Partners In Crime: Hughesy and Kate
What makes a long lasting and successful on-air relationship can be hard to define. Some partnerships have been notoriously difficult, while others are built on mutual respect.
Case in point: KIIS FM’s Kate Langbroek and Dave Hughes. Their relationship began in the late 1990s when Hughesy began appearing on Triple R’s Breakfasters; a show co-hosted by Kate.
Kate: We’d do “Hughesy’s Diary” on a Friday morning. It basically involved waking him up.
Dave: That was my first radio contact with Kate. That really was the start of us having a radio relationship.
It led to a brief stint at Triple M before they got a call from DMG Radio to host breakfast with Dave O’Neill on Nova 100.
The station debuted with a 10-share in 2002, and by survey two, it was number one. Much of that because of the breakfast show dynamics.
While O’Neil left in 2006 to join Nova’s sister station Vega 91.5, Hughesy and Kate are still together and hosting drive across the KISS network. Their banter comes from a place of deep love and affection.
Kate: Interesting people are interesting people. And Hughesy was always interesting. Very interesting to me. And I was very interested in the way he saw the world. He’s built his life in a way that I’ve never seen. I was just happy to sit and watch. And ‘cos he’s funny.
Dave: The dynamic from the moment you meet her…
Kate: … too dynamic, sometimes (laughs)
Dave: She’s very alive, very inquisitive, very warm and a pleasure to work with. And you’ve got to work with people who’re on the same page as you.
It’s the teamwork. And the funniest radio is when you end up in a place that you didn’t realise you’d get there, but you end up there together. And its fun because you went there together.
The pair has been through a lot together and seen each other go through the best and worst that life can throw at them: marriages, children and illness. And it’s helped strengthen their bond.
Kate: It hasn’t always been the case with some teams over the years, but I think, you prove that you’re trustworthy to the other person. I totally trust Hughesy in every regard; personally and professionally. I just do, I just do.
Dave: You want the other person to be in a good space. You’re not trying to undermine them; you’re trying to lift them up. And you know that if they’re in a good space, you’re more likely to be in a good space because that’s the teamwork aspect of it.
Kate: Yeah, that’s a sign of a really good relationship. You want the best for the other person. It’s not marked by envy or anything negative really. You just want the best for the other person, and you want them to make good choices as well.
Certainly, the move from Nova to KIIS has given them a new dynamic.
Kate: It’s easier, isn’t it?
Dave: Yeah, easier. It’s easy. And that might have something to do with the afternoon hours, where you’re not quite as tired.
In the morning, your emotions are heightened through lack of sleep. There are going to be more blow-ups.
Kate: If you wake up at 4 o’clock in the morning, you fucking hate whoever you’re waking up with. You just do, don’t you? Wouldn’t matter if it was your husband.
Dave: You probably do have more time socialising, because, in the mornings, you roll in at 5.30 and grump at each other until 6, then bang on for three hours and then fuck off.
Kate: By the way, I was never that grumpy in the morning. Someone at this table though.
Dave: She was always happy.
Kate: I was too happy in the morning. Shocking, isn’t it?
Dave: We laugh at the same things, we’re very much on the same page in most things in life. Not always the same page as other people, which is more amusing for us.
While Kate and Dave have been a constant in each other’s lives on and off-air, there’s been another equally important figure in their lives.
Producer Sacha French has been with them from the earliest of days at Nova 100. Sacha is also marking 15 years with the pair; something that Kate believes has helped drive their success.
Kate: Sacha, as well, has been a part of that. That’s an extraordinary achievement for her and us. I mean, has anyone else in Australia had the same producer for 15 years? I don’t think they have.
Now settled in at KIIS, they’re showing no sign of wanting to get off the radio bus just yet. Neither could they imagine doing it without the other.
Dave: I wouldn’t want to.
Kate: I couldn’t be bothered, to be honest.
Dave: It’d be hard work.