TRIPLE J’S DIAL TONE RINGS ON
Radio is full of blokey, jokey double acts. But Jonathan Coleman is proud to have shone in the format, as one half of Jono & Dano (above) on ABC’s Triple J.
He is one of many past and present hosts and producers featured in a television special to celebrate the youth station’s 40th anniversary.
“It was 1980, I was doing Simon Townsend’s Wonder World during the day as a kids’ TV reporter, and started Off the Record on Saturday nights,” he says.
“I met this guy Ian ‘Dano’ Rogerson, who was supposed to be a paneller.
“We just started chatting, and by record No.3 Jono and Dano were on the radio. Two boofheads, taking the piss.”
In 1974, 2JJ, or Double J was born in Sydney, playing alternative and Australian music.
It quickly nabbed 20 per cent of the 18-30 demographic from commercial stations.
Later, it went national and became Triple J, a station Coleman still listens to (“but the kids tell me to turn it down”).
“Triple J is, and always has been, a great place to experiment and a great place to work,” he says. “Always discovering new talent.”
Coleman fondly remembers his time in the ABC studio as a revolving door of up-andcoming artists.
“Cyndi Lauper came in and did one of her first interviews when she was promoting Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.”
In fact, so many aspiring artists came through, Coleman struggles to remember them all.
“A few years ago in England, Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry reminded me that they had actually come on the radio show. I said, ‘What, you’re kidding me?’ They were here for a live show, with Emma Thompson, called Radioactive.
‘‘They said no one was brave enough to put them on the air.
‘‘Imagine that combination now – you’d never get them.”
Jono & Dano on Double Jradio around 1980.