This interview was originally published by news.com.au 11 April 2016. You can find it here.
Radio star Marty Sheargold has opened up about how he almost destroyed his career.
The veteran broadcaster, who is currently one third of Nova’s Kate, Tim and Marty, described how he had “fallen in love with myself beyond words” and as a result, found himself unemployed.
As Sheargold explained to Craig Bruce on Game Changers Radio, his downward spiral began when he and Fifi Box landed the Sydney Breakfast gig on Triple M in 2007.
“We weren’t a breakfast show,” he said about The Shebang which was formerly an afternoon radio show.
“We were doing lightweight chit-chat that was based on me being mean or rude or unflattering, and Fifi being asked to cop that five days a week. And that wore her down as well.”
It wore Box down so much that she left before their contract was up.
“Looking back at it, I had fallen in love with myself beyond words,” Sheargold said.
“I just became really punchy, really aggressive ... I resisted the sensibilities of the breakfast shift, probably wasn’t ready to do that bigger shift at a station that at the time was going through a lot of positional changes.
“I used that as an excuse for why we weren’t going well, pointed the finger at a lot of different people over that journey and wasn’t accountable for any of my own behaviour.
“So that collapsed. Fi (Box) had signed a deal in our second year to do the Sunrise weather job, so I’d lost an on-air partner 18-months into a two-year deal.”
Sheargold admits he became “really toxic and cancerous” when his co-host left and things got even worse in December 2008 when his great mate Richard Marsland died.
“Personally, I was really unstable,” Sheargold said.
“After that I took the time to reset and regroup and really almost had 12-months off. The phone never rang once, not one time ... Not one work offer!
“It really is extraordinary, but that’s how awful my reputation must have been. You have to understand why you’re phone isn’t ringing. It’s not because everyone thinks you’re a great bloke.”
With a new attitude, the former stand-up comedian eventually made his radio comeback in 2010 when he joined the Nova Brisbane breakfast show with Meshel Laurie and Tim Blackwell.
A year later, the show took over from Fitzy and Wippa as the network’s national drive show where it remains (Kate Ritchie replaced Meshel Laurie on the show in November 2013).
Kate, Tim and Marty is currently Australia’s number one FM drive show, a result that Sheargold puts down to their chemistry and the fact they’re allowed to do content that they’re genuinely interested in.
“This idea of talking to the last bloke who got kicked out of My Kitchen Rules ... who gives a flying f**k? No one. It’s filler. What it is is lazy and it’s unforgivably lazy because no one cares.
“I’d rather talk about the biggest rat in China and then get someone on the phone to tell me about the biggest rat they’ve found in their kid’s bedroom and then fire off (a) Justin Bieber (track).”
So what’s he like to work with these days?
“I’ll still crack the sh*ts occassionally, just for a bit of fun,” Sheargold joked, “but it’s not like the old days”.