Annabelle Brett: ‘I’m in a place with people I truly love’


Annabelle Brett is no stranger to moving house.

She jokes that she’s been helping to keep removalists along Australia’s east coast in business these past few years.

The radio journey of AB – as she’s known to Triple M Queensland listeners – has taken her from Brisbane to the Gold Coast to Bega, Coffs Harbour, Canberra, back to Brisbane and then, most recently, to Townsville.

Today, alongside Elliott Lovejoy, AB co-hosts The Rush Hour Queensland on weekdays.

Come Saturday morning, she’s back behind the mic with Elliott and Gavin Cooper for Deadset Legends.

Born and raised in Brisbane, AB – a self-confessed footy fanatic – tells Radio Today she’s loving being back in her home state, deep in Maroons heartland, covering the issues that matter to Queenslanders.

“Plus being paid to throw shade at New South Wales 24/7? What a dream!”

“I’ve also picked up a gig hosting games for the new NRL team, the Dolphins, which has been an unbelievable experience.”

She regards her co-hosts as her extended family.

“Elliott has helped me grow in so many ways. Going to work every day is never a chore with him, my incredible producer and our wonderful Townsville team.”

AB’s love of radio can be traced back to a young age.

On the morning school run, the car radio was usually tuned to the B105 Brekky team of Jamie Dunn, Robin Bailey and Ian Skippen. Or Spencer Howson, if AB’s mum had her way.

Her dad seemed to have an inkling that AB and her younger brother and sister wouldn’t be following him into the family timber and hardware business.

“I remember when I was in high school my dad came home and told us he’d sold the company. Everyone was HORRIFIED,” AB says.

“He said firstly, he’d heard some Poms called ‘Bunnings’ were coming to town and he ‘had a bad feeling,’ and secondly, he knew deep down none of us were going to be interested in running it when we were older.”

Her dad was on the money.

But it would be a while before AB’s radio journey took shape.

Initially, she had a different career path in mind.

“I started uni wanting to be an architect, then after the classic quarter-life-crisis/gap year, I dropped out and pursued journalism and media/comms.”

Whilst still studying, AB landed a media and marketing job with Super Rugby side the Queensland Reds.

When that position eventually became redundant, AB decided to throw everything into her pursuit of a radio career, starting out in news, before moving onto announcing.

Looking back, AB says there have been many mentors who’ve helped her navigate the rollercoaster that is radio life.

“I spent the most incredible year in Brisbane working with the most top shelf humans. Lise and Sarah (formerly Those Two Girls) taught me to value myself and not tolerate anybody who makes me feel less worthy than I am.”

Jack Ball and Ellie Angel-Mobbs, who helped me get back on track after a pretty tough time, and who are also the brains behind the massive success B105 has had in Brisbane.”

“I love working for Triple M at a time with so much incredible female talent at the helm – including but not limited to Leisel Jones, Sarah Maree Cameron, Ali Plath, Emma Lawrence, Laura O’Callaghan, Loren Barry, Molly Rose, Michelle Anderson, Margaux Parker and Katie Lamb – to just name a few.”

Bored by the online criticism of some of her contemporaries, AB is passionate about supporting women in the industry, and equally passionate in her defence of those who’ve come to radio via reality TV.

“Even though I did pursue the traditional path into radio of moving around and slogging it out in regional stations, we as an industry need to move past the concept of a ‘right’ way to land a big gig.”

AB says just because someone like Abbie Chatfield didn’t follow that ‘traditional’ route, it doesn’t make her any less dedicated or talented.

“Since the beginning of time people have come into this from so many different paths – acting, footy, being the wife or partner of a footy player, children’s entertainment, comedy, etc.”

“Anybody can nail it or fail at it from any of those backgrounds, and if you’re not seriously wanting to put in the work, you’ll get found out pretty quickly.”

AB is at pains to point out that people like Abbie and the KIIS team of Brittany Hockley and Laura Byrne have put in the hard yards.

“20 years ago, the concept of a two-woman show was sneered at, and one for a solo female talent? No chance.”

“These aren’t just ‘reality stars turned radio,’ they all had to work hard to build huge brands with huge audiences to be in the gigs they are in now.”

“We’re getting all new listeners to radio in droves and that’s a GOOD thing.”

“Someone like Abbie is never going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but nobody is meant to be, nor will they ever be.”

AB says that for a long time, the airwaves were dominated by powerful men who weren’t afraid to speak their minds.

“We now have a woman in that position and I think that’s pretty bloody cool,” she says.

As for where the industry might be headed, AB says “Radio isn’t going anywhere, but like most things, it needs to constantly modernise.”

“I don’t believe podcasting will replace radio, but it will continue to work alongside it and compliment it.”

“Some of the greatest people I’ve worked with in radio are in podcasting now (Keeshia Pettit, Zoe Scutter and Sam Blacker, to name a few) and those skills they gained from radio have been – and will continue to be – vital for anybody hoping to find success in that space.”

AB believes the announcer of the future will be someone who’s not afraid to upskill.

Her advice is “Learn to panel, make and edit video and audio content yourself now – you’ll be more marketable for it.”

For AB, like so many others, the radio journey has been a learning curve.

“I’ve definitely had a good mix of jobs I’ve loved and loathed in radio and it’s nice to be in a place with people I truly love where I can make meaningful content that is important to me.”

At the end of the day, for AB, it’s the people who count.

“It’s something I’ve finally learned to put more value on – you can keep chasing the dream forever, but if the people aren’t great, it is absolutely not worth the hustle.”

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Brad Wood
17 May 2023 - 7:50 am

What a pleasure to not only be privy to AB’s work as a colleague at SCA and the Dolphins, but as a very close friend. A champion of not only women in the industry, but everyone who is giving it a red hot crack. Find someone more deeply dedicated to cheerleading for people – I think you’ll have a hard time!

Josh Olek
17 May 2023 - 9:27 am

AB is a weapon and is truly one of the greats. I wouldn’t be surprised to see her on air in Brisbane really soon.

You deserve all your praise mate! Congrats.

17 May 2023 - 9:43 am

What a brilliant human.
MMM will do well if they continue to support someone as smart and strong as AB

Unemployed Mitchell Tinley
17 May 2023 - 10:49 am

The P4P hardest worker and greatest hustler in Radio!

17 May 2023 - 11:00 am

I heard one time she met John Stamos on a plane

Crystal Vas
17 May 2023 - 1:06 pm

Adore this woman!
So glad we became pals back in Bega many stations ago. Amazing talent as well as an amazing person. ❤️

Jason Momoa
18 May 2023 - 1:15 pm

What a good egg

20 Jun 2023 - 12:59 pm

Classic AB, gets an article dedicated to her and she spends it talking about how great other people are! The world would be a better place if we could all be more like Annabelle xxx

20 Aug 2023 - 12:23 am

I like the enthusiasm of this girl, really don’t believe someones background should matter though, why should a footballers wife or reality celebrity be given a shit over hard workers like this young lady. Anywho, keep it up. NRL content isn’t for me but how she presents some of her content can be funny at times. Girl power!!


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