Heidi Anderson: Shares what it’s really like to work in radio
Heidi Anderson, one third of hit92.9 Perth’s Heidi, Will and Woody. Like most she has been quizzed a million times about what it is like to work in radio. So she’s gone about answering it.
She’s also kept Will and Woody happy too, confirming she likes the boys and they haven’t slept with each other unlike some breakfast shows…. Hmmmmm. Thanks to Heidi for allowing Radio Today to share. You can read the full story in Perth Now.
I’ve been working in radio since 2010 and during this time I have been asked the same questions about radio and my job over and over again.
So many people that I meet are curious about what we do when the song is playing, how much we get paid and whether we read from scripts or not.
So I thought I’d take you behind the microphone.
My career started in Warrnambool, Victoria, writing ads and announcing songs.
After a short nine weeks I moved to Bunbury, Western Australia to work at Hot FM where I joined the breakfast show.
After two awesome years I crossed back to the Eastern states and did a short stint in Newcastle, before moving back to Perth nine months later to work at hit92.9 with Will and Woody.
Each and every day for a radio host is different, new and exciting and that’s why I love this job.
Here are the questions us radio hosts get asked all the time.
Apologies in advance too, I’m sorry if I break any of your hearts with the truth.
How do you get into radio?
You work for free. Many of us got our feet through the front door by working for free — for days, weeks, months and sometimes years.
My story goes like this …
I was working at a pub when I was 19 in Bathurst, NSW when a lady from the local radio station asked if I’d ever thought about getting into radio. She loved my voice, bless her. I told her I’d dreamt of being on the radio since I was little girl and used to pretend I had my own radio studio in my room and I’d record myself on my pink tape player.
A few months later she called the pub and told me to come in and see her. I then started going in and helping the breakfast show out occasionally before university. After I graduated university, I went to the UK for four years where I worked in bars and marketing agencies doing Public Relations. In 2010 after working in PR in London I decided I wanted to work on a breakfast radio show, so I came home and I applied for the Australian Film Television and Radio School in Sydney.
After a long process, I found out I got in.
This is where my radio career really started. The main myth I’m going to bust here … is the one that might break a few hearts. This statement is made by almost every person I meet.
“You guys have the easiest job in the world, you only work three hours a day and just talk crap on the radio …”
Ha, ha if only! We’re constantly in meetings.
We get up at 4am, which means I’m in bed some nights by 7.30pm. I am an absolute Nanna, my friends know if they want a dinner date on a school night it’s a 5.30pm start.
Straight after the show we sit in meeting after meeting and plan! Sometimes we’re here until late afternoon doing interviews or off filming.
At night if I’m not in bed by 7.30pm, we’re out at an event … I’d love to say I’m rocking the red carpet, but I’ve got no sense of style.
Do you drink coffee?
Do you wear your PJ’s to work?
No. I haven’t met anyone that does this. Would you wear your PJ’s to work?
Do you guys know what you’re going to say? Do you plan it?
Yes and no. We do not read from any scripts, all of our conversations are natural and unplanned.
We speak with our producers before the show and discuss ideas for the show and angles but that’s it.
Who’s the most famous person you’ve interviewed?
This is a tough one as I haven’t been in radio that long. But it would have to be Kim Kardashian. Ha, I know right! I get asked all the time who my favourite celebrity interview is and it would have to be Robbie Williams. This may be because I’ve had a crush on him since I was 16.
The most awkward interview would’ve been with Eric Bana, I found him to be very disconnected and cold. It was in our first few months together as a show, so we could’ve just been asking terrible questions.
Do you get heaps of free stuff?
Yes and no. I always get offered freebies for things I don’t want — the movies and the concert tickets I never care about.
Have you ever slept in?
Yes once in Bunbury. I must’ve forgot to put my alarm on. Actually that day I wore my PJ’s to work.
Why do you play that song on repeat?
So much research goes into how the songs track and the average listener will hear 15 minutes at a time.
Can you put this song on for me tomorrow?
Ummmm no, we don’t actually chose the music. We have a music guy who does this.
What do you do when the song is playing or ads are on?
We talk about what’s happening next or we catch up on each other’s lives.
Do you like your job?
Yes! I absolutely love it. I could talk about radio all day long. I wake up every morning and get to hang out with two guys who genuinely make me laugh.
How are you always happy?
I’m human, I don’t always wake up happy. Sometimes I’m tired. Sometimes I’ve had a fight with my boyfriend the night before. We all wake up on the wrong side of the bed occasionally but at 6am you shake it off and you get on with it … With Will and Woody I’ll be laughing by 6.01 anyway.
Do you like Will and Woody?
Yes, thankfully. We spend almost every part of the day together. I’ve heard stories over the years of some breakfast shows hating each other and doing the show from separate studios and others that like each other so much they’re sleeping together. We haven’t done either, yet.