Posted by Andy “Why Didn’t I Tell My Therapist All This 15 Years Ago” Bell

A broadcast journalist by profession, a Melburnian by choice and inevitability, a bit of a wag and all too often a dag.

I was born in Fleetwood in the north-west of England in a year far, far away.

Since then I have  moved around a bit between then and now.

Blackpool, Sunderland, North London, Swansea, Cardiff, Adelaide, Sydney, Perth, Wollongong and Melbourne.

Very much a bit of a “bitser”.

It’s left me a Welsh speaking, Western Bulldogs, South Sydney & Wales supporting, YouTube cruising, beer drinking, tabouli eating gay bloke. With a twist of a twist.

My first 50 and then some years have left me enthusiastic for The Ting Tings, ga-ga over Yma Sumac, mad about Mabel Mercer  and oddly intrigued by R & B.

I love music made well before the year of my birth and know I will adore tunes yet to be written.

All About Andy – or what I will admit at this late stage


Single, but not yet world weary! 

Shameful confessions:

I adore cricket, wear tracky-dacks, enjoy a good bacon sandwich and love ironing.

Who’d have thought:

5′ 9″/178 cm, blue eyes, brown hair and one tattoo … not saying where!

I have a Welsh blog – http://anndraobell.wordpress.com/ – the only one in that language that originates from Australia … I think.  The blogs are translated via the glory of  Google Translate so you can get some vague notion of what those ramblings are about.  Much the same as here, but more harp and rugby references.

Teddy Bear:

He is called Tydfil (pr: Tid-ville) and is 30 years old. He knows where all the bodies are buried, but would never dob me in.  He was heavily involved with an american bear called Chuck, but that has cooled off a tad.  He is now in a menage with Benny Bear & Ferdinand Caswallon. By the way, Tydfil is a girls name, but that’s a long story.

Fave footy players:

Daniel Cross & Bob Murphy (Bulldogs-AFL), David Peachey & Nathan Merrett (Rabbitohs-League), the late Ray Gravell (Wales rugby) and all members of the French rugby union team!!

Fave cricketer:

The Kiwis’ spinner of balls and hearts Daniel Vettori

Fave Eurovision song:

Un jour, un enfant (A day, a child) A powerful ballad sung with emotional elan by the incomparable Frida Boccara. It was one of the songs involved in a messy 4-way tie in 1969 in Madrid.  This was the first ESC I have a clear memory of, although I had watched some of the Royal Albert Hall gig in 1968.  As for ESC camp horror – this is up there with the best!! But it makes soooooooooooo much sense in the original Dutch.

The Eurovision Thing

Along with Hikaru Freeman, Andy poured his enthusiasm into JoyEurovision.com in 2012.  The result was 30+ hours of podcasts, hours of radio and much enjoyment. It’s about history, pioneers, poltics and technology … and songs.

Fave online:


Views from the left in the US.  Whatever your politics there’s always something worth reading here.


Public radio at its finest in the US. All Things Considered & Talk of the Nation my favourite shows.


Australia’s own public broadcaster.


GLBTI news from the US.


What’s going on over the Ditch.  Media Watch and Kim Hill well worth a listen.


BBC’s Welsh language site – it’s a home away from home.


Rapal is top show on radio on TV promoting Scottish bands who sing in English and Gaelic.  It fosters new talent and is a gem.


For any self-respecting showtune queen.

Bizarre claims to fame:

Have shaken hands with the Dalai Lama, interviewed Britney Spears, Bob Hawke & Eartha Kitt, went to school with Simon le Bon, featured in a cameo role in a TV cartoon.

Fave food:

Roast dinners, Squiggle biscuits (an NZ delicacy), cawl (soup a la Wales), chicken parma done properly, treacle pudding  and anything involving burnt cheese

Fave tipple:

Would never say no to Monteiths beer (NZ), Coopers Pale Ale (SA), a crisp Sauvignon Blanc or a G & T (tall or otherwise)

Fave hang outs:

Bay 23 at Etihad Stadium (Level 3) when the Doggies are woofing, South Melbourne Markets (vegie-buying heaven),  Edinburgh Castle on Sydney Road, Fitzroy pubs with parma and bands, second hand cd stores, any book shop.

