Holden in a hot seat
There’s no Idol banter about his exmate from the Vega fill-in
MARK Holden is more familiar with sharing a seat on the Australian Idol judging panel with Ian ‘‘Dicko’’ Dickson than keeping his former colleague’s chair warm on radio.
In a superb piece of irony, Holden, sacked in a blaze of publicity from the TV talent show earlier this year, now finds himself filling in for his old mate on Vega’s breakfast show.
This despite Dickson’s comment in an interview that he was ‘‘thrilled to be not having his (Holden) stupid orange face butting in all the time (on Idol)’’.
Dickson says he regrets the comments, made under the influence of alcohol, and has made several unsuccessful attempts to make amends with his former colleague.
There is no awkwardness with the situation in Holden’s mind. Since his humiliating boning from Idol, he and Dickson no longer speak.
Holden says the pair crossed paths briefly in the corridors of Vega’s Richmond studio, but as far as their relationship is concerned, that ship has sailed.
‘‘I don’t know why there would be (a chance of reconciliation). I mean, he’s moved on, I’ve moved on, that’s life, you know,’’ Holden says.
Holden, who fled to the US with his family for most of the year in an effort to put the Idol humiliation behind him, is instead embracing his stint behind the microphone.
He says he enjoys sharing the hosting duties with athlete Tamsyn Lewis, who is herself filling in for regular breakfast co-host Chrissie Swan while Swan is on maternity leave.
Holden says the pair’s age difference (Lewis is 30 and he admits to being in his 50s) complements rather than complicates their on-air relationship.
‘‘We really do represent two different generations, which is great. She’s got a different take on it than me, but we both love sport,’’ he says.
‘‘She’s really knowledgeable about sport and is really up on that in a really detailed way and I’m not. But I’m a sports fan, so I enjoy talking sport with her.’’
Though best known in recent times for his TV work Holden, who is filling in for Dickson until December 19, is no stranger to radio. Last year he teamed up with Cal Wilson for four weeks doing the drive shift at Vega’s sister station Nova. He spent three months on air with Dickson and Swan at Vega. More recently he filled in at 3AW and says he loves radio’s immediacy.
‘‘I enjoy the live aspect of radio. I love being in the moment,’’ he says.
‘‘It’s really good to be performing and to be live. I loved that about Idol, too. I loved the live nature of it.
‘‘If you screw up, it’s out there and you’ve got to move on.’’
Holden says he has been pleasantly surprised at how easily he and Lewis have clicked on air.
‘‘Given that I didn’t know Tamsyn at all, I think she’s a revelation really,’’ Holden says.
‘‘I’d never met her. I know she has done some radio in the past, but I just didn’t know what to expect.
‘‘It’s bright, it’s fun and at 6 o’clock in the morning I think that’s what people want to hear.’’
While there was a time such early starts would have come as a rude shock, that is no longer the case.
These days Holden is used to rising at the crack of dawn to drive his daughter to school, so heading into work has been no great lifestyle change.
‘‘In my former life as a musician, I probably would have been going to bed at that time,’’ he says with a laugh.
Mark Holden and Tamsyn Lewis, Vega’s new summer breakfast duo.