Tally-ho, a Fox hunt

Nova’s new­est trio has no qualms about bat­tling their good friends

Herald Sun - Switched On - - News - ME­GAN MILLER

IT’S A case of ‘‘if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em’’ for Nova’s new drive team. Co­me­dian Ryan Shel­ton, Katie ‘‘Monty’’ Di­mond and Michael ‘‘Wippa’’ Wipfli are tak­ing on their good friends Hamish Blake and Andy Lee in the times­lot na­tion­ally from this week.

Di­mond also dates the boys’ ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer Sam Cavanagh.

But if the trio are ner­vous or un­com­fort­able about com­pet­ing against the Fox FM rat­ings pow­er­house, they’re not show­ing it.

‘‘Whether the rat­ings were ex­actly the same or way out in front, to be com­pletely hon­est, we’ve de­cided to con­cen­trate on our show and make it the best we can,’’ Shel­ton says.

‘‘We feel so lucky to have a show, let alone wor­ry­ing about who we’re up against,’’ he says.

Di­mond says she and Cavanagh have al­ready set bound­aries on pil­low talk about their ri­val sta­tions.

‘‘Sam’s been re­ally sup­port­ive and he knows this is what I’ve been want­ing to do for ages,’’ she says.

‘‘There are cer­tain things we just won’t dis­cuss at home be­cause it com­pro­mises us a lit­tle bit. It’s too hard to know now, but I’m sure there’ll be things that’ll be off lim­its.’’

But on air, the trio prom­ises a dif­fer­ent story.

They’ve re­placed The Wrong Way Home show with Ed Kavalee, Ak­mal Saleh and Cal Wil­son at 4pm-6pm week­days.

With the shift’s two-guys-and-agirl for­mat well tested, the new­com­ers al­ready have a rap­port that can take some ra­dio troupes years to de­velop.

‘‘We’re all very close and have known each other for at least four years,’’ Di­mond says.

‘‘The best thing we think we can do is play on that fact. We hang out to­gether. We just all spent a week in By­ron Bay with a big bunch of friends.’’

They agree noth­ing is sa­cred, and it’s open slather on their pri­vate lives.

‘‘I know some fairly good skele­tons in Monty’s closet I can whip out,’’ Shel­ton says with a laugh.

‘‘The great thing about ra­dio is that you can be in a sit­u­a­tion where some­thing comes up and you didn’t think you’d be talk­ing (about it) but you are. You can’t go back, you have to go with it.’’

Monty adds: ‘‘With ra­dio, you can’t have too many se­crets. Your life has to be an open book.’’

The gig is a far cry from the demo tape for a ra­dio show the three shopped around four years ago with lit­tle suc­cess.

‘‘It didn’t even­tu­ate. We put so much work into it, but it didn’t hap­pen,’’ Di­mond says.

Wipfli then landed a job on break­fast ra­dio in Perth where he’s been based for the past two years, and Shel­ton and Di­mond went on to co-host a Satur­day morn­ing show on Nova last year.

Shel­ton is also a reg­u­lar on Rove and his TV writ­ing cred­its in­clude Real Sto­ries with Blake and Lee.

Plenty of drive:

Nova’s new drive team Michael ‘‘Wippa’’ Wipfli, Katie ‘‘Monty’’ Di­mond and Ryan Shel­ton.

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