Hughesy on why he won’t be taking 2DayFM Breakfast too seriously
If you’re a Sydney-based broadcaster, comedian or influencer and you haven’t been on 2DayFM Breakfast, or at least been asked to consider it over the past eight years, are you even a Sydney-based broadcaster, comedian or influencer?
It’s an easy joke to make, especially as speculation ramped up over who would take over what some view as radio’s toughest gig.
Late last year, we were frequently asking ‘Who’s been approached for 2DayFM Breakfast in 2021?’
‘Who bloody hasn’t?’ would often be the response.
The gag was only fuelled further by the roll call of hosts the show has boasted since 2014.
Jules Lund. Merrick Watts. Sophie Monk. Mel B. Dan Debuf. Maz Compton. Rove McManus. Sam Frost. Em Rusciano. Harley Breen. Ed Kavalee. Grant Denyer. Ash London. Jamie Angel.
The talent turnover on the once powerhouse station is something to behold.
But Sydney’s newest radio recruit, Dave Hughes, currently based in Melbourne, is reluctant to get caught up in the history of the show, or the politics of who is based where.
Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) has promised ‘Hughesy’ will move to Sydney, as will Ed Kavelee. Erin Molan, who rounds out The Morning Crew, was already here.
But when exactly will Hughesy get here? COVID, he says, isn’t helping the transition.
“[I’ll be] up in Sydney looking for a house as soon as the borders open. And with zero cases today in Sydney, and really, we’ve only had a couple over the last week, surely to God we open and we can…. We live in Australia, can’t we just live our lives within Australia? Can we do that guys? C’mon,” he says, oozing frustration.
Sydney, he says, is a beautiful, joyous town, and one which has been supportive of both his stand-up career and his syndicated Drive show Hughesy & Ed.
“To be able to hit a Breakfast audience and give that opportunity every day to really narrow in on the Sydney audience, it’s going to be fun. I’m looking forward to it,” he says.
Despite the opportunity, he does acknowledge the Breakfast market is already well covered in Sydney. So who does he want to attract? Who is the ideal listener for The Morning Crew?
“It’s hard to say. I mean you want a broad audience – the broader the better. I want kids driving to school with their mum or their dad. I want tradies. I want everyone. I want uni students. Funny’s funny as far as I can tell, and you never know who’s going to get your jokes. It’s not really, it’s not necessarily a person who looks a certain way,” he says.
“I mean the network might tell us we want women in their 30s, I’m not sure, I probably should know what they think. But I just want anyone who likes a laugh. I know that I get kids who think I’m funny and I get older people who think I’m funny, and I mean obviously Ed has got a really broad appeal to his radio, and obviously he’s on the hit show Have You Been Paying Attention? And then Erin is bloody, my God she’s so well known, especially in Sydney, it’s crazy. When I’m on the street with Erin, I feel like I’m out with One Direction or something.”
Molan may be loved by the tradies, as Hughesy says, but her inclusion in the show does put a definitive end to the Hughesy & Kate era of radio.
Hughesy and Kate Langbroek were on air together as far back as 2001, alongside Dave O’Neil for Breakfast on Nova 100 in Melbourne.
O’Neill left in 2006 to join Vega, however Hughesy & Kate remained on Nova until 2013.
The duo was back on air in 2015 on the KIIS Network as a syndicated Drive show, before they jumped ship in 2018, joining the Hit Network, which includes Hughes’ new home, 2DayFM.
Langeboek, however, moved her family to Italy in 2019, and steadily had less presence on the show. She was officially replaced by Kavalee, transforming Hughesy & Kate into Hughesy & Ed, however remained in touch with the show, fuelling speculation she would eventually rejoin the billing.
Hughesy confirmed to Radio Today that an offer was on the table for Langbroek to get the band back together, but it didn’t come to fruition. She will instead be on ARN’s 3PM Pick Up on the KIIS Network.
“That’s definitely a tough one. Kate is, we were trying to get Kate involved in this show, but she’s got different priorities and that’s fair enough. So, Kate was definitely in the mix… There was an offer for Kate, but she [didn’t take it]. We still speak. I’m going to see her tonight. We still talk a lot and text a lot, and yea, nah, she got a sweet gig. To be honest, she got a sweet gig. 3pm Pick Up is a sweet gig…. She knows that, but yea, I love Kate and she loves me, I believe, so we will continue to be great friends, and who knows what happens in the future,” he says.
So with a new show in a new city, without his long-term sidekick, how will Hughesy measure the program’s success? Is it about turning the station’s fortunes around? Adjusting to the early-morning alarm? Staying in the role longer than his predecessors?
“I’ve got a long-term deal. I don’t know, You want to be able to just, I don’t know. I’m not sure what that means. I probably should have an answer to that. I don’t know,” he says, noting he doesn’t take anything too seriously.
“We just giggle a lot. [Ed] makes me laugh. I’ve been getting the giggles so much lately on radio. It’s crazy. There are times where I can’t speak…. We have times where I’ve lost it and then if he’s struggling and sometimes Jack our anchor can’t speak, and it’s like ‘Someone has to speak’. Because if you don’t speak for a certain amount of time on radio, a song just cuts in because they think you’ve died or something….. We’ve had some times where we’re not meant to laugh. You feel like you’re not meant to laugh and so you stop speaking and then the audience think you’re actually crying…
“Life is ridiculous and that we should laugh at it. Honestly.”