The Top 20 Metro FM Drive Shows of All Time
Since FM radio began in Australia in 1980 there have been some brilliant drive shows. And there are now more than ever.
Whilst not as critical to overall ratings as the all important Breakfast show, they provide entertainment and comedy for the mostly mobile/in car listening audience each weekday afternoon.
Many former great breakfast show hosts have ended up on drive. Most of these drive shows are, or were, national although some ran in local markets only.
The shows listed include some of this countries finest radio and comedy talent.
One name, Marty Sheargold appears in four different shows! He is the longest serving, most successful drive talent having been on drive for most of the past 13 years.
Hamish & Andy are second being on drive for about 9 years and Merrick Watts third with around 7 years on drive shows. Tim Blackwell, Brigitte Duclos, Paul Murray, Rachel Corbett and Merrick each appear in two of the lineups. There is only one ‘solo’ show, Doug Mulray. There are 12 duo’s and the most number of stations was held by Martin Molloy.
Tony Martin said: “It remains amazing to me that the show was so popular, given how opinionated it was and given that it had no purpose beyond comedy. The callers, the guests, everything was just more grist for the comedy mill.
Obviously, the way-too-elaborate sketches were a big part of it – largely because no-one else was really doing them, at least not on that scale. We were lucky to have a crack team helping us – Peter Grace, Emma Moss & Sancia Robinson, Scott Muller & Vicki Marr – and listeners who were even more into it than we were.
On Marty Sheargold Tony said: “Marty’s no-bullshit attitude and delivery has been my favourite thing on radio for close to 15 years now. He has a valuable inability to fake enthusiasm for bad ideas.“
Twelve of the shows are from Southern Cross Austereo, 3 from Australian Radio Network, 1 from Nova Entertainment and 4 from triple j. Obviously the longer a network has been around, as well as its size, the more shows they’ve had to be considered.
The shows were ranked based on innovation, ratings, longevity, national reach, creative excellence, industry recognition and quotability.
Let us know your thoughts and comments below. Looking forward to your feedback…..
Here they are, the Top 20 Metro FM Drive Time Shows of All Time.
1. Martin Molloy – Tony Martin and Mick Molloy, formerly from the D Generation and The Late Show. The show ran from 1995 to 1998 across 54 stations.
A groundbreaking show, it achieved strong ratings and was the first nationally networked drive show in Australia.
2. Hamish & Andy – Currently heard on the SCA’s Today/Hit network. They started on Fox late nights in 2003, moving to weekends in 2004 and drive 2 years later. They have been together for over a decade and are the highest paid on-air talent in Australia.
3. Kate Tim and Marty / Meshell Tim and Marty – Marty Sheargolds national drive show on Nova. They started in 2010 on breakfast Brisbane moving to drive in 2011. Kate joined the team last year. The show is currently topping the national drive ratings for Nova.
4. The Shebang & The Whole Shebang – both lineups included Marty Sheargold. Featured various lineups including Mikey Robbins, Amanda Keller, Jo Stanley, Jodie J Hill , Fi Fi Box, Byron Cooke, Paul Murray, Amanda Keller, Anthony Maroon.
5. The Cage – included Tim Smith, Mike Fitzpatrick, Brigitte Duclos, James Brayshaw, Matt Parkinson, Matt Quartermaine, Peter Berner, Trevor Marmalade and Russell Gilbert, the show ran on Triple M Melbourne from 2002.
6. Merrick & Rosso – triple j – the stand up duo were on Triple J drive from 1998 for a couple of years before doing Nova Sydney breakfast. One of the first national drive shows, regular guests included Peter Hellier and Myf Warhurst.
7. The Grill Team – ran on Triple M Melbourne and included Brigette Duclos, Dermott Brereton and Eddie McGuire and for a time Eric Bana. Commencing on drive in 1995 it was the forerunner to Eddie’s Hot Breakfast, Melbourne’s leading FM breakfast show currently.
8. Wil & Lehmo – Wil Anderson and Anthony Lehmann were on Triple M from 2007 to 2008.
Both stand-up comedians, Wil was formerly at Triple J and Lehmo at SAFM. Lehmo is now co-hosting Gold Breakfast.
9. Roy & HG – Greig Pickhaver and John Doyle. They ran on the Triple M network from 2009 to 2011.
Formerly from the iconic This Sporting Life show on triple j.
10. Club Veg – Mal Lee’s and Vic Davies were on drive at 2SM and also on Triple M Sydney and Triple J. Winning countless awards the duo finished in 2002. Mal is currently co-hosting drive at Hot Tomato, and Vic sadly passed away in 2009.
11. Kyle & Jackie O – the show ran for only a year (on drive) in 2004. It followed their successful run on the Hot 30 and was prior to moving to 2day breakfast in 2005 which became one of the country’s most successful breakfast shows. Now on KIIS .
12. Hughsey & Kate– still early days, but strong signs, they started on national ARN/KIIS drive this year. Previously ratings leaders on Nova100 Melbourne; they have already achieved number 1 or 2 FM in most markets.
13. The Rush Hour – James Brayshaw and Billy Brownless. The show started in 2010 and runs on Triple M Melbourne and Triple M Adelaide. Brayshaw has been in many Triple M shows previously.
14. The Doctor – triple j – Lindsay ‘ The Doctor ‘ McDougall hosted the Triple J drive show. Billed as the ‘ late lunch’ or ‘really early dinner with the stars’ it features guests Chris Lily and Noel Fielding.
15. FiFi and Jules – Jules Lund and FiFi Box replaced Hamish & Andy. The show ran from 2011 to 2013 on the Today/Fox/Hit Network with FiFi moving to Fox breakfast following the drive stint.
16. The Chaser – Chris Taylor and Craig Reucassel were on the Triple J drive show ‘Today Today’ from 2004-2005. Chas and Dom from The Chaser also had a brief stint at Triple M.
17. Jono & Dano – with Jonathon Coleman and Ian Rogerson, the national show ran on ARN’s WS/Gold network. The pair were originally on Triple J, 2SM, and Triple M.
18. Merrick & The Highway Patrol – Triple M national drive show with Merrick Watts, Rachel Corbett and Julian Schiller. The show ran from 2011 to 2013.
19. Paul & Rach – Triple M. The show featured Paul Murray with Rachel Corbett. It ran from 2005 to 2010 with Paul winning a variety of ACRA awards.
20. Doug Mulray – Triple M Sydney legend Doug Mulray, following his reign on breakfast, did a drive time show on WSFM in the late 90’s. Prior to Triple M he was at 2SM and triple j.
The top drive shows currently on air at the big three networks have been together for around a decade or so now, so it’s worth asking the question where’s the next great drive show ?
Who are they ?
Brad March is a Director of Radio Today a former Program Director, Group Program Director & CEO of Austereo and Group Programmer at ARN. He is Director of Marchmedia.