Billy Brownless has joined Garry Lyon in an on-air capacity for the first time since the former best mates infamously fell out in 2016.
Former Geelong goalkicker Brownless, and Melbourne captain Lyon, had been longtime friends and colleagues on radio and TV until the latter’s romantic relationship with the former’s ex-wife Nicky Brownless became public.
Nicky and Billy Brownless share four kids together; Ruby, Lucy, former Geelong-listed played Oscar, and youngest Max Brownless, while Lyon has three kids; Ben, Thomas and Josh, with ex-wife Melissa.
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The saga, which rocked football media, was also arguably the beginning of the demise of The Footy Show, on which the two mates worked together, with Lyon leaving his role as co-host of the show. He also soon left Triple M radio, where Brownless still remains a key on-air talent.
The pair have since patched things up and, though not as close as they once were, have even spent Christmas together, along with Nicky and the four Brownless kids, in recent years.
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But until Friday morning, Billy Brownless and Garry Lyon — who first worked together as foundation hosts of Melbourne sports radio station SEN alongside Tim Watson in 2004 — had yet to appear on-air together on either radio or TV.
Celebrating the 20-year anniversary of its inception on Friday morning, SEN got the gang of Brownless, Lyon and Watson back together to reminisce on old times.
“Bill Brownless joined Tim and I to launch this station (20 years ago), and he joins us (now), with thanks to Triple M — William, welcome!” Lyon said on Friday morning alongside co-host Watson, with whom he has shared the modern-day SEN breakfast show since 2017.
Garry Lyon and Billy Brownless were key members of The Footy Show team. Credit: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images
Joining his former colleagues on the phone, Brownless said: “G’day Gaz and g’day Whispy (Watson), and well done boys; 20 years, that is a bloody good thing to do”.
Watson added: “I remember you saying on that first morning, Bill, ‘This is so good; this radio station is going to be around for another 20 years’. How prophetic were you that day?”
“I can’t believe you’re still going after some of the interviews we did,” Brownless said.
“If you remember rightly, back in the good old days when we first started, I reckon (between) 6-7am, it used to get a bit fruity. Things going on at home, we’d been going out, and things like that — it used to get a bit frizzy.”
Watson also jogged Brownless’s memory on an old story of him sleeping in a car out the front of the studio before an early morning shift with fellow SEN personality Andy Maher, who remains at the station to this day.
“Well, yes, that did happen, and Andy didn’t sleep — he kept talking!” Brownless joked.
“But also, we did get in trouble there once when we went to the Logies and had a big night and went straight through to the breakfast show and we got into a bit of trouble there. We found a bit of trouble now and then.”
Lyon and Brownless were jovial with each other on-air during the light-hearted interview, at one point Brownless joking that Lyon was “Captain Cranky”.
The nine-minute chat ended in good spirits, with Lyon saying, “Hey, it is great to see you and talk to you. The first morning (in the station’s history), one of the very first voices that you heard on this station was one of yours and we couldn’t have done it without you. We appreciate you coming on and giving us some time this morning”.
Garry Lyon and Nicky Brownless are now engaged. Credit: Instagram
Lyon and Nicky Brownless are now engaged to be married, having maintained their relationship since it became public eight years ago.
In a recent Instagram post, Nicky Brownless confirmed she is ready to marry again, this time with Lyon.
“The best surprise,’’ she wrote, revealing the engagement news.
A photo of the happy couple showed them hugging on their Mornington Peninsula property in the middle of a lit-up love heart. The initials N and G sat on the top of the love heart.
In March of 2016, just a month after finding out about the relationship Lyon was having with his ex-wife, Brownless opened up in a teary interview on The Footy Show.
“I couldn’t believe it. I found out three or four months ago,” Brownless said at the time.
“I asked Garry and Nicky earlier on what was going on and they said they were just good friends. That’s what hurts the most.
“By law, it’s legal. Morally, it’s wrong. We all know our rights and wrongs.”
The famous friendship ended — for the time being — there and then, with Brownless saying “a good mate wouldn’t do that”.