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IN THE CITY MAGAZINE
The Canberra Times | In The City Magazine | SPRING
Whether it's their boisterous discussions, playful
ribbing or fascinating stories, there's something
about Greg Bayliss, Graham 'Willow' Williams
and Greg Spencer that makes for good radio.
The terrible trio of ABC 666's Saturday breakfast program
combine their passions for gardening, building, and good
food with often hilarious results.
While Bayliss hosts the program, home handyman Spencer
is quick to add that he is just a "show pony" with a good
mouth. But considering the two have known each other for
40 years, cheeky comments like this are par for the course.
Spencer and Bayliss met at Daramalan College after
moving to Canberra in the 1960s, while Willow, who was
born in Canberra, said he just sort of "discovered them".
"We're very passionate about Canberra; we all grew up in
Canberra," Spencer said.
"We saw Canberra in its early days. I think the population
of Canberra when I got here was about 55,000 or 60,000
people and it was a town that closed at five o'clock.
"We've seen Canberra turn into a really vibrant city and
The trio have been working together on the program for
about four years and have fast become good mates. In that
time they have put their skills to good use on a variety of
projects, including building a community vegetable garden at
the radio station under the direction of Willow, the resident
"One Saturday morning we just whacked up a garden bed
and put it here to show people how it's done," he said. "We
got a pretty good response of people coming down."
While gardening is Willow's forte, the three mates share a
love of fresh produce and cooking. This passion has helped
them well with ABC 666's latest endeavour -- Feast.
Feast runs across all the programs, with presenters getting
involved and educating listeners about cooking techniques,
gardening advice, delicious recipes, and information about
As part of Feast, the guys decided to build a pizza oven
in Spencer's backyard and demonstrate their cooking skills
with homemade pizzas. For Bayliss it was a good opportunity
to educate listeners about the benefits of cooking with good
"I think you can make nice meals inexpensively, using
good stuff," he said.
"I hate that the first resort people have for a quick meal is
to go and buy fast food."
Willow said that despite the push for fast food, Canberrans
are becoming more aware of their options and are taking a
greater interest in growing produce. For Feast he has been
producing a monthly gardening guide which has proven
"It gives people an idea of what they can plant and what
they can harvest," he said.
A self-described "foodie", Spencer said he has always had
a passion for food.
"I've always grown my own veggies at home," he said.
He loved that building the pizza oven provided an
opportunity for people to get together over fresh food and
spend some time together.
"It's a real thing to bring your family together and to get
that crap of work out of your head," he said. "You've got to
value the time that you've got to spend with your kids and
"The bonus of it is, it's the best way to eat."
Since building the pizza oven Spencer has been stopped on
the street by people interested in building their own, and he
said this is a reflection of the growing interest in Canberra for
Since starting Feast this year, Bayliss believes the concept
has given them inspiration and also drawn their program
closer to others at the station.
"I think it gives us a focus for all the stuff that we go on
about," he said.
"I think it's brought us into dependence and relationships
with the other programs.
"It's brought us all together I think."
Feast has also brought the guys closer together, and Willow
said the program has benefited.
"It's funny -- one of us might be up and another one down;
it's usually like that. We're never both down; it'd be a pretty
ordinary show otherwise," he joked.
Bayliss summed up their dynamic simply, saying they work
so well together because they enjoy each other's company,
they can bounce ideas off each other, and they're not afraid
to say what they think.
"That simplicity is our program really."
Greg Bayliss, Graham 'Willow' Williams and Greg Spencer's playful banter and
laidback dynamic extends off air, as JONI SCANLON found out while talking to the
trio about their shared passion for growing, cooking and eating good food.
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