Kyle Sandilands with Jackie O
|Birth name||Kyle Dalton Sandilands|
10 June 1971 |
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
|Show||The Kyle and Jackie O Show
The Kyle and Jackie O Hour of Power
Take 40 Australia
Kyle Dalton Sandilands (born 10 June 1971) is an Australian radio and TV personality. He is currently the host with Jacqueline Henderson, better known as Jackie O, on the weekday morning radio program The Kyle and Jackie O Show on Sydney radio station 2Day FM, The Kyle and Jackie O Hour of Power which airs on selected Today Network stations across Australia and also on Take40 Australia.
From 2005 to 2009, Sandilands served as a judge on Australian Idol. In 2008, he became the host of Big Brother, alongside Jackie O. In 2010, he became a judge on Australia's Got Talent and also on Australia's version of The X Factor.
Sandilands has become known for controversial on-air stunts and derogatory, sexist and offensive comments. This has led to companies removing their advertisements, findings of serious breaches of the Industry Codes of Practice and Guidelines, and led to him being sacked from Australian Idol.
Sandilands landed his first radio job with a Brisbane station by using a false resumé to impress one of the station's executives. In 1999, he moved to Sydney, and commenced at 2DayFM as host of the Hot30 Countdown, replacing "Ugly Phil O'Neil", a former husband of Henderson. Sandilands attributes his radio career taking off after being told by then Group Program Director Jeff Allis to 'do whatever you want, just win'.
Much media coverage of Sandilands has focused on the negative aspects of his personality and behaviour, notably his widely publicised clashes with and/or criticism of other media figures, his intemperate on-air outbursts and his alleged "out of control" ego. In September 2006, Sandilands was named the most hated Australian identity in a Zoo Weekly article, although on 14 October 2006, Sandilands and Henderson were named "Best On-Air Team" at the Australian Commercial Radio Awards.
In August 2009, The Kyle and Jackie O Show was put into "indefinite recess" by the Austereo network as a result of a controversial on-air stunt on his morning show on 29 July 2009. He returned to his radio show on 18 August 2009 but was suspended on 9 September 2009 due to on-air comments relating to Magda Szubanski. In the same year he was again named the most hated by Zoo Weekly. Sandilands and Henderson were the hosts of the nationally-syndicated chart show The Hot Hits, before swapping host roles with Andrew Günsberg in December 2009, who had previously hosted Take40 Australia, but is now being hosted by both Sandilands and Henderson.
In 2005, Sandilands replaced Ian "Dicko" Dickson as one of the judges on Network Ten's Australian Idol. Sandilands continued as a judge on idol until just before the premiere of its seventh season, he was dropped from the show in August 2009. Sandilands was involved in a number of controversies relating to remarks to contestants as his stint as a judge. In October 2005, Sandilands referred to the eventual 2005 idol winner Kate DeAraugo's arms as "tuckshop lady arms". In September 2006, Sandilands told 2006 idol runner up contestant Jessica Mauboy to lose her "jelly belly". A year later, Sandilands referred to idol contestant Bobby Flynn as a "mong" – a derogatory slang term for mongoloid, referring to people suffering from Down syndrome. Sandilands claimed that he meant no disrespect to those suffering from Down Syndrome. On 3 August 2009, Network Ten issued a press statement announcing that Sandilands had been sacked from Australian Idol, citing the network's view that the Kyle and Jackie O Show's content was incompatible with the family-oriented image of Idol.
On 14 July 2007, two weeks before the season finale, Sandilands appeared on the 2007 Australian season of Big Brother. In an attempt to boost poor ratings and to promote the 2007 season of Australian Idol, Sandilands entered the Gold Coast compound and was due to conduct his radio program in house on the Monday morning. However, after a heated verbal exchange with Big Brother, Sandilands reportedly required anti-nausea injections for migraines and began vomiting every 30 minutes. He left the house soon after. In 2008, Sandilands and Henderson became the hosts of the 2008 season of Big Brother replacing Gretel Killeen. The ratings for the launch of the 2008 series were the lowest in the show's history, and Network Ten ultimately confirmed that it would not continue past the current season.
Australia's Got Talent
In January 2010, it was announced that Sandilands and Brian McFadden, became the new judges on the fourth season of Australia's Got Talent replacing former judges, Tom Burlinson and Red Symons. During one of the show's auditions, Sandilands was again involved in another controversy relating to a contestant on the show. Sandilands had asked contestant Heather Cook, "Are you male or female?". When Cook tried to make light of being asked if she was male or female, Sandilands then made a joke about her weight, saying "You're a belly full of laughs". Sandilands then added he wasn't hired to be "bland and boring", he was just being honest.
The X Factor
In May 2010, it was announced that Sandilands would become one of the new judges on the second series of The X Factor Australia, alongside other new judges Ronan Keating, Guy Sebastian and Natalie Imbruglia. On 16 March 2011, Sandilands announced on his breakfast radio show that he would not be returning as a judge on the third series of The X Factor.
