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Meet The Charismatic Geoff Field From 2Day FM

May 17th, 2010

Geoff Field invited me to the Austereo studios at World Tower to do the interview you’ll read below. I was really excited to meet him, because I had heard his voice pretty much every working day for the past 8 or so years, when I first started listening to Kyle and Jackie O.

I went to the 16th floor and rang the door bell to the studio. Out came the very enthusiastic and very kind Geoff Field, greeting me and welcoming me into the 2Day FM family. He introduced me to the Groupie Receptionist Sonja who was also pleasant and welcoming. A tour around the amazing office, introducing me to all the staff. He showed me the Kyle and Jackie O and also the Hamish & Andy studios. Then it was to his little studio, where Geoff showed me how he does his job. I was so intrigued and excited to see how it all works and comes together – and he was so happy to show it to me.

The 2Day FM office and studio is so impressive, Geoff told me the story about Rihanna when she was here. She said that of all the radio stations she has been to around the world, 2Day FM by far had the best studios!

After we grabbed a couple of cold drinks, we headed up to the roof top to start the interview. It was a beautiful sunny day. A relaxed Geoff, immaculately dressed, with his distinct Porsche sunglasses on, we sat in the sun and caught up on everything GEOFF FIELD…

What are you doing at the moment – projects, work and other bit and pieces?

I’m working on Hamish & Andy which I’m enjoying so much! I also do a segment once a week on Kerri-Anne; I do a lot of charity work too which I love! I work with Miracle Babies, which is for babies which are born premature, to raise money for them. I also do things like City to Surf, dinners, The Bobby Goldsmith Foundation and people living with HIV, the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and also Breast Cancer! So that keeps me very busy. I’m also doing a Youth Off The Street with Ellie Mobbs who works here at 2Day FM. It all keeps me very busy!

There has been many rumors about you leaving the Kyle and Jackie O show – please clear it up for us!!

I’ve just recently moved off Kyle and Jackie O over to Hamish & Andy which I’m enjoying very much. Six years of breakfast and getting up at 3am was tiring.

I had some great experiences on the show, I got married to my partner Jason, live radio and live TV, I’ve been thrown out of an airplane at 4000 feet, I’ve read the news in a pool of sharks, I’ve been hung off the side of Center Point Tower, I’ve been dropped in the desert and had to find my own way back so working breakfast was great – but it’s time for a change. I enjoy my sleep-in’s and I love working with Hamish and Andy they are great!

Where is your favourite place to relax in Sydney?

My favorite place to relax in Sydney is DEFINITELY the Boy Charlton Pool. In Summer I just love going there and doing nothing all day, reading a book. I’m not really into beaches because I was spoilt as a child living on the South Coast, so in Summer Jason and I drive down to the South Coast a lot and go the beaches down there. I’m picky, so I love it because I don’t have to step over people like I do in Bondi Beach.

I also like to relax in Kirribilli, a Chinese Yum Cha Restaurant that is nice, and I also like to go to Doyle’s at Watson’s Bay. Oh – I also love Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair – Jason and I go there a lot for a walk and just sit in the sunshine and watch the world go by.

In terms of fashion, and home décor, is there anyone that influences you?

For the home, I don’t want to plug anyone, but have you heard of Kings Furniture? They design specifically for your house. Jason and I are about to move into a new house in Potts Point and I was told about Kings Furniture and I thought it was interesting because I could have the furniture made to my specific needs and the fact they are cleverly designed with built-in magazine racks and you can flip things around and turn it into a bed if you’ve got visitors.

Fashion wise, I’m an admirer of Peter Morrissey and Alex Perry, I know both of them through the show, I love some of the dresses Alex designs and I love some of the menswear Peter designs.

Is there a feature in your new place that you love most, or was something that made you want to buy it?

YES!!! I don’t want to brag, but it’s a fully renovated marble bathroom, that I can’t wait for! The bathroom I have now is a kind of 1960’s retro and I’m kind of over it! It’s going to be like staying at a nice hotel, so I’m very excited about it. Also looking forward to the kitchen. The kitchen we have now is a tiny little kitchen. If Jason is in there, and I’m in the kitchen, there is no room to even swing a cat or do anything. The new kitchen is really big – I don’t cook but still, it’s nice to be in the kitchen with Jason without feeling like I’m crowding in on his space.

What is your greatest extravagance?

Oh my God! My greatest extravagance is… Oh and I don’t want to sound vain… But it’s when I’m lucky enough… Every few years we fly over to Europe first class on Malaysian Airways. It’s not something I can do every year but I just love the experience of being up that end of the plane! It doesn’t happen every year let me tell you!

Another indulgence is a restaurant that we go to, which has had a lot of publicity recently because Pink went there, but I’ve been going there for 10 years, it’s called Beppi’s down in east Sydney. The same family has run it for 15 years or something. It’s just going there, and having a great Italian meal with a beautiful bottle of champagne. That is an extravagance.

