Now it’s prime Tim

Tim Black­well has dis­cov­ered that not all calls to see the boss are to hear bad news

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

MOST em­ploy­ees who an­swer a sum­mons to see the boss th­ese days do so with their heart in their mouth.

Nova 100 DJ Tim Black­well was no ex­cep­tion.

The then Hugh­esy and Kate break­fast show an­chor’s first thought was that he’d done some­thing wrong.

‘‘Lots of thoughts go through your mind like, ‘Is it some­thing I’ve done on the break­fast show?’ ’’ the af­fa­ble Black­well says.

Rather than cop a dress­ing down how­ever, the pop­u­lar young ra­dio tal­ent emerged gob­s­macked to have been given his own show.

Man­age­ment faith in the po­ten­tial of the ra­dio im­prover is such that he was of­fered a gig co-host­ing the sta­tion’s 7-10pm mu­sic show Launch Pad along­side good mate Hay­ley Pear­son.

Though over the moon, Black­well says he def­i­nitely didn’t see the op­por­tu­nity com­ing.

‘‘It was one of those things where we’d done the last show (for the year) and we (Dave Hughes and Kate Lang­broek) just fig­ured we were all go­ing to go into the new year to­gether. And then the boss called me into the of­fice and told me,’’ he says. ‘‘It was def­i­nitely a shock.’’ It wasn’t as though Black­well had much time to get his head around swap­ping 4am starts in favour of be­com­ing a night owl.

Af­ter tak­ing a month off dur­ing sum­mer, most of his Nova col­leagues re­turned with at least a few days up their sleeves to plan their 2009 at­tack.

Sta­tion man­age­ment in­stead de­cided to throw Black­well and Pear­son in at the deep end.

‘‘It was just one of those things where Hay­ley and I had both done a lot (of ra­dio) our­selves in­di­vid­u­ally, so the bosses were like, ‘Well, we were go­ing to give you a cou­ple of days of plan­ning, but how about you just jump on?’ ‘‘We’re like, ‘Oh, OK’.’’ In hind­sight, Black­well says jump­ing straight into the fray was prob­a­bly a good thing.

‘‘Hay­ley and I both thought if we were hang­ing around the work­place for days talk­ing about it, it’s al­most like the build-up would be too big and we’d be ner­vous, as op­posed to get­ting on with it.’’

Black­well says he’s happy with how the show, which fo­cuses heav­ily on lis­tener feed­back via in­ter­net chat fo­rums and email, has gone since he and Pear­son started on Jan­uary 12.

‘‘We thought the first show we did was pretty good and kind of haven’t looked back.’’ Lis­tener feed­back has been pos­i­tive. ‘‘I was re­ally lucky to have been on a show with Hugh­esy and Kate that was so well ex­posed. So a lot of those peo­ple, I feel, have kind of come to nights as well on their way home, which is a good thing for me and the sta­tion.’’

Black­well says he also has a bit more free­dom op­er­at­ing in what he con­sid­ers a less con­ser­va­tive times­lot than break­fast.

‘‘We’ve pretty much been given free rein.’’

A self-de­scribed ‘‘mas­sive mu­sic head’’, the chance to in­ter­view acts such as the Prodigy and Ting Tings is also a big draw­card.

‘‘I go to gigs all the time,’’ Black­well says.

‘‘ Be­fore I came down to Mel­bourne from Nova in Syd­ney I was over in LA and Lon­don and stuff like that in­ter­view­ing bands. I’m kind of get­ting back into that side of it, which I’m re­ally rapt in.’’

HE’S also rel­ish­ing the chance to get out and at­tend more lo­cal gigs, thanks to his more user-friendly work hours.

‘‘I live in Fitzroy and the pubs are still pump­ing and things are still go­ing on a Mon­day night down Brunswick St,’’ Black­well says.

‘‘I even went to the North­cote So­cial Club last Wed­nes­day night and saw a gig and the band wasn’t on stage un­til 11pm and I’m like, ‘This is fan­tas­tic’.

‘‘There is a life af­ter dark I’ve just dis­cov­ered.’’

New gig: Tim Black­well reck­ons he has a bit more free­dom op­er­at­ing in what he con­sid­ers a less con­ser­va­tive times­lot than break­fast.

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