Hey, Guess What? Podcast
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Guess What we learned from legendary broadcaster Ray Martin

By Luke Hopewell October 2, 2020

Ray Martin has been welcomed into our homes for over 50 years. But what kicked off this legendary broadcaster’s half-century career? Martin sat down with Marc Fennell for our Hey, Guess What? podcast to find out what makes the newsman tick.

Hey, Guess What? is a new podcast from Telstra that looks to teach us all a little something about who we’re connected to, how we grow and what it all means. Subscribe to Hey, Guess What? on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Whooshkaa or wherever you find great podcasts.

On how he sees himself…

I fill out the form on my passport saying “journalist” as my occupation. I tell people ‘call me a journalist’. I call myself a journalist. And I always enjoyed telling stories rather than breaking news, as much as I love breaking news. But I tell stories. And that’s what journalists do.

On getting his first journalism job…

I was sat down in an office, and I did an interview with two of the senior men at ABC at the time and I had to go up the road and read news bulletins just for them [so they could] put it down on tape and do a quick interview with someone up there.

I read the news bulletin. I stuffed it up and I stumbled a couple of times. I said, ‘can I do that again?’ and he had a goodness, a generosity. It probably saved my life.

I did it a second time. I don’t think it was very good the second time either. But for some reason, they used to select two cadets a year in the ABC. And I was subsequently told that there are about 480 applicants that year. But that changed my life totally.

Otherwise, today, I would have been a retired history lecturer probably, I would have loved it, I would have been pretty good at it. Because I love history, but I wouldn’t have seen the world and other things I’ve done.

On humanising issues with 60 Minutes…

One [story] in particular [stands out]. I remember doing a story about the Middle East and we were in Israel. And it must have been early 1980’s in Lebanon…and Israel was basically in you know, under constant threat at that stage. And we went to do a really simple story with an Israeli family and a Palestinian family in in Jerusalem. And the Palestinian family had owned property there for centuries. And when the Jews came in, when Israel was established as a nation, that land was taken.

Suddenly, I found that we had an audience of several million people, you know, families telling their story of what they had gained and what they lost and how and why the war was happening in Israel. We got a number of letters from people are seeing it for the first time [and] I thought the fantastic thing that commercial television can do and does and certainly 60 Minutes did in those early days.

You know, this war had been going on at that stage for 30 years. But people were seeing it for the first time through the eyes of human beings rather than politicians and military men, etc. We were talking to people who listened to what was being said. It was a revelation.

Telstra's Hey, Guess What podcast: Bluey creator Joe Blumm
Entertainment |

Guess What we learned from Bluey co-creator, Joe Brumm

By Luke Hopewell September 28, 2020

Bluey has gone from a local love to a full-on global phenomenon in a matter of years. Co-creator Joe Brumm sat down with Marc Fennell for our new podcast, Hey, Guess What? to talk about what Bluey means to him, those around him and the interesting way he started his animation company.

Hey, Guess What? is a new podcast from Telstra that looks to teach us all a little something about who we’re connected to, how we grow and what it all means. Subscribe to Hey, Guess What? on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Whooshkaa or wherever you find great podcasts.

On where the idea for Bluey began…

To me, you know, there’s no grand idea behind Bluey. I didn’t start with one I knew I wanted to have, you know, cartoon animals. I’ve always loved dogs and I thought look within within dogs species, you know, breeds, I guess you get all that visual variation. You can have Dalmatians and brown dogs and all this. So that’s what my grand idea was then just I guess, as we started executing it, you know, and we sort of put my myself into it. And then it really pivoted and became about play and about all the sort of things that come from that, that I think it really took on what it is that is appealing to people about Bluey. It’s a show about dogs that love to play. It’s a show about parenting and about being a kid.

My earliest memory of drawing was just drawing a pair of shorts, and I still remember the shape of them there just the must’ve been four or five and they just very boxy looking but I just remember a thought in my head. A that’s a good pair of shorts. So ha, like you can have sort of figured out you can actually turn a corner.

