Listen: 'Sunrise' weatherman Sam Mac on the privilege of telling the stories of everyday Australians
Every day, Sunrise weatherman Sam Mac wakes up at 4.07am, after snoozing his first two alarms, and gets set to bring viewers the latest forecast in an invariably zany segment that, to date, has involved bungee jumping, tap dancing, singing with The Wiggles and swimming with sharks.
Sam’s quick to admit he’s “not qualified” to tell us the weather – with zero training in meteorology – but is fond of making people laugh, and telling the stories of everyday Australians.
In his new book, Accidental Weatherman, Sam shares how he’s been shaped by these stories, and what 25,000 minutes of breakfast television has taught him about our country and the importance of a “good news” story.
“I meet people, I travel Australia and crazy things seem to happen in my segments and in my life,” Sam told Hope 103.2.
“I’ve visited over 800 places in Australia, I do an average of 120 flights in a non-COVID year; I go to people’s houses, I go to people’s cricket clubs, I go to their schools [and I go] to their workplaces. So I really do meet thousands and thousands of Australians every year, and there’s plenty of stories to tell.”
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Watching Sam on TV, and reading the buoyantly humourous way he translates his day job into meaningful connection with people, it’s clear he has a love of fun and people.
They’re values Sam said he developed early on as a sport-loving kid in Adelaide.
“I played soccer very competitively and I was always around soccer clubs,” Sam said.
“And what I loved about soccer clubs – and to many extents most sporting clubs – is that I was introduced to people from all types of backgrounds: Greek people, Croatian people, Italian people – it was very multicultural environment.
“It became our social hub, and everyone was from different places but we all came together and we could connect on different things, and the common love of soccer was the thread. So I guess I’ve just managed to carry that into my work life with [the Sunrise] role.
“We meet people for such a [short] time, but you can form a connection pretty quickly if you’ve got an open mind, and if you listen to people and if you approach it with a positive mindset, where you want to celebrate people.”
Sam Mac’s book Accidental Weatherman is out now. Listen to his full interview with Laura Bennett in the player above.