Damn Pink went there and let the secret out and now to go there you have to book months ahead! But that’s alright.

What is something your mother and father always told you?

To respect people no matter who they are. To treat people how you would like to be treated. I think it’s simple and it works for me. Easy.

How did you get into radio?

I slept with boss.

NO!

EDIT!!! I’m joking!!!

How did I get into radio? Well I’d like to say I worked my guts out, went to University and did all the courses, but if you’d like to know the truth, my dad was best friends with the General Manager of the radio station in Nowra where I come from. So I got work experience there and I used to hang around like a bad smell. Seriously, they must have hated me because I would be there all the time. School holidays, weekends, whatever. Anyway I was basically offered a job, probably because they were so sick of me bugging them, so I went into radio, literally the day after I left school and I have never been out of a job in radio since. So I’m pretty happy with that.

What advice would you give someone going into this industry?

Persevere. Never give up. It’s that sort of industry where people often say “Call me back”, or “there’s nothing going at the moment”, so what you do is you keep on keeping on, you just bug them because it’s such a hard industry to get into.

There’s so many people wanting it and so few jobs and I have an example of a particular person who is now hosting their own radio show, they used to, like me I suppose, turn up for work experience and one day the announcer was sick and they put him on air. He now also has a great career. That’s the way to do it  – Never give up!

What do you think are the difference between Australian and European, American or Asian fashions?

I think Australia is great. Australian fashion is great because we cherry pick the best from whether it’s Italy, France, Europe, America or Britain, I’m no fashion expert but I certainly see enough fashion coming and going through this radio station. I’ve seen everyone from Lady Gaga to some of the great designers like Patricia Field for the Sex and the City girls, so I kind of watch from my studio.

I’m always fascinated, even at 6 in the morning, seeing people like Megan Gale or Jennifer Hawkins coming in, even at that hour of the morning they look wonderful. They are always wearing something that just looks great. That’s my thoughts on Australian fashion – we can look at the rest of the world, take the best of it and do our own stuff – and we do our own stuff so well.

What’s one thing you can’t leave home without?

I can’t leave home without my mobile phone! I can’t leave home without my sunglasses. That’s it. Predictable but easy.

If you were Clover Moore, what would be something you’d inject money into fixing?

First of all I think there is too much reliance on cars in this city, like to get to one end of George Street, not even in peak hour, is a nightmare, so I think a lot of people are going to hate me for this, but I think we should make it easier for cyclists. My partner Jason cycles to work everyday and I know people say, “Bloody cyclists they hold the traffic up!” but not if we build cycle lanes. We need a more efficient public transport system in the city itself, the light rail, Clover has been talking about light rail for years, come on Clover!! We can do it!! That’s the first thing I would do – fix up the transport.

Three pet hates?

1. People that don’t respect other people.

2. People that maliciously gossip. There’s a difference between having a gossip, but there’s nothing worse then saying something horrible about someone or an untruth.

3. Weak Governments. I’ll give you an example. I had so much faith in Kevin Rudd, the day after he was elected, I can remember being on a charity walk with Tania Plibersek and some of the other people from the Labor Government and I was so hopeful that we were going to have things change in this country like climate change, all the other things, and look what’s happened. He only just said that climate Change was the greatest challenge of the 21st Century, and now he has abandoned it. We need strong leadership and we need people with principles.

Where do you see yourself in a few years from now?

Hopefully still employed!! I’m enjoying what I’m doing at the moment because I have had a change from Kyle and Jackie O and I’m not doing Hamish & Andy which I love. I loved being on Kyle and Jackie O.

In a few years time, I’d love to be doing my own show, I’m not sure which station, or what the future holds, but in radio, you kind of live from one ratings to the other, thankfully I have been at 2Day FM for 12 years, and hopefully I’ll be here for a little while longer. But in the future I would like to do my own show because I am very opinionated on a lot of issues, so I suppose I would like to give it a go, but not just yet – I’m enjoying being a news reader.

Let’s talk about home life – who cooks more, who cooks less, who cleans, what’s the arrangement?

One word. JASON!

No we actually do have a good at home arrangement, because Jason cooks, he won’t let me near the kitchen. He’s tasted my cooking before and I… Well this is embarrassing, but when we first started living together, I said I would cook one night. I can’t believe I did this, but I went to Coles or Woolies, and I grabbed some mince meat product, which Jason keeps reminding me about, called Dinner Winner. I mixed it up and it was glug. Since that moment Jason said I was banned from the kitchen!

I do the cleaning, and the washing, so it kind of balances it out. We are like a husband and wife, but I’m not sure who the husband is or who the wife is!