On dealing with the global success of Bluey

It hits you in in different ways. An ex-Australian cricket captain will email you one day and say his kids love the show. And, or you’ll just go to a restaurant, and there’s some kid’s being given a present and are unwrapping it and it’s a Bluey doll, you know, like little, little times like that. When it’s, you know, these sort of bizarre things happen that you go, Oh, yeah, like, this thing isn’t just on our rushes TV at work, you know, it actually goes out into the world and people watch it. But I mean, we’re so busy making it sometimes you think it only exists on in the edit suite, you know, but when you when you do go out in the world, and you see it in people that the toys and the books in people’s hands it that’s when it becomes real for me.

On what he wants to teach kids via Bluey

I’d set out not to make a show where you learn numbers or counting, or any, like, overt sort of moral lesson, you know, where there’s an adult going, see now, that’s why cooperation is X or Y, you know, see, we learned that, you know, friends are all you need. Like, I didn’t want to do that I kind of just set out so I’m gonna, if I’m gonna make a show, I’m gonna just try and make a show that makes kids laugh now, then, you know, I also wanted to have adults be able to watch it too, because I wanted to make a show that I just thought it must be a great experience for a kid to sit on a couch and watch a show with their parents. And the parents are laughing as well. And, and kind of not separately, I guess they are laughing at the same thing.

Hey, Guess What? Podcast
Telstra News |

Guess What we learned from actor-comedian Nakkiah Lui

By Luke Hopewell September 18, 2020

Nakkiah Lui is an incredible Australian multi-hyphenate. A decorated actor-writer-comedian-author-et al, Nakkiah spoke with Marc Fennell for our new podcast, Hey, Guess What?, about growing up Indigenous; her road out of law school and into entertainment, and her grandmother’s special appreciation for condoms. 

  

Our new podcast Hey, Guess What? is all about connections, and the moments in your life when you share something deeply personal with your loved ones, forge new relationships and carve out new meaning.

Hey, Guess What? is a new podcast from Telstra that looks to teach us all a little something about who we’re connected to, how we grow and what it all means. Subscribe to Hey, Guess What? on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Whooshkaa or wherever you find great podcasts.

 

On politicising race…

We look at [things like race] as political that we can opt in and out of it. But we can’t opt in and out of these things are things that create our communities, for better or for worse. We should be talking about that. They’re things that we experience as humans, it’s part of our human experience.  

 

On her time doing law…

When I was at uni, especially in my first three years of university, I started doing arts law. That’s ultimately what I ended up completing, but it just took me a really long time.  

In those first three years, particularly in my third year of uni, I really struggled. I had a lot of issues with my mental health, I think because of that pressure, because I had this expectation of what a successful Aboriginal person is. I think that cultural aspect does play a role. 

I you know, it started off okay, but then increasingly I just had this feeling and just this growing feeling of I just can’t see a future doing this. It just felt hopeless in a way. 

I felt so unhappy and I kind of you know, I didn’t like going to class. You know, I also remember my first week of law school, this lecturer, he said to me, isn’t it great that you’ve made it so far? There was a lot of things like that, you know, at every turn. 

It’s tricky, because you carry it with you. And there’s a time where you have to separate yourself from those labels. 

 

On her grandmother’s love for condoms…

My [grandma Joan] was like my second mum. She was my best friend. So I was really close with my nan and my pop growing up. My dad passed away when I think I was about seven. But then my nan like she was my best friend, which never felt lame. Probably sounds lame! Still, doesn’t feel like she was like, really, you know, I would spend every afternoon of school at her place.  

