He regularly ignites debate across the country as the host of 2GB’s breakfast radio show, but shock jock Alan Jones has been off air for the past couple of days due to health problems.
It has now been revealed that the 75-year-old broadcaster is being treated in hospital for “severe back pain”, with colleagues unsure when the controversial host will return to work.
Fellow 2GB host Chris Smith has been filling in for Jones and revealed the shock jock’s diagnosis on air on Tuesday. He said: “He’s currently in hospital being treated for severe back pain. His doctors are working to establish exactly what the problem is.
“He’ll be back as soon as he can, but we’re not sure exactly when that will be. It all depends on what problem that they find associated with that back pain.
“Our fingers are crossed for Alan and we wish him all the best. No doubt, because he gets up so early so often, he will be up, don’t listen to the program. Turn it off and relax, that’s my advice to you, sir.”
Jones has previously been hospitalised due to issues with his back and he underwent major surgery in November 2016, having spent the majority of the year walking with the use of a cane and taking painkillers.
Following the operation, the former national rugby coach took several months off from his presenting duties. Upon returning to work in February 2017 he described the “unbelievable pain” he suffered, after having to undergo three operations to remove a disc in his spine, widen the nerve canal and also to remove a stray piece of bone hidden underneath scar tissue.
“It was a nightmare, I couldn’t walk,” he told The Sydney Morning Herald. “If you hate someone, just make sure they have neck surgery. The pain after is unbelievable.”
News of Jones’ health problems comes just days after The Australian revealed that he had been disciplined by the board and management of Macquarie Media, following the multi-million defamation suit brought against the company by the Wagner brothers.
In September, Jones was found guilty of defaming the four Wagner bothers, John, Denis, Neill and Joe Wagner, from Toowoomba, with the Queensland Supreme Court awarding them $3.4 million in damages, plus interest, according to the ABC.
Jones, along with co-defendants 2GB and 4BC, published the defamatory comments during a series of 32 broadcasts between 2014 and 2015, following the tragic deaths during the Grantham flash floods when a quarry wall owned by the family collapsed, also destroying about 50 homes in the community.