From reality TV to breaky radio; a pathway to fame & fortune

Staff Writer

After rising to prominence on last year’s season of The Bachelor Australia, Alex Nation has landed her maiden radio gig as a co-host alongside Luke Forrest and Jay Bruno on Southern FM.

The Drive Out with Jay, Foz and Alex will air weekly on the community station’s Friday night slot between 6pm and 8pm.

The 25-year-old is not the first Bachelor/Bachelorette star to notch up a notable gig on radio – and she probably won’t be the last.  

Nation’s appointment follows a growing trend of radio networks tapping reality stars. The real-life TV format has become a rich breeding ground for radio talent, despite their credentials – or, in some cases, lack thereof.

Bachelor and Bachelorette alum Sam Frost had a stint on 2Day FM’s primetime breakfast slot alongside Rove McManus  – reportedly costing the network $4million a year – after finishing up the show in 2015. It was a short-lived effort, however, with poor ratings causing the network to drop the much-hyped radio show to a meagre one-hour weeknight shift.

Fellow star Heather Maltman co-hosts the breakfast radio show on the Gold Coast’s 90.9 Sea FM with Dan Anstey and retired NRL player Ben Hannant. She appeared on Sam Woods’ season of The Bachelor, losing out to Snezana Markoski, who surprisingly hasn’t ventured into the radio world…yet.

It doesn’t stop at The Bachelor/ette, however. Singer-turned-model-turned-comedian Sophie Monk started out on Australian reality TV show Popstars in 1999 before landing a steady fixture on 2Day FM’s breakfast show with Merrick Watts, Jules Lund and Mel B. We all know how that ended. Monk now appears regularly on KIIS FM with Kyle & Jackie O.

The same happened with Chrissie Swan, who after getting cosy in the Big Brother house in 2003, worked her way up the radio ladder with jobs at Mix FM’s afternoon show, the 3PM Pick Up and, later on, the breakfast program Chrissie & Jane with Jane Hall. Swan now co-hosts Melbourne’s #1 FM breaky show Chrissie, Sam & Browny on Nova 100.

Australian Idol contestant Ricki-Lee Coulter bagged a full-time radio gig alongside Merrick Watts and Scott Dooley on Sydney’s Nova 96.9 breakfast show in 2010 after finishing seventh in the second season of Australian Idol.

Ryan “Fitzy” Fitzgerald wasn’t bucking the trend either. The influential radio personality and former AFL footballer was picked up by Nova after finishing in fourth place on the 2004 series of Big Brother. He originally landed a breakfast show at Adelaide’s Nova 91.9 before shifting to his current gig on Nova 96.9 breakfast with Wippa.

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9 Apr 2017 - 12:36 pm

Em Rusciano was also an Aus Idol alumni!

Reality Hater
9 Apr 2017 - 12:41 pm

Now do a story on the amount of former reality stars who tried to continue their five minutes of fame in radio and failed due to not having the personality, commitment or drive to put in the hard yards, unlike all the newcomers who actually deserve those jobs more!

James M
9 Apr 2017 - 5:34 pm

Nathan Morris from Nova 937 in Perth (and Big Brother 2002) must have been one of, if not the first reality star to venture into radio?

Fed up
10 Apr 2017 - 11:15 am

This trend is the biggest reason why the industry is set for ruins. These “talent” are boring, lazy, attention seekers taking jobs away from those who have poured years into study and working their asses off, only to get ignored by major networks.

10 Apr 2017 - 1:00 pm

Like lemmings over the cliff.
This is why commercial FM radio is on it’s last legs.
People that are not radio people being given prime time shifts, with lame, confected content.

Steve Crowe
10 Apr 2017 - 2:29 pm

Good on Alex, but a two hour gig, once a week, on a community station is hardly a “notable radio gig” Radio Today.

Wolf Of Saunders St
11 Apr 2017 - 8:50 am

Might be Fame but I don”t think its a Fortune.

jas & lissy lou
28 May 2017 - 3:48 pm



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