Your time with Kyle and Jackie O, they have obviously had you do some crazy stuff. Has there ever been a time that you refused to do something?

It’s all my fault, because when I first started working with them on air, “I’m up for anything! Whatever you guys throw at me I’ll do it!” So I had myself to blame.

My theory was, if it doesn’t kill me, I’ll do it!

But seriously, for the most part of it, it was all in good fun, as I said earlier, I wouldn’t have sky dived if it wasn’t for them. There are times when you think “Oh my god!!!” but at the end of the day, I’ve done about 95% of the things they’ve said – I can’t even remember the things I said no to. Most of the time I did it.

I can remember one morning I had a crocodile and a massive lizard unleashed on me in the studio while I was reading the news, and also on April fools day, the entire news bulletin was sabotaged, with noises and incorrect grabs, including Ray Martin walking in and taking over the news! It was all good fun.

What is one of your greatest learnt?

It’s probably Karma, I think how you treat people eventually comes back on you, I think if you treat people well, life is pretty good. That’s my lesson learnt. Oh and the obvious one – don’t say yes to doing anything!!!

Have you ever been in a position where you have been abused, insulted or harassed for being gay?

I’ve been so lucky, I must be one of the luckiest people in the world because I haven’t. I know that there are a lot of people that really struggle with their sexuality, the work place and their family, but someone up there has blessed me because my family is fantastic. Even my 18 year old nephews, when they come down at Christmas, they are excited to see Jason and I, calling us both Uncle Geoffrey and Uncle Jason, they have only ever known us as their uncles. I think working in the entertainment industry has also made it a lot easier for me, because I know that is I were working on a building site or something, or some other industries, I’d be more inclined to keep my sexuality to myself.

I’m very aware of the fact people do have massive problems and all I can say to them is be honest – because honesty always wins in the end, and don’t hide, because if you keep it a secret, it’s just going to bubble up inside you. No one cares these days; people respect people for who they are.

www.GeoffField.com.au

Up Close And Personal With Henry Roth

March 23rd, 2010

Henry Roth (right) with his very proud parents Joseph & Aneta and model.

When I walked through the foyer and waited for the lift to take me 20-something levels into the sky over Kings Cross, I began to get a little nervous. Nervous about the fact I was about to enter the home of inspirational Couture Bridal Designer, Henry Roth.

I arrived at his door, and was welcomed in with a glass of wine and an introduction to his two wonderful close friends. A beautiful redcurrant scented Vovito candle fills the air and Alicia Keys‘ acapella of  ”New York” playing in the background. All my nerves dissolved and I instantly became a welcomed into the party of three, now four. Henry was hospitable and kind, and he set up a quiet area on his balcony overlooking Botany Bay, for us to have a conversation so I could get to know him.

After only a few minutes of talking to Henry, I instantly felt comforted, clear and inspired. Henry is a pure and humble person, who speaks what he thinks and feels. You will understand why Henry has grown up this way and become the success that he is, as you read this conversation I had with him below.

I hope you will take something away from this as much as I have…

What projects are going on in the wonderful world of Henry Roth?

I have just launched the affordable Couture Bridal Collection, which is basically launching wedding dresses from the price of $800 to the maximum price of $2000, it’s all about fashion forward gowns, without compromising quality and are extremely well priced. I continue to run my two fashions businesses in both New York and Sydney, traveling back and forward. I’m also starting to do alot of free to air work for Channel 9, it’s fashion commentary and I was the official fashion anchor for the Oscars, which was fantastic!

I’m also creating the the next collection for August, and I’ve just got back from Hong Kong from visiting my design workshop, then back to New York at the end of March till the end of May where I will do the launch for full couture in New York and doing designer days. There’s just so much going on!

What do you do to keep your mind busy and energised, away from designing and and your hectic career?

I do love writing poetry, I write alot of Hip Hop poetry in New York, where I do readings and write – have a look at Nuyorican, I’m a member of this group.

Who influences you in fashion?

With regards to my wedding dresses, what influences me is definately the brides. Brides today have taken us down the aisle, in so many different ways, so we design a very different way. Normally designers will create a very signature look, but that holds you to not being as diverse, so I design for garden weddings, beach wedding all the way to ballroom weddings. This makes it very diverse. So it’s the brides, weddings, red carpets and people on a day to day business. My sister Michelle who I work with is also my biggest influence, she is based in New York.

What is your favourite accessory?

My glasses – without a doubt! I have many pairs, I am a fashion ambassador for Specsavers which is actually very cool because you can indulge in your personalities when you go there. I can’t live without them!

What foods and drinks most excite your taste buds?

I’d have to say Indian. I love Indian. I also love traditional Israli food, as I am Jewish I love that. I’m not a huge drinker, but I do love to wake up to fresh juices in the morning, like apple, spinach, parsley, ginger, mint and lime juice.

