As one of the co-hosts of one of Melbourne’s most popular breakfast radio shows Rise Up, for many years Ginni Saraswati has brought plenty of sass to the airwaves with fellow co-host and Melbourne comedian Adam Samuel, broadcasting the latest news, and interviews with local international celebrities, and always having the last word.
She joined Australia’s first and only LGBTQ station, JOY 94.9 in June 2007, and burst onto the scene with her quirky sense of comedy, quick wit, pop-culture and music knowledge – coming to life on the airwaves and growing into the personality she is today.
She has been known to stun many a personality with her quick witted introductions and on air antics, which left Paula Abdul in a laughing fit and Havana Brown choking. She has interviewed celebrities like k.d. Lang, Eric Bana, Jennifer Beals, Ruby Rose, Martina Navratilova, and Marlee Matlin, just to name a few.
Last year, Saraswati was awarded the International Edward R. Murrow Media Award (USA) for her achievements as an international radio and television journalist both within and beyond the LGBTQ Community.
Shaping the online radio revolution, the zesty Aussie just launched her brand new show “The Ginni Show – Curry, Comedy & Connectivity.” The new show features guest appearances from familiar faces – especially Ginni’s aunties and 170 cousins.
How would you describe yourself in a few words?
Friendly, talkative, child like, giddy; and prone to jig randomly.
Why is it important for you to be an out media/radio personality?
My coming out was a bit of a process. I actually didn’t want to make a declaration and “come out,” because I felt that the coming out part shouldn’t overshadow the declaration that I’d fallen in love. When I was on a LGBT TV program in Melbourne, one of my aunties saw me and put two and two together. Needless to say, the news spread to my 170 cousins, aunties, the local Sri Lankan grocer, and distant family friends. Coming out is a celebrated process because it’s a step of progression that was needed for our community. I would hope with the evolution our community is going through that the next step will be a post coming out world – where we can return to a declaration of love, not a declaration of a label.
How did The Ginni Show come to be? Was it your idea?
The Ginni Show has been a work in progress for a few years now. I couldn’t think of an apt or catchy title so in the end, after all these years, I just got lazy and called it The Ginni Show. I’ve been wanting to do this podcast for quite some time – It’s a show about curry, comedy, and connectivity that demonstrates the individual stories, upbringings and circumstances that make us all unique but how we are all the same through the themes we are all connected through.
How would you describe your new show?
It’s a podcast about myself – a gay immigrant Sri Lankan woman growing up in Australia with my very very large family consisting of nearly 170 cousins and nosy aunties. It’s a journey on how we strive to adjust to a new culture and even though we may be different, there are so many themes that connect us all.
Are you still involved with Australia’s LGBTQ radio station?
I used to host the Morning Show there on Wednesdays and I’ve been at JOY 94.9 for almost a decade on and off. That station bought me out of my shell and I’m so grateful for the experiences and opportunities I received. I have plans to relocate overseas so I wanted to shift my focus to the podcast and the move so it was time to start a new chapter and be grateful for the last.
What guests and celebrities will be on your show?
What I really love doing is talking to people. Anyone. I love hearing their stories. I’ll be interviewing people who have celebratory status – like Mams Taylor, J Sutta, to podcasters Ken Schneck, Jen and Michele from The Girls Hour to stylists and fashion designers to people who I have lunch with regularly. Because the show centers on themes we are all connected through, I want to talk to as many people as I can.
If you could have anyone on your show, who would it be and why?
Walt Disney. The man is a genius and I love how he brings out the child in everyone with his creativity. You are never too old for a Disney movie.
Also, Rafiki from The Lion King. I know he’s just a baboon cartoon character, but the monkey has so much wisdom and can sing some serious beats.
What is the ultimate goal for your show? What do you hope listeners get from it?
To evoke thought through joy and laughter.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Just like Alice from Alice in Wonderland liked to think of five impossible things before breakfast, I have a daily goal for trying to make at least one person laugh each day. I may aim a little higher now that The Ginni Show is a podcast and can be tuned into whenever and wherever. So, hopefully by the year 2021, I would have made 9,125 different people laugh and look at life in a lighter way. Either that or I have a feeling Disneyland may recruit me as a tour guide or a Pocahontas understudy. I’ll be ecstatic about either!
National Coming Out Day just passed. What would you say to someone who is thinking about coming out?
Just be you. No one is better qualified.
To learn more about Ginni Saraswati and her new show, visit www.theginnishow.com.