Charli Robinson co-hosts the SEA FM Gold Coast breakfast show alongside Galey and Matt. With over 10 years’ media experience she also reports on Scoopla across the 40 radio stations on the Today Network. She chats to TBS about maintaining a great relationship with male co-hosts, work/life balance and dealing with negative press.
Could you tell us please how you got the opportunity to work in radio and what challenges did you find coming from a TV background?
After 10 years in Hi5, I went on Dancing with The Stars, I had to do a radio interview on MMM to promote the votes and Ugly Phil told 2DAY to do a test and see how I went since I didn’t shut up the whole interview! I did my test with Chris Page and a 10pm – midnight shift until we were offered Hot30 which was great fun. The real test moving from TV is you don’t have a script anymore – it’s you, it’s live, the response is immediate. I’m thankful to Derek Bargwanna, Chris Page and Craig Bruce for giving me guidance and encouragement to be myself on air… a real opinion, a real voice, and confidence.
You have worked with a lot of male co-hosts throughout your radio career – what’s your top tips for maintaining a great relationship with them and also resolving conflict?
I still call Pagey my ‘radio-husband’, I was fortunate to have natural chemistry with him, the way he tells it how it is, allows me to be self-depreciating in a way that is enjoyable and real for me to bounce off. I have also worked with a man with a couple of not so endearing characteristics, that’s not fun, looking back I never took a day off, I turned up on time every morning and gave the best I could in that situation, I’m proud of myself for never letting it force me away, I grew stronger! That behaviour never lasts in this industry, it’s a small Aussie entertainment industry, you can’t be unprofessional, I give each job 100% and it leads to the next. I’m working with two fantastic men right now, Matt Acton and Paul Gale. We all genuinely get along and I have complete respect for them professionally which means we all have the bigger picture view – that makes the little things to worry about not worth it. I laugh every day through our show…and I trust them. That’s a great feeling.
Many show hosts talk about themselves being a ‘brand.’ Do you have any advice on how you build your own brand from your own experience?
My ‘brand’ started when I was 17 in Hi5, I’m proud that I’ve grown up as it were on TV and now on Radio. I’ve developed from a children’s role model to a woman, and the cool thing is so have my audience, they heard me on Hot 30, watch me on Scoopla TV and now on Gold Coast breakie radio where I can relate to 30 year olds! My brand is me, I don’t have to try and be anything I’m not. What I do love is the way radio mixes with TV so much more now, I’m doing 3 episodes of Scoopla TV each day, guests spots on Ch 10 Studio 10 and working for Getaway on Ch 9 this year, I’m more comfortable in front of the camera than in front of the microphone but I love the honesty and ability to reach people through radio. It challenges me…and I love that..I’ve become so much better on live TV through Radio!
Have you ever had to deal with negative or untruthful press and how did you deal with it?
Coming from a TV background you are taught very early to deal with negative press, I sing, I perform, gee..I know what it feels like to want to ‘want’ to please people. My sister always says theres no bad publicity. You know the truth. Hold your head high with integrity. I wont lower myself to indulge un-truths or trolls for that matter! It’s not the press that’s the hardest in my radio career, it’s some women! There’s well known ladies in radio who gave a kids TV girl like me 100% support, Ellie Mobbs, Jackie O, Fifi Box, Abby Coleman, always had a smile and nice words, the hardest was a couple of women who obviously weren’t happy I was filling in for them and made very rude remarks. It was in that moment I realised I was going to never ‘grow up’ to be like that. To your own self be true. Work hard, have fun and be me!
How do you find the ideal balance in your life between work, family, friends, exercise, social life, etc.?
That’s probably been the biggest challenge, breakfast radio as well as Scoopla, for 2 years I was doing morning and then afternoon shift. Then I host charity events/ sing/ appearances on weekends I didn’t have a life. So I learnt to say No. It’s a word I never use, I’m a hard worker and I like to keep people happy, but at the end of the day it’s you who needs to be happy. I say no to things so I get one day off a week, my family are most important.. a day with them, or one day a week I do everything I want, trackies, beach, bikram yoga and watch the footy with a glass of wine and cheese ..well that’s the perfect kind of re-charge day to survive this hectic, passionate, adrenalin roller coaster that is radio!