Baby boom air ap­par­ent

Break­fast crews serve up morn­ing sickness in a labour of love

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Guide - - GREG THOM

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.

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