Thank you, Ellie Angel-Mobbs

I’ve had a tough year in radio, we’ve all had one before and this is how I remembered I need to power through; because radio is in me.

Growing up I never planned on being a radio announcer. Shy as hell, awkward to talk to and just plain not outgoing.

At some point during primary school my mum told me I couldn’t be shy anymore, I need to get through life and getting through would mean speaking up. That obviously hit hard and afterwards I became very chatty to those I considered buddies, but to this day I get painfully shy at times. That awkward little red head is still inside wondering “is that the right thing to say?”

When I left high school I went to uni to study psychology, I knew I could talk to people, I knew I could talk someone down off a ledge if I needed to. But I also realised I wanted to be someone people could laugh with, and at. My friends growing up would say how funny I was and how I need to be a comedian. I’m not comedian funny though, I am me funny. So, when in uni, I tried a day of acting… I soon realised prancing around the room with arms flailing and “letting go of every anxiety” was not for me (yes, this isn’t just what they do in the movies.)

It was my words, my soul and my communication that was what I wanted heard but not necessarily seen.

So I landed on radio and with the help of everyone around me got straight into my new life.

Interestingly enough when I was in school I wrote an English assignment, it was a radio exchange between an announcer and the person from the play we were studying; an interview. I found it years later and it’s the only 100% grade I ever received. I also found notes exchanged between me and a girlfriend, Sarah, telling each other we’d be the first female Hamish and Andy and everyone would love us and we’d be radio stars; I didn’t remember this until I found the notes during my time at AFTRS.

How the universe works right?

I decided from then on this wasn’t just a really fun job – this is it, I’m on the right path for my career and I didn’t even know it.

I recently moved from breakfast to day time. It’s a story I can’t be bothered getting into, but it was harsh and it still hurts. It made radio painful.

I always loved day time, but after being a brekkie announcer in the same market for so long I’d gotten arrogant about where I stood on air. I was pulling my shift on day time wondering “what’d I do to deserve this? I love day time radio, but I want to be breakfast, that’s where it’s at!”

Incorrect. I knew it was a shitty thing to think and a shitty thing to say.

I started thinking about radio that I loved growing up, and it wasn’t all Kyle and Jackie O and Hamish and Andy. It wasn’t just the Hot 30 Countdown or Fifi and Jules. It was Ellie Mobbs (Angel.) 

Thank you – Ellie Angel-Mobbs – for evoking an emotion in me that I have remembered for years. You see, some time ago – YEARS AGO – when I was still living in Sydney, Ellie sold a song.

The song was My Immortal from Evanescence. She sold the song by emotionally recapping hearing it at her good friends funeral, and remembering her every time the song was on. I have never forgotten that talk break. I never will. (BTW yes, she did have a caller, hello? She’s a profesh.)

I want to be so raw that 6 years down the track someone can tell me they still remember the break.

I had to remember that just because you’re a breakfast announcer asking for an emotional response from a phoner, doesn’t mean as a jock you can’t be emotional for your listener. Honesty doesn’t stop at breakfast.

I was brave enough to tell my listeners about waxing my mustache on breakfast radio; my day time listeners should expect nothing less.

Sometimes you just gotta remember radio is in you for a reason, you just gotta dig deep and remember your craft.

(PS I have never met Ellie, so if we ever meet things could be kinda creepy now. Just want you to know Ellie, I burned the shrine at the lawyers request, it’s gone, we can move on.)

About the Author:

Courtenay Davies is on Mornings with Grant Broadcasters Hot100 in Darwin. You can read her blog here.



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