Speakers Profile - Richard Fidler

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Almost everything Richard's done in his working life has been an accident. While at university in Canberra, he formed a busking group with Tim Ferguson and Paul McDermott for beer money. This side project mutated into the monstrously confrontational music/comedy group The Doug Anthony Allstars (DAAS).

DAAS performed everywhere; from the clubs of New York City, to the streets of Paris, to the West End of London. They travelled into some of the most remote and dangerous communities in Australia and were lucky to get out alive. DAAS created several TV series in Australia and the UK; they published two books, several comic books and a chart-topping album of their music.

In its tenth year the group imploded and Richard planned a new life in digital media... which never actually happened.

Instead, he was asked to present the documentary TV series Race Around the World, where a group of twenty-something filmmakers were given a camera, and 100 days to make 10 short documentaries in locations all over the world. He said 'no thanks', feeling certain the future lay with CD-ROM. He was prevailed upon to do it anyway and the series was a huge success. Richard then created Aftershock, a low-rating documentary series on disruptive new technologies for ABC TV.

In 2005 Richard joined ABC Radio and instantly wished he'd done it much earlier in his life. He loves the richness and intimacy of radio and likes its evolution into the podcast even more.

He began hosting Conversations in 2006. The conventional wisdom at the time was that no radio interview should last longer than seven minutes; to be given an hour-long show was therefore both a joy and a serious challenge. The reading and research was intense; Richard learned to read while walking to work, resulting in a few painful encounters with telegraph poles and traffic bollards.

Fortunately, Conversations quickly found an audience. Listeners complained that they'd been trapped in their car by the program, unable to leave the radio, and had been made late for critical meetings, surgery, the birth of their children, etc. This is why the podcast was invented so that anyone could listen to the show at a time that suits them. The podcast audience doubled, then trebled, and is now in danger of breaking the internet (and the production team).

He's interviewed prime ministers, astronauts, writers and scientists, but the program often features remarkable people who are unknown to the wider world.

Richard has also presented several television series over the years, including the acclaimed Race Around the World, and he was the creator of Aftershock, a documentary series on disruptive new technologies.

n 2014, Richard Fidler and his son Joe made a journey to Istanbul. Fired by Richard's passion for the rich history of the dazzling Byzantine Empire and the most extraordinary tales in history - he wrote the book "Ghost Empire" in which turbulent stories from the past are brought vividly to life at the same time as a father navigates the unfolding changes in his relationship with his son.

Richard is a fascinating keynote speaker and adept facilitator.