Often, Fordham will stop at a nearby cafe on his way to work. It’s not open at that time, but he knows the owners. On Saturdays, Fordham and Freddy help out at the cafe, stacking and unstacking bread.
He’s even been taught how to use the coffee machine and now the owners have been kind enough to give him a key. Can you see where this is going?
“If I’m having an outdoor shower and I get to make myself a coffee before I’ve even got to work then I’m just fine,” he assures.
Fordham has a laid-back charm and enjoys having a yarn. He says he was initially scared of taking Jones’ breakfast radio slot at 2GB, after Jones quite suddenly announced he was retiring earlier this year.
Unsure of what to do – and aware of the large boots he’d have to fill – the seasoned journo knocked back the gig. “My initial response was no,” he says. “I think it’s natural to be reluctant to do something that scares you.”
Four years ago, Fordham was similarly trepidatious when he was offered the co-hosting role on family entertainment juggernaut Australian Ninja Warrior (Sun., 7pm; Mon. – Tue. 7.30pm, Nine Network).
Fordham told Nine bigwigs “this doesn’t sound like me”. He spoke to Speers about it, he ummed and ahhed and wrestled with the idea of fronting the show. Eventually he thought he should, as the Nike slogan says, “just do it”. “I have learnt that if you’re asked to do something and it scares you, the smartest thing to do is say yes, because you don’t want to have any regrets.”
Of course, the radio role did make perfect sense. Fordham interned at Alan Jones’ radio show when he was a teenager.
His father, the late John Fordham, was a long-time friend of Jones, and Ben’s brother Nick is currently Jones’ manager. Ben was aware of the responsibility; he knew it was a risk. But isn’t everything in life that’s worth doing a bit risky?
“I’ve ended up enjoying it,” he says of the radio spot. “Listeners have been welcoming and encouraging and I’m feeling good about it.”
Of course, not everyone was happy, with KIIS 1065’s headline-hunting Kyle Sandilands slamming Fordham’s appointment.
“I’m lucky I’ve got people in my life who are prepared to work so hard to create publicity for me,” Fordham jokes.
Back on the box for Season 4 of Ninja Warrior, Fordham says he’s aware some young fans take their passion for the show a little too far.
“We did have a kid across the road, Zac, and he busted his arm trying to do some ninja warrior moves,” Fordham concedes.
It promises to be a crackerjack season with the inclusion of the Power Tower, which sees the two fastest ninjas scrambling up a four-storey obstacle.
If someone makes it to the top of Mt Midoriyama, there’s $400,000 waiting for them. So far, no-one has done it, but could this be the year?
“It wouldn’t surprise me a single bit if we saw someone reach the top,” Fordham teases.
Filming was underway in Melbourne when the coronavirus pandemic hit, forcing Fordham into lockdown.
“I was stuck in Melbourne, away from [my] young family, and it was more than a little bit challenging,” he admits.
“But it was during that time when everyone was having a bit of a meltdown because what was happening was weird.”
Now reunited, no more shall the Fordhams part. He says the family has coped reasonably well during COVID-19, and Freddy even managed to benefit from the homeschooling experience.
“He’s gone back to school with a bit of extra knowledge with reading and maths,” Fordham says. “So it was probably a good thing for him. For everyone else, it was a nightmare, if you ask me.”
Did iso-life bring them closer as a family?
“We were pretty close to begin with,” Fordham says. The presenter gushes when he discusses his family.
“They’re the greatest thing that has ever happened to me,” he enthuses. “I’m guilty of being little bit proud. We’re still in the battle zone with Goldie, in terms of sleep, but I love it [being a parent].”
What about adding to their brood? “Put it this way, if WHO would like us to have a fourth child, I’m all for it,” he says wryly. “Jodie says, ‘Why do you always say you want have more children?’ And I say, ‘It’s because I’m addicted to them.’”
Thankfully, he’s always had jobs which aren’t 9 to 5, “so that’s allowed me to connect with the kids”. Fordham’s also a big believer in bringing his kids to work.
It’s something that was instilled in him as a youngster when he’d be around his parents, John and Veronica, who ran their management and PR business from home.
“I like having [the kids] there playing on the floor next to me,” he says.
As we finish the conversation, Fordham thanks WHO for the “yarn”, adding, “I’ll let Jodie know you want us to have another kid.”