Andy Lee reveals ‘biggest risk’ he and Hamish Blake ever undertook

Hamish & Andy’s Andy Lee believes leaving the syndicated Drive slot across Southern Cross Austereo’s (SCA) Hit Network was the biggest risk the duo ever took.

Everything – including ratings, enjoyment and record-high pay packets – would indicate they should have stuck it out, he told the Shameless podcast this week.

“The radio show was at its peak, the station had gotten numbers they’d never had before on a national basis, it really was a lot of fun. We weren’t running out of ideas and it was the biggest contracts we’d ever been offered,” he told hosts Zara McDonald and Michelle Andrews.

At the time though it didn’t feel remotely risky.

“I didn’t feel it was risky because I wanted to do a TV show with [Hamish] and we wanted to travel the world, so it seemed like a pretty easy decision,” he said.

“We had a lot of access through Rove, people knew us on TV, we’d done some specials, so it didn’t feel like a huge leap of faith, but, yea, I would say in retrospect, moving to New York to do that first series of Gap Year, to produce and make it on our own, having never done that before, and just not being, something we’re really good at, but we felt we were good at its peak, that would probably be a perceived risk.”

Last month, Hamish Blake appeared on the same podcast and said, despite perceptions to the contrary, Lee is actually a risk taker – and a good one at that.

“He’s a fun guy to take a risk with,” Blake said. “He is very sensible, which I tease him about a little bit. He’s analytical and he won’t take dumb risks, but… a lot of the fun things that I got to do in life are because he kind of levels me out – he drags me up in terms of like ‘Well let’s just go and try something really optimistic’, and that led to a lot of fun things in life.”

Lee’s strength, he said, also lies in his ability to galvanize a team and create “buoyancy”. That buoyancy could manifest during relaxed beers, or a big-scale professional project – “whatever he chose to do, he’d be a great leader in”.

“He’s a rocketship. He’s a rocket booster.”

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