Taylor made for Ballarat: 19 years on Breakfast for PT
For Paul ‘PT’ Taylor, nothing beats being live and local, and interacting with his local community.
It’s a big reason why he’s been doing Breakfast radio in Ballarat for nearly two decades now.
Not bad for someone who, as a young bloke, never planned on having a radio career.
“Nothing could have been further from my radar,” says Paul, host of The Big Show on 3BA FM.
This week – having already clocked up almost 37 years in radio – he’ll mark a significant milestone.
On Friday, Paul will celebrate nineteen years at the helm of 3BA Breakfast.
Paul’s no stranger to the area.
Born half an hour away in the tiny hamlet of Clunes, Paul spent most of his school days just up the road in Maryborough.
“It was also the place where I found my love for sport, playing footy, cricket and basketball, which I was pretty bad at,” Paul says. “I found I was a better referee.”
From the age of around eight, music became a key part of Paul’s life.
“I bought my first album in 1973 – The Sweet Singles Album. After all, it was the age of Glam rock. Suzi Quatro, among others, adorned my bedroom walls.”
At thirteen, Paul was doing an early morning paper run, then cutting bread at the local bakery before heading off to school.
After school, he’d be standing on a street corner, selling copies of The Herald.
Paul says he was happy to work in any job that had anything to do with music, so becoming a nightclub DJ proved a decent fit.
“At the time I was the DJ at the only nightclub in Ballarat, The Canopy Club,” says Paul. “And given it was the only club in town, all the 3BA jocks were there on a frequent basis, so I started pestering them for a gig.”
“It took three years but one day I was asked if I was interested in a mid-dawn opening and if I’d like to ‘try out’ to see whether I had what it took to become an announcer.”
“Apparently, I did. I’m still here nearly 37 years later.”
When he first joined 3BA at the tender age of 21, the studio looked somewhat different, with turntables, carts and reel to reel machines among the high-tech gadgets of the day.
Dubbed The Tardis, the panel was hexagonal in shape, firmly bolted to the floor in the middle of a smoke-filled room.
The days of ciggies and ashtrays have long since gone, and over nearly four decades, Paul has tried his hand at every shift and job within the station, including Music Director and Program Director.
As an announcer, he’s found himself chatting to some of the superstars of the music industry.
“My ultimate interview moment was talking with Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons prior to one of their many Australian tours and getting to meet them in person, he says.”
Whether it’s discussing music with overseas artists or debating the merits of budgie smugglers with former PM Tony Abbott, Paul’s list of interviews is long and varied.
“The biggest highlight though, happens each and every day, and that is the connection I have with the Ballarat community,” says Paul.
“I have embraced them as they have embraced me and that is a formidable team when it comes to looking after and being part of a local community.”
“My show is open to EVERYONE to get whatever message they need spread throughout the entire region, not only on air but via our socials and website as well.”
Paul says notching up 19 years on Breakfast radio evokes a range of different feelings.
“Grateful … to be given the opportunity. Appreciative … that I have the most wonderful listeners who give back in spades. Satisfied … going to a job each day knowing how much I have to give, knowing I can put a smile on my listeners’ dial and being able to emotionally connect and motivate them into a better start to their day no matter how much life is throwing at them at the moment. Tired … as the alarm sounds at 3:30am each weekday morning.”
Paul says he hopes to remain part of the 3BA family for as long as he can.
“Here’s to another 19 years at the helm of 3BA’s Big Show.”