Simon Barnett's emotional response to major NZ Radio Awards win

NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Thursday, 20 June 2019, 5:38PM

Simon Barnett become emotional after winning one of the radio industry's most coveted prizes, crediting his success to his "hero" wife Jodi.

In a video shown at the NZ Radio Awards, Barnett - who is set to join Newstalk ZB on July 1- was visibly stunned to be awarded the Outstanding Contribution to Radio award.

The Christchurch-based radio star was unable to attend in person due to Jodi's recent health setbacks. Jodi suffered a seizure in April last year and has been receiving treatment for brain lesions ever since.

But in the video, a tearful Barnett paid tribute to his wife for always being there to support him despite her own struggles.

"It's probably my wife I have to pay the most credit to... because she said, 'you can do this' and I doubted (it). She's just my biggest fan.

"When the chips were down, Jodi said 'you can do it'. I'd come home and this is without a word of a lie, right up to present day, every single show, she's listened to. She just affirmed me every step of the way. She's been my greatest cheerleader, so I can say without any shadow of a doubt that I wouldn't be getting [this award] if it wasn't for her.

"They say behind every great man is a woman rolling her eyes and Jodi's rolled her eyes many, many times, but she is a hero - first and foremost for the way she's handled what she's going through, but she loves radio and loves me and she's 100% unbelievable."

Barnett added that Jodi is doing "really, really well", adding, "she's been through it, there's no question we've all been through it… she's the strongest person alive, I'm in awe of her."

Barnett also admitted that having good support was necessary as he has long suffered from "impostor's syndrome" and "thinking that I'm not really good enough to do it".

Indeed, his first words upon receiving the news of his win were: "Oh get out! I am seriously under qualified for that particular award". But he says having the recognition of the award finally convinced him that, "maybe I've been ok".

Barnett also credited his success to his longtime friend Phil Gifford who gave him some advice right at the beginning of it all.

"When I first started, I was so petrified and Phil said, 'just be yourself'. I found myself quite boring actually - but it was good advice and I just try to always be honest and authentic," says Barnett.

Barnett's new role will see him teaming up with former co-host Phil Gifford, and the pair will reunite on Newstalk ZB from July 1.

The Country

The Country

12PM - 1PM