Out of the sack
Breakfast gig is a real treat for serial muso and fired ad man
BEN BIRCHALL— ad man, muso and now radio star. The frontman of local indie pop act Ben Birchall and the Corrections and Tim Shiel are new additions to Triple R’s Breakfasters line-up alongside Fee Bamford-Bracher, better known as Fee B-Squared.
Music producer Shiel had been co-hosting progressive music show To and Fro for the independent broadcaster, but Birchall (right) is new to the airwaves.
‘‘I’ve been a musician for years and been in and out of Triple R before, and I helped out on some friends’ shows years ago,’’ Birchall, 31, says.
He was back on the long-running show’s radar after he answered a call early last year to remix rapper M.I.A’s Paper Planes.
‘‘A couple of months later I did a segment on the show,’’ he says.
‘‘As soon as I walked into the studio I thought, ‘Man, I want to be here’. It’s people in a really relaxed atmosphere and I think that comes across on air. It’s people who are comfortable with each other. That’s the beauty of it.
‘‘The timing worked out well. I was made redundant in September, so I had some time on my hands.’’
Birchall was sacked from his copywriting job at St Kilda Rd ad agency The Campaign Palace after five years’ service.
He and fellow dumped creative Shane Dawson documented their redundancy with a popular online video blog called The Sack, which they say helped them cope with the pain of being axed.
Birchall had no burning ambition to be on radio but feels ‘‘stupidly lucky’’ to have been picked up by Triple R.
‘‘People have been asking if I always wanted to do radio, but it’s kind of more that I’ve always wanted to be a Breakfaster. I’ve always loved that show and I’m jumping on the end of a long line of interesting, different and incredibly talented people,’’ he says.
‘‘If the offer had come from another station or for another show, I’m not sure what my answer would’ve been.’’
The 6am-9am shift has a good pedigree. Previous hosts include Kate Langbroek, Dave O’Neil, Angus Sampson, Tony Wilson, Sam Pang and John Safran.
Birchall says the show is integral to Melbourne.
‘‘I’ve grown up with it since I decided I was going to reject mainstream radio. Fee’s been on for nine years. She basically shaped my music tastes for the past six or seven. She’s done that for a lot of people,’’ he says.
‘‘The show’s intelligent without being snooty. It’s a relaxed way of waking up. It doesn’t shout at you, it doesn’t yell at you. It has a nice tone and between the three of us, we’re going to retain a lot of that, but at the same time make it our own.’’
Breakfasters returns on January 25.