She’s really funny. And she was pretty liberated. She was really headstrong, like she loved condoms. Condoms were like the best invention in the entire world 

She just thought it was amazing that like, women could have sex whenever they wanted as much as they wanted and not get pregnant. She couldn’t understand. And I had a lot of cousins who were having teen pregnancies at the time, and she thought it was the [lack of] access to condoms which is probably part of it. So one day she made me run into the local Aboriginal medical service. Keep in mind, I’m like 15, maybe 14, like 120 kilos, like definitely the one in the family not having sex. And she made me run in and like got to the front desk…and she made me like grab all the condoms. 

 

Hey, Guess What? Podcast
Entertainment |

Guess What we learned from TikTok star Ricky Chainz

By Luke Hopewell September 11, 2020

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard of the viral, dance-happy app TikTok. For better or worse, the app is the place to be in 2020. One of Australia’s biggest TikTok stars goes by the name of Ricky Chainz. With almost 5.5 million followers and close to 100 million likes, Ricky Chainz and his family are riding high on TikTok after humble beginnings.

Our new podcast Hey, Guess What? is all about connections, and the moments in your life when you share something deeply personal with your loved ones, forge new relationships and carve out new meaning.

Hey, Guess What? is a new podcast from Telstra that looks to teach us all a little something about who we’re connected to, how we grow and what it all means. Subscribe to Hey, Guess What? on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Whooshkaa or wherever you find great podcasts.

Ricky Chainz and Grandma Huijun

Ricky’s secret to his success is more than just slick cuts and clever content. His 93-year old grandmother stars alongside him to create hilarious, relatable and adorable content that brings a smile to the faces of their millions of viewers.

Ricky’s rise to the top of the TikTok charts, however, came after a protracted journey to Australia. Originally from rural China, Ricky – whose real name is Thomas – moved with his mother from the country to the city in Hong Kong before coming to Sydney and experiencing a rocky road to stability.

Hey, Guess What? host Marc Fennell talks to Ricky about his journey to internet stardom.

On coming to Australia with his mother…

“I was born in Hong Kong. My mother brought me here when I was about six years old. So, I came completely fresh. I didn’t know any English at all. I spoke a bit of Cantonese, bit of Mandarin and yeah, my mom married a man in Sydney, basically. Yeah, I’m just an immigrant that came here when I was very young and ended up growing up in Australia, eating Vegemite sandwiches and meat pies and stuff.

“My mum was hustling in Hong Kong. She had a few businesses going on. But she always wanted better for our family who were in the rural town at that time. I guess the motivation was to come to Australia to build a better life for all of us. So that’s how it happened. Look, because it didn’t work with my biological father. She went to Hong Kong and then she ended up going on a holiday to Australia to kind of see what the Western world was. Yeah.

“And she ended up meeting my father, my stepfather, who, still my stepfather to this day. Yeah. And then, yeah, they hit it off. And that was the next kind of logical decision to kind of move to Australia.

“There was a massive identity crisis very early on, because, you know, when you’re being called ‘Ching Chong’, and all of this stuff, I thought it was funny in the beginning, but I didn’t realize it was derogatory or anything. But yeah, after a while, it does catch on that you’re different.”

On how he got started making videos with his Grandma…

Thomas discovered TikTok not long after the app launched. His first few videos received a few likes and he was hooked. It wasn’t until he started making videos with Huijun, his grandma, that things started to take off.

“At one point on a visit to my mother, my grandma was there at her house. And I had this idea where I would get my grandma to lip sync some rap songs, like real trending rap songs at that point, and she doesn’t speak English at all. So she would mimic the sound or the flow or the song, the chorus, as well as she could but incomplete, like Chinese gibberish. It kind of resembled the chorus.

“We named the segment hip hop with granny. And it was 15 seconds. So that’s the golden time for TikToks to blow up. So we followed all the rules. And when we released that, I think we got about 500,000 likes within a week. So it was crazy. That one blew up. And it was weird because in that one session, we actually did five different rap songs. So we could actually release one per day in that week. And at the end of the week, that’s it we will be famous.

“Everyone’s got their creative ideas. So but the thing that happened for me was I integrated my grandma, my 93-year-old grandma, into my videos and it blew up really, really quickly. And we experienced, I guess, a big wave of fame from that.”

