On-air banter. It’s a staple of radio and television shows seeking to project a friendly, accessible image. Think of the chats between Steve and Tracy on Today, and Mel and Kochie (and, increasingly, their viewers) on Sunrise. Chats between news, sports and weather presenters are routine. It helps if the weather presenter is gorgeous, zany or eccentric, such as Tim Bailey on Channel Ten’s 5 p.m. news in Sydney or the semi-retired Willard Scott on the NBC Today show. (There was never any evident warmth or banter between Channel Nine’s Brian Henderson and Alan Wilkie, one of the few actual meteorologists on air.) The presenters are meant to seem ‘just like us’ as they yarn about their weekends, their birthdays and their children. Some of the chats, particularly between radio hosts, are designed to personalise and promote interest in what’s coming up on the next programme.