Andrew Denton Star of Radio, Television and Conference!


Andrew Denton was easily the highlight of the recent National Radio Conference in Melbourne. Andrew’s presentation was on his 7 Tips for Success (here).

In case you missed it, the key points Andrew made were:

  • Be hungry & work harder than the next guy,
  • Look left when searching for ideas,
  • Embrace Roadblocks,
  • Shut up and listen,
  • Shut Down and Daydream
  • Test Yourself
  • Fail Better.

And Andrew knows how to succeed, having one of the most successful careers in Australian media – radio and television, presenting, writing and producing.

I first heard Denton as ‘ Andrew the Boy Wonder ‘ on Doug Mulray’s top rating, legendary breakfast show on Triple M Sydney. 

As well as being in awe of Mulray’s show as I drove to work for my job as Music Director at 2Dayfm, I was fascinated by Andrews’s character and his role in the show. He was a sidekick but had a huge impact.

I later noticed Andrew on the TV shows Blah Blah Blah, The Money or The Gun and Live and Sweaty. He was very, very funny, was unique and a stand out from the regulars on TV, a bit of a nerd and clearly super smart.

Little did I know at the time that his prowess was not only in front of a mike or camera but his great talent was also to be found behind the scenes.

In the nineties I was Group Program Director of Austereo, the Today and Triple M networks. The goal was to take the stations to Number 1 and 2 in every metro market.

2Dayfm was already number 1 and the challenge was finding the killer breakfast show for Triple M Sydney.

I remember very tentatively making contact with Andrew and arranged to meet him at his home. It was fairly nerve wracking to be meeting someone I considered a ‘ genius’, and a big star, one of my heroes, I was a fan.

But I actually found Andrew to be very accommodating, interesting, generous, curious and easy to talk to. It took many takeaway Chinese dinners, lots of meetings, phone calls and the use of all of my powers of persuasion but eventually he agreed to join Triple M so I hired him to host the breakfast show.

We also hired the extraordinary Amanda Keller, at Andrews’s suggestion, to join as cohost making a potent combination. Dave Gibson was writer/comedy, Guy Dobson Triple M’s Program Director, Richard Mortlock Executive Producer and Cathy O’Connor the General Manager.

That was the start of quite a ride and a huge wave of success for Triple M and the Andrew Denton breakfast show.

Andrew not only starred on the air but vigorously worked hard behind the scenes with the producer, writers and his team, tirelessly paying attention to the planning, preparation, promotion, marketing and every detail and aspect of the show.

As he said in his 7 tips, you have to work hard for success – and he did.

At the time Wendy Harmer was on 2Day breakfast and the two shows battled it out for the Number 1 and 2 ratings position.

Andrew’s show was ground breaking and innovative. Strangely this talented ‘ nerd ‘ actually made Triple M cool and hip once again after being in the ratings doldrums for some time .

After several years of great radio success, Andrew felt the pull back to his natural home, television and I along with the rest of the Australia sat at home marvelling at his shows like Enough Rope, Gruen Transfer, CNNN and countless others.

Arguably his greatest TV performance being his hosting of the 1999 Logies!

I learned a lot from Andrew during his time in radio and also over the years as friends. And again I’ve learnt from him with his recent presentation at the National Radio conference.

Well said Andrew. Inspiring stuff !


Brad March is a Director of Radio Today, is a former CEO of Austereo and has been named Media Executive of the Year. He’s Director of Marchmedia and Pacific Retail Management.

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