10 Questions with Chris Beckhouse
The radio bug bit early for 2MMM’s Chris Beckhouse, who got the chance in Year 12 to spend time with a radio legend.
That was 1987 and in the years since, he’s racked up time in every mainland capital city except Adelaide.
He answers 10 Questions from Radio Today.
What made you decide on radio as a career?
It was an accident, I always loved radio as a listener – shows like Ugly Phil’s Hot 30 or even Stan Zemanek were incredible, but I never thought it could be a career.
I had to come to Sydney for an HSC wrap up, and emailed Stan’s producer to see if I could come in and watch the show with my parents. Surprisingly I got a reply and they were more than happy. So we went in and just walking the halls of the famous 2UE was enough to make me realise I fucking loved radio.
Then two hours in the studio, actually making it to air with Stan, making him play Silverchair on air was such a buzz. So as soon as we got back to Canberra, I joined QBN FM to be on air and reading news, then after year 12 was done I had bigger plans.
How did you get your ‘foot in the door’?
It’s something I’d never do as an adult, I turned up to a party for 2CC/2CA’s merger uninvited! I had a mate who panelled at 2CC, and she gave me a tip-off that there was a party happening at La Scala, so bugger it – I turned up and asked the GM, David Leitch for work experience. He said to make contact after I finished exams, so I did.
I ended up panelling on my first day of work experience and didn’t leave! I’d just turn up every day, unpaid.
I’d make coffee, deliver lunches in the “Abbey Roadster” and was just so damn happy to be in the building. While there, I recorded a bunch of demos and sent them out (when they were good enough) and landed my first job on mid-dawns at ZZZFM, Lismore.
Shout out time: has there been any one person who has inspired you along the way?
That’s tough! Rex Morris at B105 gave my first metro gig in 1999 and was a brilliant airchecker. Grant Tothill was a tough operator, but I needed that early and looking back he really looked after me.
I’ve had two great stints with Jamie Angel at Fox in 2004 and currently at Triple M. He’s just a bloody great fella, a creative radio man and a brilliant manager. You never stop learning from him.
What have you learned over the years?
Just work hard and don’t be a dickhead. Be willing to learn new things, clock up as many hours on air as you can and never be satisfied.
You’ll have setbacks, that’s radio. You will be sacked at least once! I got boned from Perth in 2004, didn’t burn my bridges… just looked forward to the next gig and put feelers out.
Landed Fox, Melbourne for summer casual work straight away and was thrown a lifeline to stay on and do workday.
What’s does your ‘job’ look like day-to-day?
On air at 9, so you get in early and do some prep but mostly do a run through of the logs for the day – make sure the networking is OK, etc.
After 12, it’s the other side of the job – Operations. Looking after form guides, Satellite bookings for footy, airtime and whatever else comes up.
At night, I go out and see bands and lately been doing some rock photography when I have time. These usually go on Triple M’s socials and if the gig is big enough, write a review.
Any ‘fan-boy’, pinch me now moments?
I reckon the first jocks meeting at B105 was like that. Across the table, Jamie Dunn, Skip and Robyn… then Deano and Campo who were legends when it came to solo jocking. “How the fuck did I get here??”
Then maybe interviewing the Rolling Stones many years later …… same reaction.
– What’s the favourite part about what you do?
Being on air on a station with a soul. There is so much history at Triple M, Sydney and I never take it for granted. You turn up to work and hang out with blokes like Matty Johns, Ugly Phil or MG ….. it’s a blast!
Any advice for those wanting to get into radio?
Do anything you can to get that job… Be willing to learn, to move and make sacrifices.
There have been so many potential announcers and panel ops who just don’t have the drive these days. It’s that rare one, who will succeed.
A mate of mine at the age of 34, quit his job in hotels and took a huge pay cut to get into radio because he loved it. I have so much respect for that.
If you weren’t in radio, you’d be doing what?
I have no idea. My parents wanted a lawyer, good luck with that.
Sum up radio in three words…
En Joy It.
And a bonus question: Cosmo Media Bachelor?? Did I read that right?
Hahaha, next question?