Jodie Oddy is back on radio. Here’s what she has to say about the past nine months
Nine months ago, on November 19 at 5:09pm, ARN issued a media release saying Mix 102.3 Breakfast co-host Jodie Oddy had resigned from her role after 81 survey wins. The release didn’t have any quotes from Oddy, and the events that surrounded her disappearance from the airwaves were shrouded in mystery.
But now she’s back, announcing over the weekend she has her own Weekend Breakfast show on Nova 91.9. Here, she speaks to Vivienne Kelly, and opens up about why Nova matches her new approach to radio, what lessons she’s taken away from the whole experience, and the mistake she will never ever make again.
VK: How happy or excited are you to be back in radio with a permanent gig?
JO: How excited am I? I’m so excited.
It wasn’t even on my radar. I’ve been doing my own thing and setting up a few little businesses and working at Channel 10, so my plate was pretty full anyway. So I wasn’t out seeking actively a radio gig. And then Ben [Latimer] rang me and went – it was actually when I was filling in for the news – and he just said “How would you feel about doing your own Saturday morning show?” and I was like “Oh, amazing”…
Ben was straight on the phone when he learnt that I was available, and he’s been a massive supporter of me since that happened. So I’m really really grateful for that… He’s been in constant contact since that happened. So, he’s been a really great support and a really kind sort of influence over the last six months of however long its been…
So I feel really, really, really pumped. I’ve loved my time at Nova, doing the news reading. They’re such a fantastic group of people, so I couldn’t be happier about it.
VK: And it’s live on Saturday mornings, that’s right? It’s not pre-recorded?
JO: Yep, it’s live.
VK: You can obviously do the Breakfast hours, but this is only one day a week, so are you looking forward to those sleep-ins, but still getting to do early morning radio?
JO: Yea, I will never ever put myself in a position, where I compromise work-life balance. Never again… I mean, I’ll be finished in time for school sport, to coach my seven-year-old’s netball team. So it’s just the perfect blend for me at the moment. So I’m really, really pleased with the way it’s worked out, because those 4am starts, you know, really took a toll over a lot of years. So, yea, this is great. This is practically a sleep-in.
VK: And who do you want to listen to the show? Who do you expect to be talking to on a Saturday morning?
JO: Probably other mums like me. A lot of mums that are running around doing the kid school sport shuttle run, racing to the gym, trying to get to the supermarket, I think that’s sort of the market that we’ll be looking at. And probably some old listeners, and hopefully some new ones.
VK: And what sort of things are you going to talk about? It’s The Jodie Oddy Show, so it does feel like you get a lot of control there. It’s your name on the title so what do you want the show to be?
JO: I want it to be a collaboration.
Like I know my name’s on the show, but I’m working with a couple of people that I’ve worked with on Channel 10. One of them is the single funniest person I have ever met. Her name is Tiffany Warne. And she just has me in tears of laughter each day. So she’s a really new, fresh talent, and I’m so excited for her, because I think that she’ll be an absolute superstar. And I also work with Max who’ll be doing the sport as well.
So, look, my name’s on the show, but I have no desire to be all about me.I really want to shine a spotlight on the two other people that I’ll be working with, who I think have enormous potential and talent, and it’s nice to take the experience that I’ve had in radio and pass over my love of radio to them, so I’m really excited for where it’s going to lead them.
VK: And it’s been a roller-coaster year for you, so how do you define success for yourself and the show now? Has that changed at all?
JO: Yes. Success for me does not involve ratings. It doesn’t involve the salary that can come with commercial radio. Success for me is having that balance and being the best mother I can be, being the best wife I can be, being the best friend I can be [and avoiding the trappings of commercial radio]. I just feel like if you’re doing radio to get your head on a billboard, then you’re going about it the wrong way. For me, success has completely changed in its meaning.
VK: And so why do you think Nova’s a good fit for that attitude?
JO: From what I’ve seen, the boys in the morning, Ben & Liam, work really hard. Their work ethic is fantastic. They’re really grounded. They’re unaffected by the spotlight that can come with doing Breakfast radio…..
The other thing that I like is that they’re interested in putting two or three people who get along really well and have chemistry, I think they’re good at recognising that that makes successful shows, as opposed to I guess taking ‘big name said person’ here, match them with ‘big name said person’ here – that will not necessarily work unless those people have chemistry. So that’s what I like about this show, is that it’s two of my workmates and we all get along really, really well.
VK: And do you still love radio after all this time and everything you’ve been through?
JO: Yea, look, I don’t like the sleep deprivation, and it’s only since I’ve stepped away that I’ve seen how sort of damaging that can be to all facets of your life….
I listen to Ben & Liam, I listen to Kate, Tim & Joel – which I think is just the benchmark in terms of that chemistry and shows that we talk about, I mean they’ve got that in spades, and I’ve always loved that show and admired that show…..
So listening into those two shows, I have had a bit of FOMO. Like I really miss those really good times when everything’s flying and you’re making each other laugh, and you’re genuinely having a good time. So that aspect, I really have missed.
Because there’s no better high than when it all clicks like that.
VK: What do you want people to feel when they listen to this show? What’s the vibe you want people to pick up on?
JO: Well I want people to laugh. That’s my primary objective on radio and in life. I love making people laugh.
I want to make people feel like it’s okay if not everything’s perfect in your life, because none of us are perfect, and we’re all just paddling along like swans, just trying to be calm on the outside and madly, frantically kicking our legs under the surface. So I think I want to be relatable because I think that’s been what I’ve tried to achieve my whole career in radio, is for people to be able to turn on and go ‘Oh, I’m having a shitty day, Oh that’s okay. She is too. Everything’s going to be okay’…
The time off has afforded me to go ‘Okay, if radio’s not going to be the path I’m going down now, what else am I going to do? I want to be in a position where I don’t have to depend on radio any more, because I think that was probably the case for a while…
I don’t want radio to be the be all and end all anymore.
19 November: Jodie Oddy resigns from Mix 102.3 Breakfast show
12 January: Jodie Oddy to be back on radio next week