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Mark Leishman and Geoff Bryan's special magic together

Magic in the Morning hosts Geoff and Mark are pinching themselves about their new gig.

They’ve been on Kiwi screens and airwaves for 40 years, but it’s only now that 60-year-old pals Mark Leishman and Geoff Bryan are actually working together.
As hosts of Magic in the Morning on Magic FM, Mark and Geoff can be found singing and laughing the morning away, charming the ears off their loyal listeners while playing some of their favourite classic songs.
“Yes, we’ve known each other 35 years or so and this is the first time we’ve worked together,” tells Geoff.
“We both worked in radio initially and it was funny because we both seemed to go for the same job – and he’d get them!” adds Mark.
“That’s not my recollection of it!” Geoff shoots back.
The pair continue to joke around as they reminisce about the past. Mark is at the wheel of his beloved classic Ford Mustang convertible, which creaks as we come to a stop.
“It’s quite fitting I have this old car, considering the age we’re both getting to,” Mark muses.
They’re not wrong about their history of going for the same job. The first was as a continuity announcer, reporting the show schedule before, as Geoff remembers it, “sending Goodnight Kiwi up the tower”. He got the job.
But that’s clearly now water under the bridge, and their rich and varied careers have somewhat mirrored each other over the years. They share a laugh as they reminisce about their early broadcasting days.
Both started out in regional radio – Mark in Taupo and Geoff in Blenheim – and enjoyed being the new kids in the days when they could choose the records the radio station played.
“I started at a little station where you had to put the record on to play the music and put every commercial in individually, so you were constantly running around,” says Mark. “It was a tiring shift, but so much fun.”
Laughing, Geoff recalls, “Yes, you would put the physical 45-inch record on the turntable, then there was a piece of felt. My first day I was so nervous, my hands were shaking. I couldn’t hold the felt!”
A move into TV saw Geoff present some of sport’s greatest moments, which included attending four Olympic Games, while Mark covered the San Diego America’s Cup, as well as presenting iconic Kiwi shows Tux Wonder Dogs and Top Town.
After decades of jobs that have seen them travel the world, making “magic” early in the morning in their Ponsonby, Auckland studio still has them pinching themselves.
“After all these years, they decided to create a station just for us,” Mark says of the operation, which will soon celebrate two years on air. “It’s perfect for us. It’s our age and we can relate to our listeners. They’re such a loyal bunch. If you played a 1980s song, they’d notice straight away.”
Geoff adds, “We’ve even got listeners in Denmark of all places! We get emails from Canada, the US – we’re conquering the world one radio at a time. We’re very lucky, although I’m learning that stopping Mark from singing is the major performance requirement for 2017!”
That’s right, the pair are known to not keep so quiet during breaks as they launch into their favourite songs.
Geoff declares his love for The Beatles, but “my favourite song is A Day in the Life, which I think sums up Lennon and McCartney perfectly”, he says.
“My choice is Moon River from Andy Williams, I just love that one,” Mark offers. “They’re all songs that have been largely forgotten because there has been no vehicle for them – until Magic came along.”
Geoff lets us in on the duo’s mission: “We feel like we’re in revival mode. It’s a crusade!”
No doubt their listeners get a sense of the joy these two have in sharing that musical passion. It’s something the pair hopes to keep alive for many years yet.
“It’s so easy working together,” Geoff says. “Mark says just before he turns on the microphone, ‘Follow me on this journey,’ and away we go.”
But in the end, he says, “We are still tonsils for hire.”
“And long may it continue,” laughs Mark.
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