Out of the sack

Break­fast gig is a real treat for se­rial muso and fired ad man

Herald Sun - Switched On - - News - ME­GAN MILLER

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.

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