People say wait for creativity to strike you… it doesn’t happen like that: Gamechanger Jo Stanley

Jo Stanley has been one of the most successful female presenters on FM radio in the past two decades.

She is the latest gamechanger to chat with Craig Bruce on his podcast, and is now on her way to Vienna to speak at the RadioDays Conference.

radioinfo will have coverage of that conference next week from Vienna.

Jo Stanley started with a weekly night show on Fox Melbourne with colleague Jodie Jay, after being discovered at a standup comedy gig. She went on to host a number one FM breakfast show on Fox with Matt Tilley, then she moved to GoldFM, where she and co-host Lehmo left on a high, reaching number one FM breakfast in her last survey with the station.

One of the most important tips from Jo Stanley’s chat with Craig Bruce is “just turn up every day and have fun.”

Her love of comedy came before her love of radio, she told Craig Bruce:

“I didn’t consider radio, I was doing standup because I wanted to become an actor. That was in the 90s when there were lots of standup rooms around Melbourne and you could get a gig somewhere. I was working with Jodie Jay and one night Jeff Allis from Fox FM came to see our show and that was it…”

The pair were hired for a weekend gig on Fox, then later she was paired with Matt Tilley to host breakfast on Fox.

All good comedy starts from “mucking around with another good comedian,” but there is also hard work involved too according to Stanley.

“I never let a day go past without being completely on top of everything. Matt had the same work ethic. There is a lot about radio that is hard work. You can never ever skip a day.

“People say you’ve gotta wait for creativity to strike you… it doesn’t happen like that…”

Stanley also spoke about the constant feeling of anxiety most radio personalities have due to the nature of the medium.

“Everyone has some sort of anxiety, but when you’re on air it just magnifies that.

“Fox took an extraordinary risk on us, we had not training. We were having to learn what radio was as well as the anxiety of trying to be funny each day…

“I came to embrace airchecks as a great way of learning… We were willing to be students of the craft, we wanted to stay and learn.”

Jo Stanley also talked about the difference between stand up comedy and daily radio:

“With standup comedy you have to spend hours crafting a joke, rehearse, test it on the audience, rework it and finally you may get it right.

“With radio I love the immediacy and spontaneity. You can have a joke tripping out of your mouth because you have a great rapport with your cohost, even before you know its coming out of your mouth, and you’re laughing because you’re in that moment and because of the beautiful flow. That’s what I fell in love with about radio.”

Jo Stanley has now been sacked twice, something which she says “is a deeply hurtful thing.” But she is approaching the future with the same determination as she put into her radio work and is embarking on new paths.

Listen to the full podcast below, and keep an eye out for more coverage of Jo Stanley from RadioDays Europe when Steve Ahern and Grace Lech cover that conference from Vienna next week.

For RadioDays coverage as it happens, make sure you are following radioinfo’s facebook and twitter feeds, as well as our reports on this site.


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