Former Coonabarabran High School captain, Alex Tighe, will embark on a mammoth mental and physical challenge on Tuesday, 13 October, as he co-hosts a 25-hour charity broadcast on the University of Sydney’s student radio station, SURG FM.
The event is a fund-raiser for headspace, the National Youth Mental Health Foundation, and will be non-stop, featuring celebrity interviews, live music and on-air challenges.
A third-year media/law student, Alex’s passion for radio began at 2WCR FM in Coonabarabran, under the guidance of Rob and Sheila Dean.
We caught up with Alex to learn more about the upcoming marathon broadcast...
Where did the idea to undertake a marathon broadcast originate?
The idea came as a kind of response to Richard Glover’s 24-hour interview with Peter FitzSimmons. We thought, “hey, those guys are old, we can do that”, but our broadcast is going to be slightly longer - 25 hours instead of 24.
How much time and planning has gone into preparing for the event?
A phenomenal amount of time and energy has gone into the planning of this broadcast. We’ve been having meetings for about eight months now. Especially over the last month or so, I’ve been spending about a dozen hours per week editing audio, pre-recording interviews, sending emails and writing content.
What will be your role during the broadcast?
I’m one of the three main hosts of the broadcast. I’ll be joined behind the microphones by Max Schintler and Alexandra Mildenhall, with manager/ host, Bek Davies joining us at the end of the first day. We’re also being helped out by our very capable stage manager, Courtney Thompson.
Will this broadcast be breaking any records?
It feels like it should be breaking a record, doesn’t it? No, the Guinness World Record for the longest marathon radio show is 100 hours (and Richard Glover’s record was for the longest radio interview with one person, which doesn’t quite fit the event that we’ve planned). It’s probably going to break my personal record for time spent awake though!
Less than a week out from the event, how are you feeling?
I’m feeling very, very excited – unfortunately that excitement is buried under a few layers of exhaustion. At this point I just can’t wait for the adrenalin to kick in during the final 25 hours of this project.
What do you think will be the easiest and most difficult parts of the broadcast?
The easiest part, I think, will be sitting back and laughing at the very funny comedians we’ve got coming on. I’m not looking forward to the early morning, but we’ve got Chas Licciardello (from The Chaser team) wandering in around 4.00am, so I imagine that he’ll help us get through.
Why was Headspace nominated as the charity?
Mental illness affects one-in-five young people and Headspace provides a free service for youth seeking help. It’s a great organisation and the work they do is really important, especially for young people who might be under the pump as students.
How can people donate?
A most excellent question. People can donate online, by going to http://tinyurl.com/ surgfm25/. It’s super easy - plus, as we raise more money and hit fund-raising goals, we have to complete challenges on air. I’m already shaving off one eyebrow, which is...look, it seemed funny at the time that I agreed to it.
University of Sydney student, Alex Tighe will attempt a 25-hour radio broadcast for SURG FM, commencing Tuesday, 13 October. Photo - Alexandra Mildenhall.