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Ian McNamara

December 13th, 2007 at 11:55am

There was an interesting four-page article about Ian McNamara in The Weekend Australian Magazine last week titled “Macca All Over”. Many would know Ian by his nickname, Macca, the host of ABC Local Radio’s Sunday morning program “Australia All Over”.

I didn’t spot the article on the weekend but it did come to my attention earlier this week on The Australian’s website. It’s lengthy, but it’s worth a read and is probably one of the best feature articles in a newspaper this year.

Ian McNamara is one of the few people I can listen to for any length of time on the ABC…I think this quote from former ABC boss David Hill probably explains the key difference between Macca and most other ABC radio presenters quite well:

Generally speaking he’s got extraordinary popularity and extraordinary reach but Macca is philosophically old Australian conservative, old working-class conservatism. Philosophically, I don’t agree with a lot of what he says, it just rubs me up the wrong way – not progressive, uncomfortable with change.

He’s a real traditionalist. And he breaks all the rules (of radio). Traditional professional radio management have always found Macca exasperating. He mumbles, ‘Now, I’ve got this letter from Bill somebody.’ Rustle, rustle on air. ‘Oh here it is – oh that’s not it.’ Most people in a program like that would have a strict rundown but he’s all over the place.”

It’s not just the fact that I find some of the more “progressive” presenters on the ABC utterly infuriating and I find Macca much easier to listen to, but it is that “unprofessional” element of his program…it’s not a strict schedule, things don’t quite go to plan and he plays with that. It’s just a down-to-earth Sunday morning chat program. I think many of the best radio presenters are the ones who don’t expect everything to go perfectly, and aren’t afraid to have fun with things going wrong.

I disagree with him on various issues, I find his bird call music annoying and some of his callers to be bordering on the stultifyingly boring, but I like him, and in general I like his program. It is almost the only thing that I can listen to on 666 ABC Canberra without trying to pull my hair out. That being said I am probably more likely to listen to 2CC on most Sunday mornings, but every few weeks I spend a couple hours listening to Macca. He is, to summarise, a good change of pace.

Anyway, the article is most interesting and I encourage you to read it. Even if you’re not interested in Ian McNamara, it’s one of the best bits of journalism you will see this year, and for that reason alone it is worth reading. I congratulate Mark Whitaker for writing such a wonderful article.


Entry Filed under: TV/Radio/Media

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