Hugh Jackman, Emily Blunt, Robert De Niro — chatting to these celebrities is all in a day’s work for Cobram expat Brad Ennals.By Jemima Lewis
Hugh Jackman, Emily Blunt, Robert De Niro — chatting to these celebrities is all in a day’s work for Cobram expat Brad Ennals.
The man known as ‘‘Brad Blanks’’, the son of Peter Ennals and Helen Wells, undertook a career change that altered his life.
Brad went from the world of finance to becoming a celebrity-interviewing radio and television star in the United States with his show Shooting Blanks.
Brad has not forgotten his roots, despite living in New York.
He said his family and hometown had contributed to his success.
‘‘A fun and loving mum and dad mixed in with Cobram’s magic kept my imagination big as I set out into the world,’’ he said.
‘‘Although a small town, Cobram never felt small to me.
‘‘It was a town that always did great and big things.’’
Brad fondly remembers Cobram’s well-loved festival starting a passion he later pursued.
‘‘Being exposed to Peaches and Cream in the ‘80s as a young boy probably began my fascination with the entertainment industry and big events,’’ he said.
‘‘My dad and uncle would always take me backstage, so I got to see first hand how the local Apex club ran something so big.’’
The sporting and community groups also inspired Brad to reach his full potential growing up .
‘‘I pretty much grew up around Cobram Football Club and in summer it was the Cobram Cricket Club,’’ he said.
‘‘Being around these great clubs early ensured you grew up quickly, where you could be a 10 year-old having a conversation with a 50 year-old about a game of footy.
‘‘This lack of barriers between older people and younger people mixing was something that improved one’s social skills and was great in learning about things quicker.’’
Brad’s mother Helen Wells said that her son couldn’t love his hometown more.
‘‘He just loves Cobram and everything to do with it,’’ she said.
Brad earned a commerce honours degree at La Trobe University and worked in finance for about eight years in London.
This desire to travel was instilled by locals back home.
‘‘Cobram people always travelled and would return to town every Christmas Eve for a beer with stories from all over the world,’’ he said.
‘‘A Cobram person’s love of travelling definitely helped in my curiosity, as I was figuring out what and where I wanted to go in my teenage years.’’
Brad’s father Peter said his son eventually became bored with finance.
‘‘He got sick of being an accountant,’’ Mr Ennals said.
‘‘So, one day, walking the streets of New York, he talked his way into a job in radio.’’
Before his parents knew it, Brad signed to the fourth biggest radio station in New York.
As a well-loved Aussie abroad, Brad has become great mates with two other local television and radio stars, Hamish Blake and Andy Lee.
‘‘They became friends through Fox radio,’’ Mr Ennals said.
Although it appears to be a dream job, Mr Ennals reiterated Brad’s adventure has been far from trouble-free.
‘‘Brad slept on plenty of sofas and floors,’’ he said.
‘‘It wasn’t all easy, but he got there in the end.
‘‘I’m very proud of him.’’
Mrs Wells had encouraged Brad to always follow his dreams regardless of roadblocks.
‘‘I told him to do what he wants in life and to enjoy it,’’ she said.
‘‘He followed his dreams.’’
She also mentioned the important role Brad has played in her life.
‘‘He is a very kind and caring person — he takes such good care of me,’’ Mrs Wells said.
Brad is married with two children and lives in Manhattan, New York.
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