Nova, who at one point operated from a temporary studio installed at her home.
‘‘I’ve done lots of shows down the line when I’ve been in Sydney or wherever and you can do it, but it isn’t quite the same as being in the studio with all of that great rapport that we have,’’ Stanley says.
‘‘You work around it (baby) and whatever needs to happen at the time. I really have no idea, I’ve never had a baby before.’’
Jo Stanley will stay on air as long as possible before the birth.