Breakfast in Gosford
You’d want to hope Craig Annis has changed is underpants in the five years he’s been doing radio but he says he’s superstitious and hasn’t.
His co-host Mandy Coolen suspects he’s been wearing the same pair since he started on late nights at Triple M, Brisbane in 2010. Craig’s claims that his undies have met the Nappy San challenge doesn’t wash with her.
Craig and Mandy have been hosting breakfast together on Star 104.5 on the Central Coast since Craig finished up on SA FM (now Hit 107) with the Hayley, Craig and Rabbit Show in 2012.
Ironically both have worked in the Adelaide market. Mandy was a “fill-in-dogs-body” at Triple M before being offered a role on-air and in creative at Star 104.5.
That was nine years ago.
“In that time I have done Mornings, Creative Writing, Drive and Breakfast. Twice. I’ve had six PD’s (or is it seven? I’ve lost count) and numerous music format changes.”
When the opportunity came up to work with Mandy in breakfast, Craig jumped at the chance to head back to where he grew up – Gosford, the NSW Central Coast.
“It’s not very often that you get to do breakfast in the town you grew up in.”
In their first year on-air together they were nominated for an ACRA: Best On-Air Team, Provincial.
They are described on the station’s website as like “chilli chocolate, you don’t think it’s going to work, but somehow it does.”
“Mandy and I are such different people and I think that makes us work really well. Mandy is really liberally minded – she’s very open and free spirited whereas I am quite prudish and conservative,” says Craig who, by the way, is also a stand-up comedian and could be pulling our leg about those undies.
“We are also slightly different generations which means we really complement each other with our listeners. I have no idea who Simba* the White Lion is and Mandy only just learned to type with Emoji’s.”
And so the banter begins.
“I think Craig is politely calling me ‘old’ here,” laughs Mandy.
“Yes I guess it’s the old yin and yang thing…. I’m old school, he’s hipster, I dry my clothes on the washing line and he uses the dryer. Like any good team, creativity and compromise is the key (insert poo emoji here).”
Both though, are clearly organised.
“We have a colour coded whiteboard which some people find odd,” says Craig.
“It works like this: Interviews are green, phoners in black, raves in blue, hooks are orange and purple is a story arc… it sounds complicated but when it’s balanced perfectly, it’s a thing of beauty!”
In their three years on-air the pair are proud of their achievements.
One highlight was the creation of an ice cream called the “Choc Norris” and with the help of seven ice creameries on the coast they sold over 500 on the Easter long weekend.
Since the “Choc Norris” hit the stands though, Craig has ditched dairy and become a vegan.
“ Mandy is always bringing in yummy food that she’s cooked that I can’t eat! Quiche’s, cookies, cake, all I can do is smell her yummy creations. ARGGGGGGGGH!” says Craig.
*By the way Craig, it’s Kimba the White Lion not Simba (insert winking emoji).