Jonathan Coleman: Australian radio and television personality dies age 65

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
<span>Photograph: Delly Carr/AAP</span>
Photograph: Delly Carr/AAP

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.

Radio hosts Jonathan Coleman, right, and Julia Zemiro, left, at the launch of their radio show The Jonathan Coleman Experience in Sydney, in January 2007.
Radio hosts Jonathan Coleman, right, and Julia Zemiro, left, at the launch of their radio show The Jonathan Coleman Experience in Sydney in January 2007. Photograph: Tracey Nearmy/AAP

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.

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.”

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting