Libbi Gorr returns to radio


A bold new radio adventure awaits comedian and former ABC presenter Libbi Gorr.

Melbourne’s Age newspaper reports the woman behind the character Elle McFeast is seizing the chance to reinvent herself, returning to the airwaves with Disrupt Radio.

In the Age interview, Gorr reflected on her early days in radio, and told of how she once overheard her bosses at 774 ABC talking about her.

She’d been lined up fill in for drive host Lindy Burns, who’d taken long service leave. But then Black Saturday bushfires threw the station’s roster into disarray.

“They needed to send someone to Whittlesea,” Gorr says, “but their instinct was to send someone other than me; they were talking about shifting me to mid-dawn or putting me on overnights instead. So, I asked ‘Why don’t you send me?’ and they said, ‘Sorry, this isn’t a time for jokes.’”

As it turned out, management was so impressed by her broadcasts, they asked her to continue reporting from the town, which had been devastated by fire.

“It taught me the importance of advocating for people as opposed to indulging in disaster porn,” says Gorr, who went on to spend almost a decade as weekend host at the station (now known as ABC Radio Melbourne).

Her manager at the time was British media executive Steve Kyte.

Six months ago, Kyte informed Gorr that he’d been asked to help create a new radio channel in Australia, and asked if she’d be interested in being part of it.

The station, which is due to launch later this year, will stream over the internet across Australia and broadcast digitally in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

A report in The Australian Financial Review says that that Disrupt Radio already has around 20 employees and an office in South Melbourne.

Science, technology, innovation and entrepreneurship will be the focus, but it won’t be a business and money channel, according to company founder Benjamin Roberts.

Former ABC managing director Michelle Guthrie is among the media heavyweights who’ve joined the board of the start-up.

Gorr will be one of Disrupt Radio’s main presenters, marking a return to the medium where she got her start in 1987 doing work experience at ABC Radio Sport.

“Radio allows me to be with people inside their homes,” she says.

“As much as I love television and film, I have a voracious appetite for creating content. I’m ready to reclaim my audience.”

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