In radio circles I had a reputation

Staff Writer

In radio circles I had a reputation, and not a good one. I was known as one of the more difficult people to work with ever to grace the Austereo airwaves. This was borne out during a conversation I had with Craig Bruce some time ago where he actually described me as a c#&t. Craig was the anchor for my breakfast show at SAFM during 1995/6; and to be honest he was probably right in his assessment.

My behaviour was erratic, demanding and at times intolerable, but most of all it was destructive. Although I was a high achiever, particularly during the years of 1997 to 2001 as one half of Timbo and Bedders for Breakfast on Triple M Melbourne I was in a spiral of manic depression that remained undiagnosed for many years.

During my time at Triple M, Tim and I achieved great success, though it was a success that never seemed to bring me great personal joy; I just wasn’t happy. I was constantly in conflict with any PD that we worked with and was regularly being needed to be brought into line by Jeff Allis.

The fluctuations in mood from crushing lows to extreme highs made me an extremely volatile person to work with and led to destructive relationships with people who I actually cared about. I was in an emotional freefall and was helpless to do anything about it. What was perceived as rampant ego was actually a mental illness.

Eventually at the end of 2001 it all became too much for Austereo and although I was still making funny and entertaining radio it was decided that enough was enough and my contract was not renewed. Once regular radio work dried up, although I did have a brief stint at 3AW where my personality issues again caused problems, I fell into a deep depression. Although I continued doing stand up and writing books, things were not well on the mental front.

Finally I decided to seek help and was diagnosed with bi-polar depression in 2007 a diagnosis which saw me hospitalised on several occasions and undergo ECT to try and get me through this debilitating mental illness. At my lowest point in 2011 I attempted to take my own life.

Life is good now, I have my illness under control and am back writing, am as creative as ever and doing stand up, but there is still that deep regret over they way I treated people during my time in radio. There is no way to make amends for the way I behaved over the years and I am not asking for forgiveness, just an element of understanding, not only for me but for fellow broadcasters who find themselves in a similar position.

We work in a high pressure industry where the slightest cracks in personality and mental health can be exaggerated. Let my experience be a lesson, should things not feel right seek help at the nearest opportunity. It’s better than the alternative.


For support and information about suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or

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