10 Questions with Mike van Acker

Former Assistant Editor

Brisbane local and comedian Mike van Acker recently joined 97.3FM‘s new Breakfast show, replacing the outgoing Terry Hansen.

Mike made his stand-up comedy debut in 1992 and has become a staple of the comedy scene since, but he’s no stranger to radio.

He has previously appeared on radio segments for 612 ABC and Triple M, as well as part of B105’s Gabby, Mike and Stav Breakfast show.

Now, after a couple of weeks of the Bianca, Mike and Bob show on 97.3FM, Mike answers 10 questions with Radio Today.

How’ve you settled into the new job?

OMG! I’m loving it hard every day! Since my last stint at breaky radio, I’ve continued doing stand up and built a strong boutique trivia brand, but radio was always my passion. I don’t feel ‘settled’ yet, but I feel welcomed and supported by the team at 97.3 and ARN in general. Still learning and adjusting, but couldn’t be happier.

Do you think the listeners have taken to you well so far?

I hope so. Either the feedback has been positive, or the team at 97.3 is shielding me from the negative stuff. And Monday morning when I turned up for week two on the Breakfast Show my security pass still worked and I got into the building ok – which I took as a good sign.

How did the move to 97.3FM come about?

I got lucky. Terry Hansen is an old mate of mine, so when he made what I’m sure was a very difficult decision to resign for health and family reasons, I had already met the Breakfast team. Then, through a series of meetings and off-air auditions was able to cajole them into giving me the gig.

Tell us about your first ever radio gig.

I did ‘breakfast radio work experience’ with Sea FM on the Sunshine Coast in 2005. I met John Caruso then, who was a great teacher, and also Paul Amos from ESP. Those guys were incredibly generous with their time and advice, and when a gig opportunity opened up at B105 in Brisbane in late 2005 I was fortunate enough to get a shot at breakfast. Rex Morris was my first PD and I loved working with him. 2006 was a crazy year – enough said.

Do you feel like much has changed since you were on Breakfast at B105?

I can’t speak for the industry because I wasn’t in it, but my personal experience is that ARN offers so much in terms of off-air support. I love their passion for making radio. Liam Renton, Joanne Holder, and Brett and Greg our audio guys move mountains to support us every day, and Barry Drinkwater is an awesome mentor.

How do you prepare for your shift on air?

It’s a group effort. I’ve really enjoyed bringing content ideas to the show – our breakfast room is a great place to throw out an idea and tap into the hive mind.

How does your personality different from on air to off air?

On air, you get the best bits of me – me in up-tempo mode.

What are you most excited about in your new gig?

All of it. Being back in the game is something I’ve wanted since I left commercial radio in 2006. In all that time I still got twitchy on ratings day, still thought about content, and never gave up on my dream of being back on air.

What do you like about the medium of radio compared to other jobs you’ve had?

The immediacy. A great idea today can be awesome content tomorrow or the next day.

Sum up working in radio in three words.

Still slightly terrifying.

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