Alan Jones announced his retirement from the airwaves on Tuesday, revealing his doctors had warned him that the regular early starts and workload would no doubt have a detrimental effect on his health. And now the 79-year-old has revealed the words that triggered him to hang up his headphones for good.
Speaking to Peta Credlin on Sky News about his decision to call time on his 35-year career in radio, Jones revealed that while his doctor had warned him previously about the toll his gruelling workload was taking on his health, last week it was delivered in writing.
“His words were ‘You either stop or drop’, and I thought well if there’s a choice I think I might stop,” he said. “The doctor said ‘Something’s gotta go’ and the biggest component [of the workload] was the radio, the preparation, the presentation and the responses via the correspondence.”
Jones made the shock announcement that he was retiring during Tuesday morning’s show and revealed that he made the decision after receiving advice from medical professionals, who warned him that his current workload was having a detrimental impact on his health.
“We are living in the world of coronavirus. The most repeated statement we hear is ‘we must listen to the experts’. Well, the experts are telling me in no uncertain terms, and not for the first time I might add, ‘Continuing with the present workload is seriously detrimental to your health’,” he told listeners.
“I have listened to the experts and I am taking this opportunity to indicate to my radio family that I will be retiring from radio at the end of this month.”
Following Jones’ resignation yesterday it was then confirmed that Ben Fordham, who currently hosts 2GB’s drive time program, would be filling Alan’s shoes and taking over the breakfast program from next month.
Speaking after the news was confirmed, Fordham said: “I’ve got some of the biggest shoes to fill that have ever been created in the history of radio.” However Jones vowed to support his successor in any way he can, saying: “You’ll have my support in whatever way I may be able to provide it.”
He added: “You’ve got a young man here who’s got energy, he’s got ideas, he’s got ability, he’s got ambition.”
Jones has enjoyed an impressive 35-year career on the airwaves, which began in 1985 when he joined Radio 2UE as its morning host. He then moved to the breakfast show in 1988 and became a hit, thanks to his signature style of arguing, debating and breaking down complex issues. He moved to 2GB in 2001, driving the station to the top of the Sydney market, and has remained in the role ever since.
While he is retiring from radio, he will continue to write for The Australian and The Daily Telegraph, as well as appearing on Sky News.