Tim Blackwell: The day I had lunch with John Laws


No matter what technology has given us – be it the internet, social media or streaming services – Tim Blackwell believes there’s still nothing quite like the connection we get from radio.

“We’re part of people’s routine, they share a sense of ownership over the show and I just think, ‘Who wouldn’t want that?’” says the Nova Drive host and AFTRS graduate, who opens up about his 22 year radio career in an interview with The Age.

Blackwell wasn’t long out of his teens when – in 2001 – he landed his first full time gig at Nova, and has been there ever since.

He started out on mid-dawns – fulfilling his childhood dream of being a music announcer.

As well as a dozen years hosting Drive, Blackwell also completed his studies at the Australian Film, Television and Radio School (AFTRS).

Today, he’s one third of the top-rating national Drive show Ricki-Lee, Tim & Joel.

“I think the show has never felt more energetic,” Blackwell says of the program he hosts with Ricki-Lee Coulter and Joel Creasey.

Blackwell says the introduction of Coulter to the Drive mix following Kate Ritchie’s move to Breakfast has been a positive step.

“Even the fact we have a new person in Ricki has refreshed mine and Joel’s relationship,” he tells The Age.

To date, Blackwell has worked for Nova in every major city except Adelaide, including a stint in Melbourne with Kate Langbroek and Dave Hughes.

“They weren’t always that kind … they didn’t suffer fools,” he says in the newspaper article.

“If you made one mistake on that show, you never made it again. But it was an incredible way to learn and they’re dear friends now. I’m so thankful to them every day – I’ve been doing a drive show for 12 years because of those guys.”

There have been various highlights over the journey, a standout being Blackwell’s memorable lunch with legendary broadcaster John Laws, a person he has long admired.

When Blackwell’s Nova workmates found out a charity was auctioning off a lunch with Laws, it was a no-brainer.

The winning bid secured, Blackwell found himself sitting across a table from Laws at an exclusive Sydney restaurant, much to Blackwell’s own disbelief.

When Laws asked Blackwell what he’d like to order, Blackwell says he replied: “‘I’m just going to do, eat and drink everything you do.'”

And that’s just what he did.

Blackwell considered dining with Laws a huge honour.

“I wasn’t necessarily in love with what he was saying, I was just in love with the fact he was doing this as a job,” says Blackwell.

Ricki-Lee, Tim & Joel airs 4pm weekdays nationally on Nova.

Comment Form

Your email address will not be published.

Recent comments (4)
Post new comment
29 Sep 2023 - 11:25 am

I never really know where Tim stands on any issue because he just seems to crack up laughing at everything

29 Sep 2023 - 2:00 pm

And as a side dish, Danny’s offer free parking.

29 Sep 2023 - 5:52 pm

Poor old John… having to sit through lunch with a giggling not funny and very boring person… put him back on mid dawns if you have to keep him!

1 Oct 2023 - 7:45 am

The shoe went downhill when Marty left. It is bland now.


See all