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The Australian radio and television personality Jonathan Coleman, who had a career spanning several decades in Australia and the UK, has died aged 65.
Coleman, who is survived by his wife, Margot, and their two children, died after a five-year battle with prostate cancer.
Coleman’s career began in Australia in 1979 in the reporting team for afternoon TV children’s show Simon Townsend’s Wonder World.
Two years later he started presenting radio show Off The Record with Ian “Dano” Rogerson on Triple J. After gaining a cult following, they moved to Triple M in 1984 for the night-time show, which reached No 1 in the ratings. He also hosted music TV program Saturday Morning Live on Channel Seven.
Coleman, who was born in Hackney in London in 1956, had a career that included 16 years in the UK, where he was a high-profile radio presenter on Virgin Radio, London’s Heart 106.2 and the BBC.
He told the BBC that he returned to Australia in 2006 to be near his 81-year-old mother, Sylvia, in Sydney.
Coleman’s wife, Margot, said after his death: “Jono and I have been soulmates for close to 40 years. We have been fortunate to have lived a rich and wonderful life and I have been lucky enough to watch up-close someone with enormous talent and the special gift to make people laugh.
“I will miss him beyond words and with the support of our gorgeous children, Oscar and Emily, and their partners, we will continue to live in the manner that he wanted.”
She said he died with his wife and children by his side.
Vale, Jono Coleman.
The most eternally effervescent man I ever met.
He could have bubbled happily for Australia, and effectively did.
Condolences to the family. https://t.co/Dg4COWMMdz
— 💉 Peter FitzSimons💉 (@Peter_Fitz) July 10, 2021
Jono Coleman was a ball of positive energy and light, his enthusiasm was infectious and he was incredibly kind. I absolutely loved the guy. I'm so grateful to him for coming to play with us at @abc730. Here's his performance from our 'Not Today' Show sketch. He was perfect. pic.twitter.com/GN5Ffji0PG
— Mark Humphries (@markhumphries) July 10, 2021
Very shocked to hear of the death of Jono Coleman. Such a great career on TV and radio here and in the U.K. A very nice guy to boot. Never phoned it in no matter what he was doing. Condolences to his family.
— Peter Ford (@mrpford) July 10, 2021
Coleman was awarded an OAM in 2015 for his service to broadcast media and the community, including his work with Radio for the Print Handicapped, the School for the Deaf and Blind, the Schizophrenia Research Institute, Carers’ Australia and most recently the Movember Foundation.
He was most recently a presenter on Studio 10 on Channel 10. He also did stints on Channel Nine’s Hey Hey It’s Saturday and Wavelength and Channel Seven’s Have a Go. He was the London correspondent for Channel Seven’s Sunrise.
He released a comedy album, Jonathan Coleman’s Polka Project, narrated children’s TV show The Koala Brothers and appeared in the film Young Einstein.
He won up three Gold Sony Radio Academy Awards, an NTL award for broadcaster of the year in the UK, and a New York Radio award for Best International Radio Show.
Margot Coleman said: “When I asked Jono recently how he wanted to be remembered, he said, ‘For doing a good deed every day.’ Such was the generosity and caring nature of the love of my life.
“We will find the time to bring together all those close to him to celebrate his life when circumstances permit.”