Mr Melbourne meets Mr Townsville

Or you could say, Mr Midnight meets Mr Dawn. He may have retired from 3AW mid-dawns, but you can’t keep Keith McGowan (right) away from radio stations as he travels around Australia. This week he caught up with Steve Price (left). No, not the one currently on nights at 2GB, but the one that’s a Townsville institution on breakfast at 4TO FM. Keith filed this report from the wilds of Magnetic Island… 

As you drive into Townsville you are confronted by a huge billboard telling you to tune to 4TOFM’s Breakfast Presenter Steve Price. You pick up a local newspaper and there’s “Pricey” taking a photo opportunity, which the print media are more than happy to use. You sit in a Townsville coffee shop and you’ll hear “Didja hear what Pricey said today eh?”

Steve Price is Mr Townsville, and has been for a couple of decades. Initially in the FNQ city for a “relief gig” he tore up his return ticket and stayed. Price embedded himself in the region with not only his radio but a Hit Clips TV show, a Kids TV program and as 7’s district weather man.

But radio is Steve’s first love. The love affair started back home in Melbourne standing for hours in all weathers outside the 3UZ “fishbowl” studio at Chadstone. He was to become John Eden’s panel operator and Production Manager at 3DB, then Production and the odd mid-dawn at 3KZ.

But it was Townsville with its warm weather, long beaches, and easy going lifestyle that kept Steve in the North. Throw into that mix Magnetic Island 8ks off Townsville and it was his idea of Heaven.

It was on “Maggie” that I met up with this local legend and tried to get some information about himself from him. It was almost impossible. We were forever interrupted by passers by wanting to say “G’day”.  Some asked where they could buy a shirt like his. “At the Townsville Museum” he told them all.  Steve was seriously ill a couple of years ago. His illness and his recovery was major Townsville news, not because it is a slow news area, but because Steve “Pricey” Price is news.          

Keith McGowan

Note: If, in his travels, Keith wanders into your station, please share a cup of tea and a good yarn with him about your station and your market before you send him on his way – Ed.

Below: Spot the extravert as Steve Price arrives on the Magnetic Island Ferry.