How his Grandma feels about being a viral star…

Thomas translates this for his grandmother, and she tells us:

“She says she’s very grateful to be famous on TikTok. She hopes it brings people happiness and energy. She’s very grateful at her age she can still inspire people.”

Her one wish is to become even bigger with her grandson on TikTok.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BwTHyKUA09k/

Nic Naitanui of the Eagles looks to pass the ball during the round nine AFL match between West Coast Eagles and the Geelong Cats at Optus Stadium on August 01, 2020 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images via AFL Photos)
Entertainment |

Guess What we learned from West Coast Eagle star Nic Naitanui

By Luke Hopewell September 7, 2020

Our new podcast Hey, Guess What? is all about connections, and the moments in your life when you share something deeply personal with your loved ones, forge new relationships and carve out new meaning. West Coast Eagles’ star player Nic Naitanui has a lot to be proud of in his life, and he sat down with host Marc Fennell to talk about his path to the big time.

Hey, Guess What? is a new podcast from Telstra that looks to teach us all a little something about who we’re connected to, how we grow and what it all means. Subscribe to Hey, Guess What? on Apple Podcasts, or wherever you find great podcasts.

On his family…

Nic actually has a twin brother named Mark, and when he made it to the big time, that was his first phone call.

When you hear him speak, you also realise he has a close relationship with his mother following the death of his father.

“There was times, you know, we didn’t have much growing up. So I’ve been convinced my mum had to buy new 200 dollar footy boots or pay the footy fees was hard. So I think, you know, when I was told that I was going to play my first game, it was almost a sigh of relief, but also a sense of, I guess, proving that all the hard things that we went through was all worth it.”

“Growing up in my teenage years as well as not having my father and we didn’t take a bit of responsibility and with myself and my twin brother in particular had to grow up really quick. And we learnt some life skills at a very young age so we could cook, we could clean and we could do it all, you know, while I was still in primary school.”

“And you build that independence and I guess self-sufficiency along the way as well.”

On how he got into football…

Before there was the AFL, Nic played basketball. His build and the height of his jump made him great for the game.

“I remember walking home from primary school and I always carried a basketball with me and I saw these kids. My next door neighbour went on to play for Carlton and then one went on to play for the Fremantle Dockers – and they were walking and kicking this funny shape. The Kangaroo leather thing at the front of the house.

“And I’m thinking, ‘why are they bouncing this weird ball like that?’ So, I go over there and ask. And they showed me how to do it and how to kick it. I still can’t kick it. But they taught me that the basic skills and yeah, from then on, you know, I went down and joined the local footy club and I just fell in love with the game.”

Nic Naitanui of the Eagles looks to pass the ball during the round nine AFL match between West Coast Eagles and the Geelong Cats at Optus Stadium on August 01, 2020 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images via AFL Photos)
PERTH, AUSTRALIA – AUGUST 01: Nic Naitanui of the Eagles looks to pass the ball during the round nine AFL match between West Coast Eagles and the Geelong Cats at Optus Stadium on August 01, 2020 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images via AFL Photos)

On dealing with racism…

“There’s always that person that doesn’t like you because of your skin tone. So, yeah, I’d like to be honest, like if I tweet something, there’s always one person that says something racial or, you know, back to your country, things like that.”

“I find it hard as well at times now to hold my tongue and not respond. There’s been so many times that I just want to message them back. But you can’t just give them a voice. You give them a platform which they don’t deserve. So yeah, fingers crossed [racism] does [go away]. You know – it is eradicated at some stage. But just to be real with you. Like, I don’t think it ever will.”

You can hear Nic talk about these issues and more – including his incredible journey through injury and who inspires him – in our new podcast, Hey, Guess What?, hosted by Marc Fennell. Subscribe to Hey, Guess What? on Spotify and Apple Podcasts, or wherever you find great podcasts.