What is your greatest extravagance?

Scented candles. I think it’s my real extravagance, I really do. They are very expensive, but my favourite at the moment is Vovito in redcurrant, it is my New York candle, it reminds me of New York. Also buying Canali suits at Bloomingdales in New York!

Greatest lesson learnt?

Don’t presuppose what somebody is thinking, and don’t jump too quickly to conclusions. Have the confidence to just let a situation lay for a little bit and you will find that instead of guessing why a person has been, maybe not in touch as much as normal, or maybe seems a little bit off, that will unfold. The minute you impose your fears onto a situation, then you can ruin a fantastic thing. That being a friendship, a business relationship, a fantastic thing moving forward and I’ve really learnt to just bite my tongue and let it pass. The biggest lesson for me by far.

What advice can you give fashion designers here in Australia?

The best advice I can give any designer is know what your niche is, know what you’re designing for, know who you’re designing for. My only minor criticism is sometimes young up and coming designers in Australia just need to think and be really clear in what they want to specialise in and then make sure what you are creating and designing are at the right price point, for the right market, for the right niche of who you’re designing for.  There’s no point designing a gown or a garment or a piece of clothing that’s mis-targeted and mis-priced.

I’ve met your adorable parents Aneta and Joseph, they are absolute amazing and gracious people. What is one thing that they always told you?

My father always told me, respect and love people equally. Especially that they are survivors of the Holocaust, it doesn’t matter about the colour of your skin, your sexuality, your religion, everyone beats with the same heart. Respect people equally and expect the same respect.

My mother has always told me to keep my feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars. No one is better, and no one is worse then you. No one is.

If you were the Mayor of Sydney, Clover Moore, what would you inject money into fixing?

That is such an easy answer, and I’ve thought about it so much!  The city of Sydney is dying. The soul, the passion and the meaning of our city is dying because George Street has basically become a two lane highway. It’s crap! I would immediately close down George Street, and I would immediately put tonnes of money into creating a tunnel underneath the city to get  the traffic off the streets and turn it into a giant plaza.

I’m very worried about Westfields encapsulating the bubble of Wesfieldness, the city, and all the other shops around it, almost not competing, which is what happened on Oxford Street in Paddington and the death of Double Bay. It would be the closure of Town Hall, to Bridge Street. All the way down.

What are your thoughts in regards to fur and cruelty to animals for fashion, and the environment in general?

I don’t think I would ever use it in fashion, but I do think fur within reason is important, water conservation is essential, free range is important, organic is important, and I think caring about our planet. I do believe we are going through a crisis about our planet. But I think Australia is so ahead of the game, and I think it’s a shame the politics have got in the way of Australian really being the first to embrace carbon reduction.

I’m not political at all, but I want this to go on record – I think Rudd is a big talker, he has great ideas, he’s a great talker, but has done very little. Building broadband is ridiculous. The schools are a mess, the ideas were good, but the implementation is shocking. But his carbon reducing program reminds me, as a kid when they brought in Medicare. Imagine if we didn’t bring Medicare into this country in 1972. We would be going through the struggles that Americans are going through now.

What are your three pet hates?

1. Racism.

2. Racism.

3. Racism.

Where do you prefer to live and work – Sydney or New York?

Alot of people ask me this question and I did live in New York eleven years full time from 1997 to 2008, and in that period of time I only came back to Sydney three times, for periods of only four or five days. Very short visits because my parents always came to visit me. I’ll answer it this way. I think the world has gone flat, it’s not round anymore, and you know it’s all the same goal posts. All influences are the same, the websites, internet, blogs, Blackberry, iPods, whatever it is. I’m amazed at how much Sydney has grown up, I think the Olympics actually globalised us, and also got rid of the inferiority complex which was very evident before I left.

I love both cities evenly. I really do. The thing I love most about Sydney and about Australia generally, is our humanity. We treat eachother with respect, we treat eachother with human dignity and the day that changes we will become un-Australian.

Favourite place to go for coffee, dessert, food, whatever!?

Favourite places for coffee, Cafe Le Monde, which is downstairs from where I work on Foveaux Street, and also Dolchetta. Angela there on Victoria Street, Potts Point is a doll, she is amazing and she makes her cappuccinos with love.

Best juices is definately at “Juice Me” in Kingsgate. They make awesome juices and they are super fresh!

For a great meal? Fratelli Fresh. I vary in my local area. My obsession at the moment is WOWCOW, they are amazing!

I would go to Hugos for a cocktail, I like to be close and in my zone. I feel like I’m in New York being close to everything.

I really hope you can appreciate this conversation I had with Henry Roth. After walking out of his home, many hours of talking about our lives, dreams and aspirations, I have built enormous respect for this atistic, creative, kind and generous man.

www.HenryRoth.com.au