Dubbed ‘the Pilot of the Airwaves’, Ken Hill at VCA 88.5FM celebrates an incredible 60 years in radio this May!
Ken joined Boorloo/Perth commercial radio station 6iX in 1963 as an announcer, after serving six years in the navy. ‘I have been fascinated with radio since I was a kid’, he shares. Growing up in the Wheatbelt town of Dowerin, Ken considered radio as his main form of entertainment. ‘We only had one little radio and had just two stations.’ He would listen to the races on a Saturday afternoon and all the radio serials including ‘Dad and Dave’, ‘Dossier on Dumetrius’, ‘Ma and Pa Kettle’. ‘You could lie there and listen to them and your imagination would run riot’, he explains.
Months before completing his term with the navy, Ken began job-hunting for a role in radio and was introduced to radio actor and elocution teacher, Lee Murray, to learn the ropes of the trade. ‘I found out [Lee] trained all the stars of radio and TV in the eastern states.’ On Murray’s recommendation and after forwarding his audition tape, Ken was shortly recruited by 6iX where he learned to call races and worked on the breakfast show. He became known as ‘Mr Wideawake’ – ‘the happiest, bounciest, gives-every-ounciest gentleman in radio biz’ and his passion for racing eventually led him to the WA Turf Club where he became racing manager, in addition to starting Racing Radio and producing and hosting the ‘Trot Topics’ show.
Ken’s long and vibrant radio career includes 16 years at Capital Community Radio, a stint at Kalamunda Community Radio, as well as 6PR and 90.5FM where he read out newspapers and magazines to the visually impaired. In 2018, he joined Ellenbrook-based 88.5FM.
‘Brunch with a Beat’ is hosted and presented by Ken on VCA 88.5FM every Tuesday from 9 till noon – rain, hail or shine! The three-hour program features a wide range of music, quirky stories, local letters to the media, the latest on pop and movie stars, breaking news stories from all over Australia and generally a jolly good lighthearted time.
At age 83, Ken celebrates his 60th anniversary as a radio presenter. Congratulations Ken!
Photo: Ken Hill in studio at VCA 88.5FM