In July 2004, Sandilands and Henderson were involved in an on-air verbal altercation with Jay Whalley, lead singer of rock band Frenzal Rhomb over an incident which occurred at the bassinthegrass music festival in Darwin. Henderson reportedly arrived to MC the concert nine hours late and then attempted to speak with the audience during the band's already dramatically reduced set time. Frenzal Rhomb played music over Jackie O so she could not be heard on stage. In a subsequent phone conversation with Whalley, broadcast on the Kyle and Jackie O Show, Whalley alleged that Jackie O and Sandilands threatened Frenzal Rhomb's label to have Frenzal Rhomb's songs banned from Austereo radio stations. As a result of the incident Sandilands' old friend and manager Ryan Wellington was removed as the producer of the Kyle and Jackie O Show by the Austereo network.
In July and August 2005, Sandilands was accused of "cooking the charts" by giving airplay to Ooh Aah (a song by his then girlfriend, Tamara Jaber). The allegations were made on TV current affairs program Today Tonight. In 2006 Sandilands won a defamation suit, with the court ruling that Today Tonight had defamed the radio host.
On 4 August 2006, Sandilands used his radio program to call Fiona Connolly, a columnist from Sydney's Daily Telegraph, "fat" and a "liar". After calling her the "chick that I hate at Sydney Confidential" he also stated he "... would hire a private investigator to film her and her family then I'm going to put it on a website and I'm going to show everyone what members of her family do that are dodgy ..." He has since been banned by Austereo management from mentioning Connolly on air.
In March 2007, Sandilands made an on-air reference to a police officer who had issued him a speeding ticket, referring to the officer as an "arsehole" and to the Highway Patrol as "scum". This was reported on the media watchdog show Media Watch as 'Kyle Bile'.
On 20 August 2007, Media Watch examined Sandilands' on-air comments asserting that smoking was not as harmful to people as many institutions would lead people to believe and that the statistics presented by these institutions are falsified. These comments led to the Cancer Institute of New South Wales pulling their "13-QUIT" advertisements off the network. Media Watch further reported that on 20 July 2009 Jackie O and Sandilands 'cruelly' and 'sadistically' taunted a refugee from Pol Pot's Cambodia and meted out similar treatment to the woman's 19-year-old niece whilst on-air.
In 2011, he was described as a "loudmouth misogynist" after attacking a television journalist on-air.
Enough Rope interview
On 22 August 2007 Sandilands was interviewed by Andrew Denton for Enough Rope. During the interview Sandilands said he wanted to "punch Dave Hughes in the throat" next time he saw him. This was in response to Hughes' reference to Sandilands as a "dickhead" on another program. A subsequent article in The Sydney Morning Herald cited unspecified reports which claimed that Sandilands was left in a "hostile state" by Denton's questions about Sandilands' need to take personal responsibility for the results of his actions on air.
Lie detector radio segment
On 29 July 2009, Sandilands and co-host, Henderson, were leading a segment on their regular 2Day FM morning show in which a 14-year old girl was strapped to a lie detector while the child's mother, Sandilands and Henderson questioned her, including questions about her prior experience with sex and drugs. Sandilands was participating in the radio show from New Zealand via hookup. Before questioning started Jackie Henderson had propositioned to the mother "What's your worst fear? Is it the sex?".
The girl started by saying, "I'm scared. It's not fair". Sandilands said, "She is scared everyone. Yeah." The segment went astray when the girl revealed she had been raped at the age of 12. The girl had been asked by her mother if she had any sexual experience. After a long pause, Sandilands then clarified "Right ... is that the only experience you've had?"
The segment was widely criticised by health professionals, media commentators, the Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, and the public. The controversy was reported internationally. A group of 15 high-profile psychologists, academics and child advocates wrote to The Age calling for the show to be cancelled. They suggested the show had been the venue for child abuse and a gross violation of human rights. The Kyle and Jackie O Show continued broadcasting on the Thursday and Friday mornings after the offending segment had been broadcast. In the days after the stunt Sandilands said on air:
"We’re very sad for the girl and very disappointed and apologetic to anyone who took offence to it."
On 3 August 2009 Network Ten issued a press statement announcing that Sandilands had been sacked from Australian Idol, citing the network's view that the Kyle and Jackie O Show's content was incompatible with the family-oriented image of Idol. It is understood that guest judges will replace him for the rest of the season. It was also announced that the Kyle and Jackie O Show on 2Day FM and The Kyle and Jackie O Hour of Power are in recess until a review is completed. A Network Ten spokesman said of Sandilands' firing:
"Idol has remained a family-focused show, even more so this year with the 6.30 pm Sunday timeslot. His radio persona has taken on a more controversial position ... which is not in the interest of the show."
