The Final Matt and Jo Show
I've already shared my feelings on approaching the final ever Matt and Jo Show. For those of you that missed it, here is my final speech from that final show. Transcript (well, the script I was attempting read off before I got sidetracked) is below. I was inconsolable while writing this. Tears and great wracking sobs tore me apart for hours as I attempted to read it out aloud to myself, to make sure it made sense. It needed a name so I could find it in the cloud, and the speech is titled, hilariously, Fox Hat. Intro is courtesy of Jeremiah Busniak. Thanks for ten wonderful years to Matt Tilley, Jo Stanley and Troy Ellis. If you want to hear their speeches, they are at Radio Today.
I don’t want to say much, because when I start to cry, I break into song. I’ve watched too many musicals and all of my emotional moments end up like the Sound of Music.
There have been so many people I have worked with on this show behind the scenes who I’ve loved, and loathed, and they’ve come, and gone, but the only people who have been here for the entire ten years, have been us four in the studio. I don’t think I’m giving anything away when I say we’re all very close in age to one another, and the decade we have spent together roughly equates to a quarter of all of our lives.
Before I started here, I was a standup comedian, and I still do perform standup when I can, and will be doing a lot more of it over the next twelve months - tickets on sale from ticketmaster - and one thing that I keep getting asked by other standup comedians looking to make inroads into the radio industry is “do you need any writers on your show?” It’s a natural question to ask, really, a lot of shows do have writers. Some radio presenters do more than one radio show, as well as a tv job, and be the face of this that and the other, and go to the opening of a can of tuna - they don’t have time to write their own material every day. Breakfast radio presenters need to put together a three hour show, every single weekday, for 42 weeks a year. It makes me so proud to say to all the comedians who ask for work that we don’t need writers, because Matt and Jo, for whom this show has been justly named, provide their own material. Those stories about their lives that you hear every day? They lived those lives, they recounted those stories, they crafted those pieces with a passion and precision that I have always found both admirable and astounding.
For the last ten years, Matt and Jo have made being Matt and Jo look like the easiest thing in the world, like they just turn up and gasbag and people ring up and we all have a laugh and go home at 9am. Not true. I’ve done gossip for this network on at least ten other shows, and nobody works harder or makes it look easier than Matt and Jo. The furious intensity with which they both throw themselves at this job every single hour of every single day is staggering. Every single thing they have done in service to the show with their name in the title has been done with the utmost care and integrity. They put so much effort into making it look effortless.
Speaking of effortless, I am constantly impressed by Troy Ellis, who is the best anchor in the business. Everybody around the country who wants to work in breakfast radio listens to Troy to work out how it is done, and they still can’t do it half as well. As well as that, he is also the most gifted foil for jokes. Even though he can see exactly where a tawdry old gag is headed, he happily plays along. I don’t know how many times, at how many shopping centres, while Matt was signing gotcha CDs, I would point at my Fox baseball cap and say to Troy “I wore the Fox hat, like you told me to,” and without fail he’d say “when did I tell you to wear that, Ads?” to which I would reply “When I rang you to remind you we were going to Epping Plaza today, and you said wear the fox hat, so I did.”
Most importantly, I want to say to you listening, you who have grown up hearing this show in the car with your mum, you who has heard your mum laughing at my silly jokes, and just because you knew I was here, and your mum liked me, that it would make it just that tiny bit easier to tell her that you’re gay. If that has helped you in any way, I want you to know that is the only reason I kept getting out of bed at four o’clock in the morning. It shouldn’t be difficult to tell your parents about falling in love, but for us it is, and if I have made it easier for you, even if I just helped you start the conversation, then I have done the job that I came here to do, and I can leave knowing that the world is a better place than when I found it.
I want to end with an excerpt from one of the traditional passages of my people that sums up just how I feel about the decade of fun I have had with these three special people.
Memories may be beautiful
And yet what's too painful to remember
We simply choose to forget
So it's the laughter
We will remember
Whenever we remember
The way we were.
The Way We Were
Lyrics by Alan & Marilyn Bergman
Music by Marvin Hamlisch
Original recording by Barbra Streisand