Who is Intern Pete?

The Kyle & Jackie O producer dishes on Australian radio to UK podcaster Polly James.

On this week’s episode of Polly James’ ‘Ten things I love about you: My decade in radio’, Polly (with guest Matt Lisacc) chatted with KIIS 1065 producer, Intern Pete, aka Pete Deppeler.

The three discussed the differences between UK and Australian radio, the mind of Duncan Campbell, and why the paparazzi are obsessed with the KIIS breakfast duo.

Having met Kyle earlier this year in London, Lisacc outed himself as a huge fan, and daily listener of the Kyle & Jackie O podcast. 

​’Unfortunately we don’t have Kyle or Jackie O, on the show, but we have a very special guest, Kyle and Jackie O’s ‘Show Reporter’ we have intern Pete!’ announced Polly. 

When quizzed on his official title of ‘Show Reporter’, Pete said: ‘I made that title up myself, because it really was difficult to try and explain my role to people. On air, I’m called Intern Pete, and I would have to be the world’s oldest intern at 34 years old. When you work with publicists, obviously I’m a producer of the show as well, Intern Pete on the email signature just doesn’t sound glamorous.’

Pete also revealed how he came to land a full-time gig with Kyle and Jackie O. 

‘There’s a couple of ways it happened, I was the social media manager and having a break from producing. I was just contracting, I think Kyle might disagree with me on this, but I think he just got the wording confused from contractor to intern.

‘Modern Family were flying into the country filming the Australian episode, we were so busy when KIIS launched and I’d just race down to the airport. Got Eric Stonestreet on the phone, he knows Kyle & Jackie O and was happy to talk. So Kyle said “I want one [Modern Family interview] every single day on the phone if you wanna pass your internship”.’ 
After several successful interviews with cast members of the US sitcom, Intern Pete ran into some trouble at the airport after getting a reputation among Border Security for disturbing the peace.

Upon encountering a deflated Intern Pete, Jackie O said “imagine if you were on the same flight as them from LA”.

But as the flight had already taken off, Intern Pete thought, ‘Why don’t I just fly to NZ and back, find a flight that lands at the same time, maybe I’ll see them at the baggage carrier?’

So far, so clever. 

Intern Pete landed in New Zealand, had a nap, caught a flight back to Australia and landed at the same time as Modern Family’s Jay & Gloria. Border Security had his number, however,  thought Intern Pete jumped security, and he was arrrested. 

This all played out over the air live, and Intern Pete was born. 

Referring to the expensive nature of the Modern Family stunt, Polly commented ‘What differs between British radio and Australian radio is the money resources to do something so extravagant.’

‘I would totally agree with that. It’s a testament to Australian radio, I really think Australia is really at the top of its game when understanding how important radio is, it really is a thriving industry here. It’s not a dying media over here at all,’ said Pete. 

‘You can have all the resources, but you have to have the right staff,’ he continued. ‘For us, we’ve got the right people, everyone’s got their own skills. The right people in the right jobs.’

Matt: ‘Do Kyle & Jackie O have a say who’s on the team? Kyle always refers to himself as your boss.’

‘100% correct,’ says Pete. ‘They’re 100% across who’s working on the show. They have the final say. Everyone who works on the show or potentially works on the show will meet them. It’s like the final job interview, come in for a quick cup of coffee.

‘I love the guys so much, working for them for around 5 years now. You don’t stay on this show just getting by. The relationships are important. They’re so hands on, they’ll take a call any time of day from a producer.’

Asked about the celebrity status of the KIIS co-hosts, Pete said: ‘There’s intrigue about their personal lives. Kyle’s got this lifestyle of partying but he’s not really like that. He’s got his farm and all that. 

‘Jackie’s very responsible, has a daughter who she loves and adores. The paps love to catch Kyle with a burger in his mouth, being normal. There is that thing, they’re kind of not normal people, they’re stars. When you get to see them in their normality it’s intriguing.’

On their ability to secure big-name stars:
‘They have an ability to get exclusive interviews, it comes down to their relationships. They have the history of a lot of radio, they’ve spoken to all these celebrities a billion times and the celeb is more than happy to talk to them. We can give them a chance to jump on the airwaves and clarify things right away. Done and dusted.

‘That’s the difference between us and the normal PR trail.’

‘Australian radio is an eye-opener,’ said Polly. ‘When you listen to us over here, how do you feel? Do we sound a bit vanilla? Britain gets offended by a lot of things, over here they’re not used to that sort of stuff in the mornings. People would probably complain.’

‘Well, you guys can’t say ‘f**k head’ on air,’ Pete replied. ‘We’ve been dumped three times, and I’ve been responsible for all three of them. You guys have really restricted codes, ours are a little bit looser. It’s up to you guys to start swearing more and everyone will follow.’

On Duncan Campbell: 

‘I used to work with Duncan [Campbell] when we worked for GWR,’ said Matt. ‘He’s doing some very brave things, and he’s bringing Christian O’Connell over to work at Gold. Have you ever heard about these decisions and thought, this is a step too far?’

‘He flat out knows what he’s doing, and I adore Duncan, and he’ll probably listen to this podcast as well. It’s like he’s ten steps ahead of everyone in the industry. I’d love to get into his mind, said Pete.

To wrap things up, Polly described our local content in glowing terms: ‘Australian radio: thriving and successful, and powerful, and super friendly.’

Listen to the interview below. 


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