Responding to his firing from Australian Idol, Sandilands said in a statement, "I'm disappointed at Channel 10's decision to remove me from Australian Idol. I have truly loved being a part of the show." Network Ten had held crisis talks with advertisers in the days prior to his firing amid concerns Sandilands would damage their brands. Idol creator Simon Fuller reportedly gave Ten his blessing to fire Sandilands. It was believed Sandilands earns A$1 million of his estimated annual A$2.8 million income from Idol. The suspension of the radio show had been announced on Sunday 2 August 2009. The show's usual 6:00 am to 9:00 am slot on 3 August was filled by Chris Page who announced that "They have not been suspended ... the show has not finished." Page then re–read Austereo general manager Jenny Parkes' statement on air just after 6:30 am:
"Kyle Sandilands's management has advised Austereo that he is unable to perform his duties on-air at this time. Further, following a great deal of consideration and having consulted Jackie O and all stakeholders, Austereo has formed the view that it is in the interest of all parties for the [program] to go into recess until we have completed an across-the-networks review of the principals [sic] and protocols of our interaction with our audience."
Advertisers American Express, Optus, Qantas and Channel 10 withdrew their advertising from the 2Day FM morning show the week after the incident. Sandilands hired plain-clothed security guards to protect his home after staff from various media organisations began to gather outside his residence. On 13 August 2009, Austereo chairman Peter Harvie and chief executive Michael Anderson said Jackie O and Sandilands will be back on air on 18 August 2009.
On 9 September 2009, Sandilands was suspended for two weeks after making comments that were alleged to racially and religiously vilify Magda Szubanski, an Australian TV host and comedian. Sandilands said on-air: "You put her in a concentration camp and you watch the weight fall off … like she could be skinny". Sandilands and Henderson were debating who should be the next face of weight-loss company Jenny Craig. Szubanski had recently lost 25 kg using the Jenny Craig program during a well-documented public weight battle. Szubanski, whose father was a Polish resistance fighter during World War II, told ninemsn news "I couldn’t give two hoots about what Kyle says about me, but to trivialise what happened to people in concentration camps is abhorrent." Jewish groups also criticised Sandilands and once again called for his sacking.
After the debut airing of Kyle and Jackie O's Night with the Stars on 22 November 2011, the subsequent ratings that were released showed that the program 'poorly performed' with only 200,000 viewers at the conclusion of the program. Several critics, including News Limited journalist Alison Stephenson, branded the show a 'disaster' and 'awkward'. During the radio airing of the Kyle and Jackie O Show on 23 November, Kyle made direct sexist comments towards Stephenson. He called her a "fat slag" (Australian English for a slut) and a "bullshit artist who "should be fired from your job". Kyle then made derogatory comments about her appearance, "Your hair's very '90s. And your blouse. You haven't got that much titty to be having that low cut a blouse. Watch your mouth or I'll hunt you down." Subsequent to the comments, several major sponsors which includes Holden, The Good Guys, Vodafone, Telstra, Fantastic Furniture, Pepsi, Crazy John's, Blackmores and Medibank all withdrew advertisements from either the entire Southern Cross Austereo network which the radio show is hosted on or during the broadcasting of the Kyle and Jackie O Show. The withdrawal of the advertisement is reported to cost the Austereo radio network over $10 million per year.
On 24 November, Sandilands released a statement during the airing of The Kyle and Jackie O Show in response to claim that the comments he made were sexist, "If you took a personal offence to it Ali I'm sorry, but maybe you should think again before you start going (against) different people. If they say I can dish it out but I can't take it, I never ever dish it out first. I only ever retaliate to someone else's crazy allegations." He defended his initial remarks and said that they were his opinions in response to Alison Stephenson's opinions which were posted on news.com.au. During the broadcast, Sandilands also denied that the comments had any sexist intention.
Since the public airing of Sandiland's outburst, the ACMA have received complaints about the incident and on 27 January 2012 the ACMA announced an investigation into the incident. On 27 March 2012 it was announced that this investigation had found that "Sandilands has breached decency standards and his comments made last year about a journalist were deeply derogatory and offensive."
On various occasions, including the Enough Rope interview, Sandilands has spoken to the media of his difficult childhood. Growing up in Wynnum, Brisbane, he was deeply affected by his parents' divorce, which happened when he was 10. At 15 his mother and stepfather threw him out of their house after he held a party and damaged their car while they were absent. He never went back, moving between friends' houses and living on the streets. At 17 his father sent him to live in Townsville with his aunt, Jill Stevens. Interviewed in 2005, Stevens recalled for the Sydney Morning Herald that the young Sandilands,
- "... used to listen to that Tammy Wynette song D-I-V-O-R-C-E and just cry and cry. He's never gotten over his parents' divorce ... When he was living on the streets, he used to sit outside his father's house at night and watch the lights go out."
On 26 September 2008, Sandilands married pop singer Tamara Jaber and the couple shared a house in St Ives, located in Sydney's Upper North Shore. However, on 12 July 2010 it was reported the couple had split, reportedly as a result of Sandilands loss of A$700,000 annual income as a judge on Australian Idol.
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