Gibson & Duckworth Return to Triple M Sydney

Staff Writer

There was considerable excitement when 2MMM announced over the Christmas/New Year period radio favourites Rob Duckworth and Dave Gibson were “briefly” returning to the M’s for a 2 hour Saturday morning show creatively titled “Gibson & Duckworth”.   Then McDonald’s announced it would be making it’s breakfast menu available all day and now it would appear for the foreseeable future Duck and Gibbo will remain a permanent fixture from 7-9am as lead ins to the ‘Dead Set Legends’ every Saturday morning.

One paragraph in and I’m excited.  It’s too much good news (in a year that quite frankly has been a bit of a stinker for losing some of the best rock legends the music industry has ever produced) to take in all at once.

But, they’re back. Duckworth who celebrates his 38th year in commercial radio this year and Gibson so focussed on making his character voices not just perfect to pitch but to script as well.

The last time I was at Triple M it was wood panelling and a view to die for. Today it’s an open plan office and studio set up with the closest view being the obstructive World Square next door. I’ve arrived just before the 8am news. “Walk this way” says Duckworth cautioning me not to be arrested in the process. His energy at this time of the day is infectious.  Gibson is busy crossing out bits from his scripts and rehearsing to himself.  There’s a minute to go before they’re back on air. Krusty the Clown is preparing to give the weather, they’ve already talked to the Pope and in the coming hour many other characters will give their input, brilliantly voiced by Dave. But this isn’t the straight guy and the funny man. This is a symbiosis that’s incredible to listen to and even more amazing to watch. A highlight was a random call from ‘Warren’ who calls in to tell the boys that if he wins the lotto he’s going to buy Triple M and have Dave and Rob on every day.

Fans of the Mulray/Denton years at MMM will remember all of Gibsons’ characters and ‘anti-ads’, including “Gloria” (my personal favourite) Jack Africa and Mr Smiley.  He left but returned to Dentons’ breakfast show in 1997.

Rob and Dave first created their close friendship in 1990 when they co-hosted Triple M Brisbane’s breakfast show.  After two years they returned to Sydney.  Gibson would then go on to return to Dentons’ breakfast show in 1997 with Amanda Keller and when the immortal “nanna” was born.

It’s still impossible to believe Rob has been working in radio since 1978. From his start at 2LF in Young, though 2GF,2CC, 2UW, 2SM, 2DAY, WSFM and perhaps the most interesting experience of his career hosting the breakfast show on Radio 2 in Dubai, where the temperature can reach 49 degrees. It’s a hot and dusty place where you run from one air conditioned building to another.

Triple M has worked out a format that works. When we forget “commercial” in commercial radio it matters little if you’re number 1 or number 9 if you’ve got the advertising revenue coming in. There’s a perception that Triple M Sydney is for “blokes focused on sport”. But this is an assumption Content Director Jamie Angel is quick to dispel. “The Grill Team might spend 20% of their program on sport. We dominate Males 25-54 but sometimes win 25-54 across all people”

They also enjoy a considerable female share across their content.

What Triple M has done to their credit is formulated a program line up, kept it, built it and aside from the odd tweak here and there have stuck to it. A lesson other stations could take a page from. There’s no doubt Duckworth and Gibson work well together. But so do many of the other teams on 2MMM. Content Directors often put people together because they think it will work. But if there’s no connection, no vibe then it comes through the mic and people switch off.  Jamie knows this and to his credit it’s working.

I hope Triple M keep the lads on for months or years to come. They both have voices that have been the soundtrack of our lives. Gibson as the “Gobbledok” that fur ball thing that wanted to eat everyone’s chips and then so many memorable characters and Rob whose voice is instantly recognisable whenever you hear it.

You can hear Gibson & Duckworth every Saturday morning from 7-9am AEDT and the rest of the days programming through the week on 104.9FM in Sydney or stream online at

Andrew (left) with Gibson & DuckworthAbout:

Andrew Jaffrey has worked in and out of radio since 1990. Most recently he’s started his own business freelancing for radio, TV, print and online mainly specialising in crime, courts and corrections. His book “Darkness before for the Dawn” on the Quakers Hill Nursing Home fires will be out in April this year. You can even follow him on twitter @andrewjaffrey

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