Bring­ing it back home

The orig­i­nal two blokey id­iots on ra­dio are in harness at Gold 104FM

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Front Page - GREG THOM

JONATHAN Cole­man and Ian Rogerson, bet­ter known to a gen­er­a­tion of ra­dio and TV fans as Jono and Dano, don’t need to tell you they have chem­istry.

That fact be­comes ob­vi­ous within min­utes of speak­ing to them.

Not only do the pair tend to fin­ish each other’s sen­tences, it quickly be­comes ap­par­ent the lar­rikin charm which took the cheeky dou­ble act to the top of the rat­ings pile 20 years ago, has not di­min­ished with the pas­sage of time.

Now the dy­namic duo — who ruled the air­waves long be­fore Hamish and Andy, Mer­rick and Rosso and Martin-Mol­loy — are back. They kick off their new driv­e­time show this week on Gold 104FM.

If they are at all ner­vous about get­ting back in the sad­dle af­ter 20 years, they’re not show­ing it.

‘‘It’s one of those things we talked about for 20 years, re­ally. And strangely enough, the plan­ets have aligned, the le­gal cases have all been dis­missed and we’re able to work to­gether again,’’ Rogerson says.

Cole­man agrees. ‘‘It just seems like such a nat­u­ral sort of fit. We’ve been do­ing it for so long. We were the first two sort of blokey id­iots on the ra­dio on Triple J.’’

Cole­man, who rose to fame on Si­mon Townsend’s Won­der World!, left Aus­tralia for the bright lights of Lon­don in 1990. He re­turned in 2005.

Though the pair had kept in reg­u­lar touch over the years, Cole­man says the last thing he wanted to do af­ter arriving back in Aus­tralia per­ma­nently was to im­me­di­ately board the Jono and Dano train.

‘‘I didn’t want to come back af­ter 16 years in Pom­mieland and be sud­denly thrown into Jono and Dano. I think we wanted to try dif­fer­ent things,’’ he says.

In­stead, he hosted The Jonathan Cole­man Ex­pe­ri­ence with Ju­lia Zemiro on Gold for two years.

When the RocKwiz host de­cided she wanted to con­cen­trate more on TV and the­atre, the tim­ing was seen as right for Jono and Dano to reen­ter the fray.

Rogerson had oc­ca­sion­ally filled in for Zemiro on air, so Cole­man says they both knew the magic was still there.

Rogerson and Cole­man ac­knowl­edge their de­mo­graphic has un­doubt­edly aged along with them­selves.

Both ad­mit sur­prise that even af­ter 20 years they are still reg­u­larly recog­nised in the street and are reg­u­larly asked when they are go­ing to re­unite.

THEY ad­mit the ra­dio land­scape has changed in their time away, but be­lieve that may be the key to their re­turn.

‘‘I think we hark back to the way ra­dio used to be done, where in­stead of it just sort of be­ing some­thing that’s stitched to­gether as a for­mat, we’re more along the lines of be­ing . . .

‘‘Seat of your pants,’’ Cole­man fin­ishes.

‘‘We make it up as we go,’’ Rogerson adds.

Cole­man says in many ways ra­dio has be­come a ‘‘safe’’ en­vi­ron­ment, some­thing poles apart from Jono and Dano’s orig­i­nal ap­proach. It’s an av­enue they are keen to again ex­plore.

‘‘I’m not say­ing we’re go­ing to go on the ra­dio and rein­vent the wheel, but I think what we used to do on the TV and on the ra­dio was kind of raw and real. I think there’s a lot of over­plan­ning some­times on TV and ra­dio,’’ Cole­man says.

The fun­ny­men say they are not wor­ried about go­ing head to head with the likes of Hamish and Andy on FOX, who swept all be­fore them in 2008. They be­lieve there is enough au­di­ence share to go around.

‘‘I used to lis­ten to Hamish and Andy on the way home when I was do­ing the show with Ju­lia, so I’ve been steal­ing their ma­te­rial for ages,’’ Cole­man says.

‘‘I think they should look at that as a trib­ute. We’re like Hamish and Andy’s older broth­ers.’’

‘‘Slightly thiev­ing older broth­ers,’’ Rogerson adds mis­chie­vously.

The pair are not con­cerned about be­ing seen as yes­ter­day’s he­roes. In fact, they em­brace it, from wear­ing their ’70s, ’80s and ’90s mu­si­cal pref­er­ences on their sleeve to dis­play­ing a re­fresh­ing will­ing­ness to take the mickey out of them­selves.

‘‘We look like two real es­tate agents,’’ Cole­man says.

Rogerson: ‘‘We’re spon­sored by Vi­a­gra and Bo­tox!’’

Have we got a deal for you: they may look like a cou­ple of real es­tate agents, but com­edy duo Jono (right) and Dano are back on the ra­dio air­waves.

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