Today's Birthday 13/11

Greta Stonehouse
Today's Birthday, November 13: Richard Fidler, Australian musician and broadcaster (1964 - )

Today's Birthday, November 13: Richard Fidler, Australian musician, comedian and broadcaster (1964 - ).

One of Australia's finest interviewers and the host of ABC Radio's most popular podcast, Richard Fidler's Conversations program is downloaded more than three million times per month.

And because Fidler refuses to interview anyone without thoroughly researching their work first, he told Fairfax Media he's recently mastered the art of reading while walking to work.

Fidler's voracious curiosity started in childhood. Describing himself as a bookish kid not into sport, he went to a "Lisa Simpson-type school" for brainy children where he pretended to have his own radio show.

"We'd make cassettes of our radio shows - it was really just introducing our favourite bands and holding the recorder up to the stereo," Fidler told Weekend Edition.

While attending the University of Canberra he formed the musical comedy group Doug Anthony All Stars, also known as DAAS, with Tim Ferguson and Paul McDermott.

From busking on the streets of Canberra in 1984, the group evolved over ten years making a name for their provocative style and inclusion of audience members in their performances.

Soon after a 1987 Scotland Edinburgh Fringe performance where they encouraged audience members to burn their possessions in a bonfire, the group appeared on top UK TV programs and began featuring on the ABC program The Big Gig.

In 1991 they left that show to lead their own ABC program, DAAS Kapital.

After DAAS broke up in 1994 Fidler hosted several different television shows including Race Around the World.

In 2006 Fidler started the hour-long radio program Conversations, at a time when interviews generally lasted no longer than seven minutes.

Fidler was awarded the Churchill Fellowship in 2011 and it gave him the chance to visit some internationally acclaimed podcasts, including This American Life and The Moth.

Fidler has written several books including 2016's Ghost Empire, based on a trip to Istanbul with his son Joe. Last month he released Saga Land, co-written with Kari Gislason and based on the true stories of the first Viking families in Iceland.

In 1993 Fidler married actor Khym Lam after meeting her on the ABC TV show DAAS Kapital, and they have two children.