Fave movies:

The Third Man, Double Indemnity, Duck Soup,  The Visitor, Galaxy Quest, On The Town

Fave telly:

The Wire, Mad MenFamily Guy (according to the BBC’s Family Guy quiz, I am “urbane, cultured and sensitive” – I’m Brian!), Frontline, Clarke & Dawe (7.30 Report), Curb Your Enthusiasm, 30 Rock, Seven Periods With Mr Gormsby, PBS News Hour, Micallef Program/Pogram/Programme, Insiders.

Fave radio:

Joy 94.9 (goes without saying), ABC Radio National, Coodabeen Champions on ABC 774, BBC Radio 4 Extra, National Public Radio (US), WNYC (US), Radio New Zealand.

Fave books:

Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin, Farewell My Lovely by Raymond Chandler, Vanity Fair by William Makepeace ThackerayIridescence by Peter Wells, anything well researched and written about broadcasting, musicals, trains, cricket and football of all sorts.

Fave shows:

Guys & Dolls, Chicago, Urinetown, Merrily We Roll Along – yep, a showtune queen from way back!

Fave place:

Under the doona with freshly laundered sheets … with or without company!

Fave geographic places:

Brunswick West, Fitzroy, Hobart, Napier NZ, West Wales, Dublin

Places still to be tasted:

Inner & Outer Hebrides, Faroe Islands, Iceland, St Helena, Tristan da Cunha, Berlin, Torres Strait Islands

Usual attire:

T-shirts with obscure logos, tatty jeans, leather jacket, Blunnies or Johnny Rebbs. However, can be quite presentable if the need arises. Dead cow is always an option and I have been know to wear a bow-tie AND a vest!

 Current appropriated motto or lifestyle support statement:

Cha bhi fios aire math an tobair gus an tràigh e – The value of the well is not known until it goes dry (Scots Gaelic)

  1. Andy Bell – Melbourne’s gain was Newtown and Ultimo’s loss….

    Is there anyway that crass, culturally-starved Sydneysiders can listen in and share the Joy???

    • Dick

      Online is the place for all those craving black skivvies and VFL references.

  2. Hello

    I was just reading the latest newsletter from JoyFM and noticed yourself listed as organising the Eurovision thingy at Neverworld. I’m not sure how popular our name is but I seem to be finding it everywhere lately.

    Andrew Bell

    • They’re everywhere! Mates of mine once wandered up to Andy Bell of Erasure at a Spanish disco and announced “snap”. That AB bought them drinks!

  3. So great that you are doing what you love. Music. I am still performing – look for me on Youtube.

    • Music is fabulous Paul…even Beat Me Daddy as featured recently on this show!!!

  4. Hey,
    Happy to see the “Rapal” website up on your faves – nach tusa a tha laghach!

    Bed and breakfast offered anytime in the Outer Hebridies – all you need is the flights!


    • Always a fave!!! Mark 2012 in the diary…I’ve got long service leave. Could do the show from Stornaway!

  5. Shwmai Andy
    Sut mae’r hen Steve Trenchley erbyn hyn?
    Ibre ibre ibre, tiga tiga tiga te. Naaaawr te …
    Cofion gorau
    Gary a Catrin Beard

    • Shw mai hen fytis …gwych i glywed oddi wrthych

      Catastrophe-ettes these lovely people are onl uni muckers of mine. The story of this and Tim’s message is…THERE IS NO ESCAPE!!!!!!!

  6. Hiya Andy,

    Thought I’d drop by and leave you a special “On This Day” from the Newsless archives…

    On This Day 2008, Michelle Kelly of Blackley Manchester failed her driving test after failing to stop at the scene of an accident. Her crime? She drove through a puddle on Hazelbottom Road and *splashed a pedestrian*.

    For shame…

  7. The capturing of my shoelace last night (hereon in to be referred to as ‘the shoe lace incident’) inspired me to search for the most mundane, useless and pointless video clip in honour of said incident…

    Banality knows no bounds…

  8. […] TFC|Something About Tim|All About Andy|Eurovision Central|TFC 100|The Fabulous Files|My clobber |ESC […]

  9. Like a controlling parent, your show compels me to be home and listening. I could be out at the sauna or similar, but I come home & listen. That is a major achievement.

    • OMG, this comment has knocked me for six!
      It is also worth remembering that were it not for doing the show “I could be out at the sauna or similar” …
      Is TFC a musical SOP ???!!!!

  10. I think your absolutely fascinating!

  11. Any, thank you so so so much for introducing me to Elbow and now to Beth Jeans Houghton. I am blown away by both and would never have known about either had it not been for the Full Catastrophe. Hats off to you!

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