Life at the Top is a Croc for Ben and Harry

Breakfast in Darwin

It’s not hard to get inspiration  for a Breakfast show in Darwin with a local newspaper like the Northern Territory News. It is regularly cited on Media Watch for its improbable stories and outrageous headlines such as “Why I stuck a cracker up my clacker.”

Harry Dodshon co-presenter of Hot 100’s Ben and Harry  says, “We open the newspaper every single morning to see who’s sticking what where and which crocodile is stalking which Member of Parliament. It never ceases to amaze us. Our listeners are the people these stories are about…”

“Territorians are a different breed that’s for sure, “ adds Ben Stevenson. “We definitely have our share of characters up here, but for the most part our listeners are down to earth people, incredibly unpretentious and not afraid of being completely honest with you – I love that.”

Ben found himself in the Top End after “biting the bullet” to earn his stripes in a regional market, leaving Melbourne where he had been paneling at NOVA.

It ended up being a moment of serendipity when Ben moved in with Harry who was already working at Hot 100.

“I slept on Harry’s couch the first two weeks and ended up moving in with him when his housemate moved out” says Ben. “We got along really well and the boss could see that when it came time to finding a replacement for Shad (Harry’s previous co-host).”

And while the guys avoided answering the question about who looks better in shorts, they were both incredibly candid about their recent efforts during Dry July.

“I’ve always been a big drinker,” says Ben, “… and Darwin has definitely not slowed that down at all. I took it as a great opportunity to give my body a rest, and to also test myself.”

For Harry, there was an even more personal motivation for giving up alcohol for the month.

“I’ve never really been that much of a drinker, a few social drinks sure but nothing really big,” he says. “My Mother has had troubles with alcohol addiction so my main goal was to do it for her, she has been sober for 6 months now and I wanted to show her that you need to take this illness one week at a time…”

So what was Harry willing to sacrifice for one whole month?

“No PlayStation.”

“I play videogames like you wouldn’t believe.”

And it was tough.

“My housemate LITERALLY playing MY PlayStation in front of me and having to host a Mario Kart tournament at a local pub were just some of the challenges,” Harry admits.

“ I’m super proud of Harry for giving up video games, the guy is nuts about them,” says Ben.

Along with its newspaper headlines the Territory is also known for its Tourism campaigns. Remember, “You’ll never, never know if you never never go?”

The latest is not so much catchy but blunt, playing on people’s fear of death to try to encourage us to visit. “Grandma’s gone, Grandpa’s gone. Mum says Nan’s next…”

And while Darwin is rarely included in a National Tour by the world’s bands and pop stars, what do the boy’s like about being radio announcers in the place that has the rest of Australia intrigued?

“Darwin is a big spread out place with a small town feel to it,” says Harry. “We have listeners tuning in on the AM band in Katherine and FM in the city and surrounding areas.”
“We know how to have our own fun,”
says Ben. “Territory Day is insane and something only we can get away with. It’s the same with the Beer Can Regatta (which I strongly encourage you to add to your bucket list), it’s the perfect example of how laidback, fun and nutty Territorians are… it’s something you just won’t find anywhere else in the country.”


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