Glenn's career in the broadcast industry began well before he became a household name in 1991 as host of the Nine Network's Sale of the Century, a position he held for over 11 consecutive years.
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Born in Adelaide, Glenn launched his career in radio and television in Bendigo in the late 1970's where he first became a radio announcer. Forty years later Glenn has returned to his roots and you can listen to him play your all the songs you know and love on Magic 1278.
Q. You were the longest host of the popular game show Sale of the Century for 11 years. How did this role change your life?
Up until getting the opportunity on Sale, I had been involved in regional radio and television for nearly ten years, so it certainly helped my career opportunities and opened up many doors, which I'm eternally grateful for. For a period it gave me a degree of security in a business that certainly doesn't foster long term security, but my personal life really didn't change much. I still have the friends I had prior to Sale and our family attitudes are still the same as they always have been.
Q. What was it like behind the scenes on Sale of the Century?
Like a duck, above the surface all looks smooth and graceful, however under the water can be a very different story. I guess record days on Sale were a bit like that. We endeavoured to present the show in a live scenario (warts and all), and it was a credit to the crew that this was nearly always the case with very little editing. Like any successful business, in television the strength of the production crew behind the scene definitely enhances the end program. The Sale crew was certainly a well oiled machine who were very proud of the show and worked hard to maintain its success for 21 years.
Was Sale of the Century your favourite Aussie game show?
Q. Fondest memories?
Certainly my fondest memories are from when contestants achieved things they thought they couldn’t. That’s not meaning they went all the way and became a champion, but it may have just been to win a night or simply just being on the show. The sense of achievement can be very infectious. An example is comedian Matt Parkinson who is now on The Chase. He saw coming on Sale an opportunity to get national publicity for a new CD he had funded. He did very well as for six nights as he merrily cleaned us out of all our cash and prizes. He was a great champ and good fun.
Q. Did you have a good relationship with your three co-hosts?
On SOTC, I was lucky to work with three not only very beautiful ladies (Jo Bailey, Nicky Buckley and Karina Brown), but three very genuine people. They were a heap of fun to be around and made our record days a breeze. I do catch up with them every now and then and recently was involved in a photo shoot with Nicky. What I really love is that they all now have fantastic families, are fabulous mum's and really haven't changed at all over the years. . . and are all still sickeningly beautiful.
Q. How many of the questions you asked on the show did you know the answer to (before looking them up).
I'd like to say that I'm a whizz at Trivial Pursuit, however I've proven over the years that I'm a far better question reader than answerer! I was told by a psychologist once that as I knew the answers were on the card in front of me, and I was concentrating on reading the question correctly, who was answering and what they were doing, that I wasn't necessarily in a retentive frame of mind. I think this was a nice way of justifying my quiz deficiencies! Although I can hold my own to a degree in a quiz, the thing that continually amazed me on SOTC, was the contestants ability to produce correct answers to so many varied subjects and in a very short amount of time, their recall and reaction time was staggering.
Q. We hear you are a motor racing enthusiast. Tell us about about it.
From a very early age I've loved cars and motor racing and I've been lucky to have been able to compete in various forms of it, Tarmac Rallying, Desert Racing, Hill Climbs and a little Circuit Racing. This year I competed in my 24th Targa Tasmania tarmac rally which in recent years my son has navigated with me, and I absolutely love it, especially being able to spend time with Olly. Our car is one of only 28, 1995 Mazda RXSP's, that Mazda manufactured in Australia. My day to day car is a VW Amarok ute.
Q. Are cars your biggest passion?
I guess they are as over the years I have devoted a heap of time and money to them. It's not only the cars that I'm passionate about, but also the people associated with them that I love. I've met so many people from varied backgrounds, degrees of wealth and age, who can come together and talk about cars without prejudices. I really admire and am envious of some peoples patience and ability to restore cars, they can be real works of art.
Q. What is your life like on a daily basis?
I live in Melbourne with my wife Jo, son Oliver and dog Mo. I also have two daughters, Bekki who lives in Canada and Peri in Melbourne. Life is very normal and we are very conscious of maintaining as best as possible a strong family bond. I work on Radio Magic Monday to Friday as well as working in our company Q Media Group, which I formed more than 33 years ago, so week days can be a little hectic.
Q. What is the best advice you have ever been given?
I was always a fan of the Val Doonican song Walk Tall, as it pretty well sums up the values my parents passed onto me and I hope I've passed onto my kids: “Walk tall, walk straight and look the world right in the eye; That's what my mama told me when I was about knee high; She said son be a proud man and hold your head up high; Walk tall, walk straight and look the world right in the eye.”
Q. What is your most common request as a radio announcer?
Do I know why the traffic on Kings Way is at a stand still?
Glenn Ridge hosts a radio show weekdays 10am-2pm on Magic 1278. We are proud to say he is also associated with WYZA® as one of our special high-profile personalities (Photo: Glenn Ridge Magic/Twitter)
Q. What song/s do you play which always make you feel good?
To me the beauty of working at Magic, is that we feature all the big songs from the 60's, 70's and 80's, which was a period in my life when I was in my teens and started work in radio, so really I'm playing the same song now that I was when I first got into the game 30 years ago. Not sure if that means I've done the full circle or gone nowhere! I am a big fan of the like of Bruce Springsteen.
Q. What do you spend your time doing when you aren’t on radio?
My family has a little farm and we raise cattle, which I love and I guess I spend enough time there for it to be classed as a hobby. Also as I'm very hands on there, it certainly gives me all the exercise I need, and through it I have a very high regard for the families on the land.
Q. Favourite musical memories?
I have very fond memories of seeing Fleetwood Mac, Rolling Stones, Creedence Clearwater Revival and Brice Springsteen when they were at their peak, as well as the likes of Cold Chisel and the Angels in their early days. Still love seeing the likes of Jo Camilleri, Daryl Braithwaite, Brian Cadd, Kate Cebrano and Russell Morris performing, however one of my best music memories was from the 70's, when a mate and I had a long day in a pub in Alice Springs and purely by accident, saw Ted Egan and his Fosters Box entertain us and 20 other people for nearly two hours. Had never heard of him before that day, but have loved him ever since.
Weekday Mornings from 10am – 2pm on Melbourne and Brisbane Magic, Glenn Ridge keeps you company with plenty of the songs you know and love as well as interviews and information on finance, travel, health while keeping you up to date with all the latest news and information.
What are your favourite memories of watching Sale of the Century? Join the conversation below.