Patricia Karvelas prepares to go off script in new ABC RN Breakfast role

Patricia Karvelas be taking over from broadcasting veteran Fran Kelly as the host of Radio National’s breakfast show.

“Fran Kelly told me to listen carefully because the conversation can go in any direction based on what the person is telling you,” Karvelas tells the Sydney Morning Herald.

Listeners can expect a change in direction as Karvelas replaces Kelly, who has been at the Breakfast helm since 2005.

“I am not a very scripted person. I can be pretty fearless and I do not care about being popular in a political interview. I care about getting to the heart of the issues. I just want the answer and I think people respect that,” Karvelas says.

The Greek-Australian journalist, who has two daughters with her longtime partner, believes her multicultural experience will add a new layer to RN Breakfast.

“My background is different to people who have come before me, not just Fran, those before us and I think that’s a good thing to have a diversity of hosts with different backgrounds and experiences. I understand this country in a way that differs from others, so I hope I can bring a fresh perspective to this show,” she says.

“I want RN Breakfast to be appointment radio, the sort of radio that you have to shush your kids in the car because you need to hear the answer to the questions being asked. Fran does that now, but we execute it differently. We may have a different style but we are both committed to getting the answers, and that’s what people can expect.”

Karvelas, whose appointment was announced on Monday morning, said she also helped to bring a younger audience to RN Breakfast without alienating the show’s long-term listeners.“I do want to build an audience of people who are in my demographic; I’m not young, I’m not old, but I’m somewhere in the middle,” says Karvelas, who is in her early 40s.

Having spent the last seven years anchoring RN Drive, Karvelas says the opportunity to host RN Breakfast fulfilled a long-held ambition.

“I have been hungry for a bigger role; the afternoon news cycle is different to the morning; in the morning, you can set the day’s agenda, that’s what I’m ready to do,” Karvelas says.“Fran’s decision to move on from this role was perfect timing from where I am at, especially as we go into an election year.”


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