This post deals with mental health and might be triggering for some readers.
We need to listen to Kyle Sandilands.
That’s not something I would normally suggest, considering his often controversial on-air stunts and frequently offensive comments.
But, this week, the 48-year-old did something remarkable.
Sandilands, a man who has an almost unparalleled ability to initiate and influence a national conversation to an intensely engaged audience in Australia, admitted he is struggling with his mental health.
It was remarkable, because it is – sadly – so rare.
On Monday’s episode of KIIS 106.5’s Kyle and Jackie O Show, the millionaire “shock jock” responded to the backlash he received after his 60 Minutes segment aired on Sunday night. During the segment, he tearfully told his co-host, Jackie ‘O’ Henderson, that he was suffering from a serious health condition, before admitting it was all a joke.
Many thought it was distasteful, and even more distasteful of Channel Nine to promote the ostensible confession and mislead audiences.
It left a sour taste in the mouths of Australians, one many are now accustomed to when it comes to Kyle Sandilands.
But on Monday morning, the radio host confessed those were real tears, accompanied by real emotion.
“The honest truth as to why I was so able to cry… was because inside I’m very sad,” he revealed.
As tears started to cause his voice to briefly choke, he added: “I’m not joking. Inside my person, I’m very sad.”
“When you [Jackie] said ‘I’m very worried about him,’ a wave of emotion went through me and then I realised, ‘Oh, sh*t, I’m losing control here,’ and so I had to make up that something was wrong as a joke. It was real emotion…”
Addressing their audience, Sandilands continued: “You look at me and you think, ‘You’re a fat bastard, you should be sad,’ or, ‘You’ve got everything…’ but there is great sadness in me that I just carry around every day.”
Even his co-host, the woman who has sat beside him for 20 years, sat there stunned.
Sandilands continued: “I feel often very alone, even though I’m constantly surrounded by people.”
Watch: Kyle Sandilands talks about his mental health on radio. Post continues below video.
The following day, on Tuesday, Sandilands shared the overwhelming response he received from friends checking in.
“Every b**tard and their dog sent messages. Which is very nice, but all day – the phone [buzzing] it was so annoying,” Sandilands said.
“My message is, when you’re feeling sad, tell no-one,” he joked on air. As he often does, by his own admission, he was using humour to mask his pain.