On Tuesday morning, veteran Australian broadcaster Alan Jones announced he will be retiring from radio.
The 79-year-old, who has been on the air for more than three decades, told 2GB listeners that he will be signing off for the sake of his health. His final broadcast will be at the end of the month.
Watch: Given his comments about Jacinda Ardern in 2019, does Alan Jones have “a problem with women”? Post continues after video.
“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 said.
“I have taken on extra load in television and print media but if I am to be serious about reducing the workload and listen to the experts then I’ve decided that the bulk of my workload is dominated by radio.
“I guess after 35 years the full stop has to go in somewhere.”
Jones’ decision to step back from the microphone marks the end of a career defined by ratings dominance, political influence and, yes, controversy.
The host has found himself in the headlines (and before the courts) multiple times over the years, having uttered comments that ranged from eyebrow-raising to downright defamatory.
These are some of the most infamous.
The ‘chaff bag’ comments.
On June 29, 2011, Jones railed against Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore’s efforts to install more cycleways, telling his audience, “put her in the same chaff bag as Julia Gillard and throw them both out to sea”.
And it didn’t stop there.
A month later, discussing the financial impact of the Gillard government’s carbon tax, he said, “It is absolutely laughable. The woman [Gillard] is off her tree and quite frankly they should shove her and [then Greens leader] Bob Brown in a chaff bag and take them as far out to sea as they can and tell them to swim home.”
Although Jones later conceded the comments may have been inappropriate, an investigation by the Australian Communications and Media Authority cleared him of wrongdoing.
Julia Gillard’s father ‘died of shame’.
Speaking at Sydney University Liberal Club’s annual president’s dinner in September 2012, Jones made a comment that had much of the public up in arms, advertisers fleeing and Macquarie Radio network facing an estimated $1 million in lost revenue.