Two new voices add choices to the drive home

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Radio announcers Richard Perno (2CC) and Cathy Dinn (2CA).

Perno plans to ask the hard questions

CANBERRA’s new talkback drive-time announcer Richard Perno plans on asking all the hard questions.

“I’m not here to please anyone but the listeners,” Richard says. “I’m here to pull them (his subjects) in line.”

Sydney-born, Richard first started working in a country station in Young during the ’70s and since then has been on air in places such as Sydney, Dubbo, Brisbane, Hobart and, most importantly, Canberra.

Richard Perno… “I’m not here to please anyone but the listeners.” Photo Ana Stuart

Like most people, Richard says a passion for music pushed him towards a career in radio – and the prospect of free CDs.

“I did music for many years and got tired of saying the same things after songs and then gravitated into talkback,” he says.

Richard’s first Canberra stint was for 2CA in the ’80s and then at 2CC in the late ’90s when it first became a talk station.

While in Canberra, he moved briefly out of radio to work for independent Legislative Assembly member Helen Cross, who remains a close friend.

“All journalists should do that, [work in parliament], so they know where the manure comes from,” he says.

Over the last 40 years Richard’s seen Canberra grow incredibly and says he’s happy to be back here, in what he calls a great place with a “hot pot” of friends.

And what will “Canberra Live” be like with Richard? Well, he says it’s going to be food for the ears and theatre for the mind.

“It’s drive, so it’s fast paced, lively and changing all the time,” he says. “If it’s happening, it’s on the show.”

Richard describes his radio style as “straight up and down”. He says he wants the answers.

Richard replaces Chris Coleman, who has left 2CC to work in the ACT police media team after 32 years in radio.

Richard Perno, “Canberra Live”, 3pm-6pm, weekdays.

Cathy comes home to musical memories

RADIO has taken announcer Cathy Dinn on a nomadic journey across the nation and now it’s brought her home to Canberra, where she will be taking 2CA listeners home from 2pm to 7pm on weekdays.

“A blessing and a curse of the job is you do move around a lot,” she says. “Radio jocks tend to be nomadic, you go where the gigs are, so it’s nice to get to settle into a pocket that I know.”

Cathy, who was born in England, emigrated to Australia with her family in 1980 and spent most of her childhood and teenage years in Canberra.

Cathy Dinn… “It’s all about music for me, I’m not interested in being famous.” Photo Ana Stuart

She remembers calling radio DJs on 2CC at the age of 14.

A couple of years later she started working for a local community radio station, which was more like a “TAB station” because it had music until about noon and then broadcast the races for the rest of the day.

“So there I was a teenager talking about scratchings and selections,” she says.

But her real drive to get into radio was a love for music, all music, including 2CA’s “Forever Classic” hits, which feature songs from the ’60s to the ’80s.

“It’s all about music for me, I’m not interested in being famous,” she says.

A love for classical music came from her days working at the celebrated Abels record store in Manuka.

Moving from FM music stations has let Cathy delve into all kinds of music, saying: “If you have a love for one, you have a love for all”.

So she’s excited to be playing classic hits for a change after having to keep on top of Taylor Swift’s love life at NewFM in Newcastle.

Cathy says her favourite interview was with Canadian-American alternative rock singer Alanis Morissette, who’s well-known for the song “Ironic”, which peaked at number four in 1996 on the “Billboard” charts.

“We sat on the floor of her dressing room and talked about love,” Cathy says.

And while Cathy has had the chance to meet lots of fabulous people and do interesting things, she says the most “OMG!” moments are when she meets reality TV stars.

“I love reality TV, I’ve met loads of famous movie stars and I’m not always excited, but reality stars [do make me excited],” she says.

While Cathy has been lucky enough to meet lots of famous people through her job, it was in Grade 4 at St John Vianney’s in Waramanga, where she met her best friend Gabby Millgate, famous for saying: “You’re terrible, Muriel”, in the 90s’ movie “Muriel’s Wedding”.

They’ve remained friends ever since and now as housemates in Theodore, not too far from where they grew up.

Cathy Dinn, 2CA, 2pm-7pm, weekdays.

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Danielle Nohra
Danielle Nohra is a "CityNews" staff journalist.

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