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Before he was Mr 60 Minutes... Liam Bartlett did 96FM's graveyard shift. No, really...

Before he was ‘Mr 60 Minutes’, Liam Bartlett was ‘Mr 96FM’… of sorts.

It was 1982 and Bartlett was a 20-year-old working at Triple M in Sydney.

“I was very young,” he told Botica’s Bunch.

“But I decided if I’m going to get serious about life and thought I should go and do a university degree… I’m having a great time, but it was going to be a disaster down the track, I could just feel it.”  

And like many young people, Bartlett had to move back to Perth because he had no money.

He made an application to study at the University of Western Australia but still needed a job to pay his way.

“Gary Roberts said ‘look, you’ve already done the hard yards on FM, why don’t you come in and do one production shift a week,’ which is doing the ads, ‘then come in once a weekend and do a shift on-air while you’re going through uni,” he said.

Bartlett was chuffed at the offer, recalling it was much better pay than working behind a bar.

“I was doing mid-dawn shifts (midnight to 5am) and if someone was sick, I’d do something there,” he said.

Fred remarked how tough doing the mid-dawn shift can be.

“You’re usually the only person in the radio station in the middle of the night, it’s quite a freaky feeling,” he said before Lisa chimed in.

“No cameras back then, you could get up to all sorts of mischief,” she said. “Go around, see what’s on other people’s desks, who’s got lollies in their desk…”

Bartlett was mortified: “I did not do that, put that on the record!” he laughed.

“I must admit, back in those days at 96FM, what kept me going were the free T-shirts… it was like working for the Perth City Council.”