Graham Kennedy began his career in radio, where he learnt the skills that made him a TV superstar.
In 1949, aged 15, Graham embarked on his radio career as a messenger boy for Radio Australia. In 1951 he got his big break becoming the turntable operator for 3UZ’s star announcer Clifford Nicholls Whitta aka Nicky. They developed their successful on-air partnership over the next five years so that by 1956, 73% of morning radio listeners tuned in to the 'Nicky and Graham' show and the Argus newspaper ran a comic strip based on their personas.
Graham took many aspects of the craft he learnt working with his mentor Nicky across his career in radio and television: the careful preparation of his program, the irreverent take on delivering commercials and the intimate relationship he created with his audience.
During his highly successful television career Kennedy continued to be involved in radio not only as a presenter for stations including 3UZ, 3AK, 3XY, 3DB and 3LO, but also recording commercials, acting in the Graham Kennedy’s RS Playhouse comedy series for the ABC and as a co-owner briefly of 2DAY FM.
Graham Kennedy highlights from the NFSA’s radio collection include examples of his partnership with Nicky and broadcasting from his home studio at Frankston with Bert Newton.
This collection complements our online exhibition, Graham Kennedy: The King.