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The Sydney Morning Herald

How Lowe can he go?

Author: Craig Lowe
Date: 08/05/2006
Words: 616
Source: SMH
          Publication: Sydney Morning Herald
Section: The Guide
Page: 5
2DayFM's Craig Lowe is a star on the rise, but station management is nervous about his lingo.

Craig Lowe could be the kid next door. Slightly built, with a mass of brown, spiked hair and good looks, he's got the attention of more than a million Australian teenagers who tune into his show each night on 2DayFM to hear the latest pop tunes, celebrity gossip and risque chatter not meant for parents' ears.

Most 20-year-olds live one day at a time but "Lowie" has ambitious plans. "In five years I'd love to be doing serious acting on the side, not the star role but maybe leading into that," he says. "I also want to be doing a networked breakfast radio show like Ryan Seacrest [an American radio presenter and host of American Idol] and maybe a television show at night like Rove."

It sounds a little delusional but, then again, that's probably what his teachers at Helensvale High School on the Gold Coast thought when he left school at 16 hoping to be a radio star. Four years on, he is hosting 2DayFM's top-rating night-time show, Lowie's Hot 30 Countdown.

He recently signed a deal to host two TV shows for Foxtel - The Road to Rock Star and CD Live. He also presents 2Day's internet video show, Crank TV. Next weekend, the radio network is splurging more than $100,000 on his 21st birthday bash at Luna Park, with Shannon Noll, Lee Harding, Ricki Lee and Kid Courageous performing.

Not bad for a kid who says he grew up in the "bogan area of the Gold Coast, where we all shoot kangaroos", just down the road from Movie World.

By 16, Lowe says, he was earning more than his teachers by working part-time making commercials at Sea FM. His exasperated English teacher told him: "If you don't want to be here, why don't you just leave?" He took her literally. He did some voice training, followed by brief stints on air in Rockhampton, the Gold Coast and 2Day's sister station in Brisbane, B105. Sixteen months ago, 2Day flew him to Sydney to fill in on The Hot 30 Countdown over summer. He's been there ever since.

Lowe has been warned by 2Day management to tone down the smuttiness on the show, particularly after the Australian Communications and Media Authority found he had breached the broadcasting code of practice last year. A father had complained that his 12-year-old daughter was listening during an explicit interview with porn star Amber Pie.

"It's difficult, because I still need to be myself and I am crass and I do swear a lot, but there's no point going at it so hard that parents won't let their kids listen," Lowe says.

"A program director told me that Ugly Phil's ratings went down when every second word was 'f---'."

A nervous management has even gone to the extreme of itemising all words it considers offensive and unsuitable for broadcast. "Like, I would have used the word slut," Lowe explains, "because being from Queensland I didn't think it was as bad as whore, but the producers said, 'No, no - slut is one of the hardest words you can use.' "

Lowe says his meteoric rise was difficult to handle at first but his feet are now firmly on the ground. "The biggest problem I had last year was head-up-arse syndrome. You can easily get caught up in your own bullshit," he says. "I remember seeing a poster with my head on it and I stared at it for about an hour. When you're from a place like Helensvale and then you're in Sydney with your head on a poster, at first it's cool but after a few months it can develop into a pretty scary ego."

 
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