TOP NEW TALENT FOR 2018: 10 Questions with Nick Allen-Ducat and Tom Murray
Radio Today has named Nick Allen-Ducat and Tom Murray as a Top New Talent to Watch in 2018 and beyond.
Nova 106.9’s worst kept secret, Nick and Tom are proof that the new age of radio humour is upon us. The idea behind “Nick and Tom’s Super Secret Sunday Show” (and accompanying podcasts) is that the boys aren’t meant to be on air, dubbing themselves “nobody’s” because they’re not “B-Grade celebs from Big Brother, The Bachelor or even MKR”. The pair joke that Jay Walkerden would never actually put us on air, so they pretend to highjack the studio and get broadcasting.
“It’s a heightened and over-the-top concept that we have fun with, but everyone listening is part of the secret show,” Nick told Radio Today when the show started back in October last year.
Of course, the pair is far from nobody’s – Nick is an assistant producer of Nova Brisbane’s Breakfast show with Ash, Kip and Luttsy and lends his voice to Meet the Marshalls, while Tom is also an announcer in his own right. Utilising both the airwaves and podcast listeners and social media, the young pair pepper their conversations with jokes that build on one another, anecdotes tailored to a younger market and listener interaction – all while they continue to build their audience.
Below, Nick and Tom answer Ten Questions from Radio Today.
- Who/what inspired you to choose a career in radio?
Nick: For me, Jamie Dunn was an early inspiration as a young Brisbane local kid driving to school. I remember listening to him every day, enjoying his improv and sketch comedy talents, his commitment and freedom to every single break or character was something I idolised.
Tom: Martin/Molloy were a standout for me. My brother and I would listen to their radio comedy albums at home and recite or quote back our favourite lines growing up. Like Nick, I love their ability to do sketch comedy and improv. It’s been a huge influence on the way we want to make radio. If we can get any of our sketches to sound half as good as one of theirs we’re happy!
Most memorable on-air moment so far?
Being on air! Getting our very first show together on-air was extremely memorable – after all, we’re called “The Super Awesome Secret Show”! So to be able to do the show we wanted first up was extremely rewarding and we have our PD to thank for that.
- What was the most awkward moment you had in your early years of radio?
Some of the best moments we’ve had as an on-air team has been the result of an awkward interaction with a caller. We love the awkwardness! sometimes it creates the best out.
Nick: For me personally, when I first started solo announcing, I used to back announce the time and temperature for every break. Even comps… I mean EVERYTHING! And this was in mid-dawns! That’s what the PD at the time had told me to do. I quickly learned (with some help from peers) NOT to do that…
Tom: I stuff something up each show… it makes for a good in-joke next show. It’s all gear for the bank.
- What’s one radio skill that you’ve mastered, and what’s one radio skill that you’re currently working on?
We’re not sure we’ve mastered anything yet… We’re always working on getting a little better each week at finding our sound, focusing on pacing and timing – two skills very important in comedy. We’ve also worked hard on finding the right balance of absurdity with our comedy sketches. So we’ll be sure to let you know the second we actually master something!
- How do you prepare for your shift on-air?
Pre show – Tom make the coffees, Nick sets up the desk.
We do all show prep Monday to Friday, searching for content, planning and scripting a sketch, and any production elements needed Tom takes care of as he’s also an audio producer. Nick has a producing background, so he usually sources most of the topical content. We usually place the show Wednesday or Thursday and chat about what we want to cover. We do a little bit each day to prepare for Sunday. We always say we run off the smell of an oily rag!
- How does the person you are on air differ from the person you are off air?
Tom: I’m a little more subdued off air. I’m not “on” all the time. I really enjoy making people laugh and entertaining people by telling stories off air, so that part holds true. I would say we have both worked really hard on not sounding contrived or fake. For myself, I would say I try and pick up my own energy by 10-15% for on air.
Nick: For me, I’m the same, but just a heightened version of myself. The character of ‘Nick’ telling a story on air, is the same to my off-air persona, just slightly exaggerated or heightened to be that little more entertaining.
- What’s the one piece of advice you were given that you can pass along?
Nick: When you turn the mic on, don’t lie, be yourself and have fun. You as a person is interesting enough without having to embellish anything.
Tom: Very similar to Nick on this one. I also like the advice, “We’re not saving babies!” That is always a good stress reliever.
- Sum up working in radio in three words.
Working in radio – Unpredictable, entertaining, chaotic
To work in radio – Determination, timing, chemistry
- What’s your dream radio job?
Nick: Let’s be real – everyone dreams of a breakfast or drive show. I’m no different.
Tom: Probably just to have a show where you have the freedom to do the gear you want to. That’s the ultimate goal! But a drive show would be amazing.
- If you weren’t working in radio, what would you be doing?
Nick: I’d still be a struggling actor! Probably working casually somewhere and going to auditions (not that often though).
Tom: Well I have a business/finance degree… So I’d probably be trying to skim some money off the top somewhere… (JOKES)