Twenty-year-old Virginia resident, Ben Harvey, is a man of many talents. For those who know him, or maybe just recognise the face, he’s often on stage playing a character as part of the Two Wells Melodrama Group’s annual performance.
But what many people don’t know is that Ben is also an aspiring comedian and breakfast radio announcer on Fresh 92.7 FM.
The community youth station based in Adelaide’s city centre plays mostly dance music and you can hear Ben every Wednesday and Thursday from 6-9am as part of the Ben and Liam show.
Co-hosting with Liam Stapleton, Ben first volunteered behind the scenes at Fresh in late 2012 but grabbed the chance to fill in as a presenter in December of that same year.
“I used to listen to Fresh anyway and their ads kept asking for people to volunteer, so I went down there with a friend,” he said.
A farmhand at Wilson’s dairy, just outside Two Wells, Ben says he loves the radio environment and is keen to make a career of it.
He completed a three-month course at the Australian Radio School at the beginning of this year and is relishing the experience he’s gaining through his show with Liam.
“It’s hard, but I’d like to give it (professional radio announcing) a shot,” he said.
“It’s very much just learn as you go (and) the thing we do that no-one else does is have a lot of fun with it.
“You get out what you put in.”
Doing voice-overs is another avenue Ben would like to explore further in his radio journey.
Ben’s primary school years were spent in Two Wells followed by high school at Gawler High.
The youngest of three children, he grew up in Lewiston, with mum Marie, dad Murray and siblings Bianca and James. He left school at the age of 16.
“My ultimate goal is to do breakfast radio on a prime time radio station,” he said.
Ben has been working with Liam since the start of this year and is multi-skilled, being able to operate the complicated sound panel as well as announce.
It is this skill Ben hopes will one day see him stand out from the crowd and land him a paid job. Everyone who works on-air at Fresh is a volunteer.
“The fun of it is the fact that you get to go in every Wednesday and Thursday and it’s enjoyable,” he said. “It doesn’t feel like a job.”
On stage with the Two Wells Melodrama Group for the past two years, Ben also loves this aspect of his life, saying it’s just another way for him to entertain people.
“I love doing things on stage,” he explained. “I also do a bit of stand up comedy in the Rhino Room.”
Ben regularly takes part in stand-up comedy nights at the Rhino Room every couple of weeks in the open-mic session.He says his five-minute routine changes depending on his mood, events of the week, and the crowd, with not much pause between jokes.
“If you can evolve with what’s happening in front of you, and use that, it’s what works,” he said. “Usually I write it down then I leave it for a week or two.
“Then I read it again and if it’s still funny that’s when I know it’s got staying power.
“Anything that makes people laugh, I love to do.
“The reason I love radio is the music, but I love comedy more than music and radio is that medium between the two.”
Ben used to play football for Two Wells, competing as a young junior right up to under 17s, including one season in the B grade.
He’s also done a bit of recreational boxing too. With so many talents keep an eye on (or maybe it should be an ear out!) for the name Ben Harvey.
You can follow him on Instagram at benandliam or twitter ben_and_liam, or jump online at www.fresh927.com.au.
Or better yet, tune in your radio and listen to him on Wednesday and Thursday mornings.