Despite the famous saying, it seems that three is not always the magic number. Especially when you’re in radio.
Speaking to Craig Bruce on the Game changers: Radio podcast, comedian and radio powerhouse Hamish Blake revealed he and comedic co-star Andy Lee were actually a trio at one time in their early career.
Giving Bruce “the quick family tree,” Blake explained that he went to school with comedy writer Ryan Shelton, and met Jules Lund and Sam Cavanagh (the long-time producer of Hamish and Andy) shortly after.
From there, the 34-year-old went on to meet Andy Lee at university.
“In the first year of knowing each other, we started doing community radio. Me, Ryan and Andy at SYN FM in Melbourne," the father-of-one explained. "We had no idea what we were doing, just winging it ... at the most we knew we had a vague interest in comedy and that’s it.”
While working at SYN FM, Lund won a competition to work at Fox FM and mentioned he had a trio of friends working in community radio. Invited in to record a demo, the trio quickly impressed Bruce (who was working at Fox at the time).
“The three of you have done 45 minutes together and my jaw is on the desk having heard you for the first time,” Bruce told Blake during the podcast.
Deciding to take a chance, Bruce convinced Fox Fm to "put a bet on these guys."
And it's here that we could almost say the rest is history.
Still presenting as a trio at this point, Blake says he took some serious convincing in committing to comedy, with Lee being a driving force in pushing him to embrace what would eventually lead to them becoming some of the biggest names in Australia.
"I was 100 per cent having sit downs with Andy going, ‘I’m going to finish my commerce science degree. I’ll probably go and work at a technology company. Maybe I’ll make CEO. We’ll get a little bit of coin behind us and then, maybe when we’re 50, let’s try the comedy thing’.”
But as conversations rolled on it became apparent that the trio was going to have to reduce its group size.
“We had a great chat with Ryan at that stage,” Blake said. “He did want to finish his advertising degree and it just became a very easy and obvious decision that maybe Ando and I were a bit more in step for that kind of commercial radio. We never had to bend our personalities to fit commercial radio and I think Ry felt ... a bit of a bending to fit it."
Blake also explained that "In the early days when there’s no money, no opportunity, no stakes on the table and everyone’s just making a decision purely based on ‘Do you want to do this?’... In that moment Ando and I both went ‘Yeah we really do,’ and Ry went, ‘Eh, I’m happy to sit it out’."
Since the sit out began, Shelton has hosted shows on the Today Network and Nova FM, co-written Chris Lilley's We Can Be Heroes and had a major hand in Hamish and Andy's foray into television.
The trio also reunited to create their own company, Radio Karate.
“We all charged on loving each other and supporting each other,” Blake said happily.