Richard Stubbs is a game changer. He literally changed the game for breakfast radio in the mid 80s as the first stand-up comedian to cross-over to Breakfast radio (he even did stand up with fellow comedian and radio host Wendy Harmer once upon a time). He started at 3XY on the Morning Zoo in 1985 before moving to MMM in the late 80s. In 1992 The Richard Stubbs Breakfast Show replaced the D-Generation, and went on to become one of the most successful shows of the time. Stubbsy (as he is affectionately known) then forged a new path for FM hosts by crossing over to the ABC in 2004. After 11 years of success in the afternoon slot, he made the decision to hang up the headphones at the end of 2015.

Richard Stubbs is a game changer. Listen to his interview with Craig Bruce on Game Changers: Radio.
Richard Stubbs is a game changer. Listen to his interview with Craig Bruce on Game Changers: Radio.


2:47 Craig Bruce introducing the podcast to Richard

3:45 Moving from the stand up stage to FM radio

4:15 Craig  Bruce asking Richard if he’s heard Dan Carlin’s podcast Hardcore History

4:58 Explaining his past and family life including brother Peter ‘Grubby’ Stubbs

5:26 Sharing how his brothers and family influenced his story telling and comedic work

7:29 Explaining how in his family home growing up you couldn’t get seconds unless you’d contributed to the conversation

9:04 Describing his start at The Last Laugh in 1983

9:40 Discussing the pathway to radio (uni radio and then off to 3CR) before getting to The Last Laugh

10:48 His first big break at The Last Laugh

11:20 Sharing his wisdom on how you can tell if you have good content? How to make the mundane interesting

12:48 Explaining the different ways he approaches comedy content to radio content

13:47 What does Richard like about stand-up?

14:27 Sharing his learnings from working at the ABC… is how you need to let people take time to speak

15:17 The Curse of Radio – habits you have in radio seeping into your normal life

17:05 Working with Peter Harrison at 3XY

19:04 Discussing the evolution of the breakfast program format in the days of 3XY

20:16 Explaining Grubby’s first radio stint

20:46 Remembering Jane Holmes on 3XY

21:00 Receiving criticism for their new format

22:56 Understanding the difference between AM and FM radio

24:03 Knowing what to do if your boss is a moron

24:29 Forbiding  bitching within his team

25:21 Moving to Triple M in 1998

26:43 Moving to Triple M and learning to work solo and to panel

28:35 Having nightmares about panelling

28:57 Sharing his thoughts on good radio, and why it is important to always have the next thing ready

29:27 Explaining how he got his friends (including Wendy Harmer) to do bits of radio

30:24 Making sure there is a succession plan in place

31:28 Sharing his thoughts on the D-Generation

33:48 Replacing the D-Generation, an iconic breakfast program

35:10 Unpacking the first 12 months of the show and why it didn’t work

36:11 Recognising the tipping point for the show and how to build on it

37:00 Estimating how long it took before the program found the groove

37:30 Realising his radio work was better when he wasn’t also doing TV

39:58 Remembering the pranks he and his brother would get up to while working at different radio stations

40:44 Acknowledging the determination of Eddie McGuire

42:00 Explaining the influence of that breakfast program at the time…

42:28 Taking a breakfast show national 

42:56 Confessing it was money and power that persuaded him to stay on when the show went national

44:49 Understanding that once you’ve signed up you have to give it your all

45:11 Explaining how a National Breakfast program can work, as long as all players are on board

46:09 Communicating (or not) with management

48:03 Understanding Austereo's approach to programming

49:09 Commissioning his own market research and learning why benchmarks matter

50:33 Retiring from radio in 1998

51:09 Looking back on a decade at Triple M and a decade at ABC

52:11 Craig Bruce enjoying the ABC more and more as he gets older and asking how Richard transitioned to AM

54:12 Coping with negative feedback

55:09 Explaining the constraints of working at the ABC

56:03 Working with program directors

56:26 Hosting a TV program on a Friday without any staff

57:38 Remembering his most significant moments as a broadcaster

58:40 Seeking feedback 

59:48 Explaining how the ABC deals with major disasters

1:01:35 Broadcasting from various locations after Black Saturday

1:04:05 Explaining his delayed reaction to the Black Saturday and how he could use that to relate to others

1:05:39 Listening to the October 2015 audio of Richard resigning from the ABC

1:07:02 Outlining why radio exists and what it makes it unique

1:08:06 Being out of radio for nine months and how it feels being away for that long?