Rocky celebs have nicknames
WHEN your job requires you to wear a full-body chicken suit, it’s safe to say you’ve earned yourself a nickname with some kind of poultry pun.
Rockhampton’s own Mark Edwards, better known on the airwaves as one half of the Sea FM Morning Crew, now answers predominantly to Chooky.
Chooky confessed that even his mum and girlfriend have taken to addressing him by his alter ego.
“Well I guess I was the rock ‘n’ roll chicken for two long years,” he said.
“I had to do the chicken run every morning – where kids would chase me down the street and try to tackle me or pull off my tail!”
In keeping with our national passion for nonsensical nicknaming – even our PM has been coined KRudd – Central Queensland boasts quite an array of local identities sporting eyebrow-raising aliases.
Standouts among the mix include Penguin, Barney and even Tontine.
But who are the faces behind these peculiar pet names?
Colourful local businessman Peter Pierano admitted he’s better known as the Penguin, having been affectionately christened with the nickname due to his uncanny resemblance to Batman’s nemesis, made famous by Danny DeVito in the film Batman Returns.
“I am short, fat and bald – and I do waddle a bit when I walk,” Pierano said.
Owner of the nickname inspired by cartoon caveman Barney Rubble is none other than Rockhampton’s favourite rugby league coach.
But in the case of Central Comet’s coach Wayne Barnett, being labelled “Barney” didn’t come from any physical likeness to Fred Flinstone’s lovable sidekick.
“I’ve always been called Barney, just because of my last name,” he said.
As for “Tontine”, Brad Villiers, who makes up the other half of the Sea FM morning crew with Chooky, explained the rationale behind his unusual title.
“When I was a kid I used to play cricket with a big crew of Fijian-Indians who all loved to eat really hot curry,” he said.
“Since I’ve never been able to handle a hot curry, they used to call me soft and somehow that developed into Tontine – like the brand of pillow.”
So it seems those lucky enough to call down under home will have to learn to live with a nickname that, more often than not, is absolute nonsense.
After all, we do call redheads “Blue”.Notable nicknames
Other unusual nicknames of some local identities include:
Karina Brindley – Hot FM breakfast co-host
For her “alter ego”, who is known to get Karina into trouble with her risqué ranting
Tim Aquilina – Hot FM music producer
Cooked up by a clever caller, when Tim got listeners to call in with ideas for a better name than “DJ Tim” in the small town of Orange, NSW.
Jamie Dwyer – Australian hockey player
Because he was the smallest by far when he made the Under 16/17 Australian men’s hockey team at just 13 years old.
Kerrie Meares – Olympic cyclist
Her younger sister was called Bubsy because she was so cute and small; meanwhile Kerrie got Bruce because of her more solid physique.
Robert Schwarten – Member for Rockhampton
An adaptation of his surname, common practice in Australia!
Billy the Mountain
Bill Ludwig – Rockhampton regional councillor
Outside of his day job, Cr Ludwig also goes by the name of Billy the Mountain, singer, songwriter and recording artist.