Nut crack­ers

Jeff Wort­man and the other Paul Ho­gan are mak­ing Triple M waves

Herald Sun - Switched On - - News - ME­GAN MILLER

NEVER be­fore has a ra­dio show so needed to carry the warn­ing: ‘‘Con­tains traces of nuts.’’

Mel­bourne lar­rikins Jeff Wort­man and Paul Ho­gan host The Peanut Gallery on Triple M, an ir­rev­er­ent late-night gabfest of sport, news, en­ter­tain­ment, gos­sip and talk­back.

The boys have en­joyed primetime billing for the past four weeks, 7-10pm Mon­days to Thurs­days, while reg­u­lar pre­sen­ters Paul Mur­ray and Rachel Cor­bett fill in for the net­work in Syd­ney. They re­turn next week to the 10pm-mid­night slot on Tues­days and Thurs­days they’ve held since May. And their fu­ture is bright. Triple M of­fered Wort­man and Ho­gan their own show af­ter see­ing their weekly Su­per­Footy Wrap Round and var­i­ous other tongue-incheek sport-re­lated videos on the Her­ald Sun web­site and YouTube.

‘‘It was their unique and fresh sound that stood out for me,’’ Triple M con­tent di­rec­tor Shaun Gough says. ‘‘They even had a hint of young Roy & HG about them.

‘‘The boys are ef­fort­lessly creative and share an un­mis­tak­able chem­istry that pro­duces a la­conic sound that’s re­ally easy to lis­ten to.

‘‘It’s so in­vig­o­rat­ing to work with two guys who have such a great sense of them­selves and with such a strong work ethic.’’

Sis­ter sta­tion Fox FM owes much of its rat­ings dom­i­nance to the cheeky but lov­able Hamish Blake and Andy Lee, so it’s easy to see why Triple M is groom­ing Ho­gan, 30, and Wort­man, 31.

As did Blake and Lee, the two met at uni. Twelve years ago they en­rolled in the same VCA creative arts course. Ho­gan dropped out af­ter six months, but Wort­man com­pleted with hon­ours.

‘‘We ended up in the same spot, but I saved my par­ents thou­sands of dol­lars,’’ Ho­gan says.

And shar­ing a name with the star of Croc­o­dile Dundee doesn’t hurt Ho­gan’s mar­ketabil­ity.

‘‘The best story was when my mum and I stayed at Sea World Nara Re­sort in Queens­land. I was 15. Paul Ho­gan was film­ing Flip­per the movie at Sea World, so ev­ery day Mum and I would re­ceive free fruit bas­kets and bot­tles of cham­pagne. That was the only time our paths crossed.’’

But the new­bies are find­ing work­ing for a com­mer­cial net­work has its pit­falls.

‘‘The great thing is, any time we don’t think we’re get­ting enough callers we just rub­bish Nick­el­back and all of a sud­den every­one starts ring­ing in,’’ Wort­man says with a laugh.

Peanut mut­ter: (left) mad Triple M duo Jeff Wort­man and Paul Ho­gan.

Pic­ture: CHRIS SCOTT

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