Holden in a hot seat

There’s no Idol ban­ter about his ex­mate from the Vega fill-in

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Guide - GREG THOM

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.

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