Friday marks the end of an era when John Burns co-hosts his last shift on 3AW’s top-rating breakfast program.
Burnso, as he is affectionately known, has sat in the studio chair alongside Ross Stevenson since 2001, and the pair are the undisputed kings of breakfast radio, having notched up 147 consecutive ratings survey wins.
Managing Director of Nine Radio, Tom Malone, today paid tribute to John, saying, “Burnso has made an incredible contribution to 3AW over the past 19 years.
“His wit, intellect and natural rapport with listeners have made him one of the finest broadcasters this country has produced. Today I want to thank John for his years of loyal service to this great radio station and for the many thousands of hours of entertainment he has provided to the people of Melbourne.”
John parlayed from a highly successful legal career as a barrister into the adored radio legend he is today.
His earliest gig behind the mic was back in 1988 with Ross Stevenson on the Lawyers, Guns and Money program on community radio station RRR. It was there that he first assumed the role of Sir Lunchalot.
In 1990, Lawyers, Guns and Money made the switch to 3AW, where John continued as Sir Lunchalot while still working as a barrister.
When Dean Banks retired from the 3AW breakfast program in 2001, John decided to end his law career and joined Ross Stevenson as co-host, but in a nod to his legal roots, he took on the occasional on-air persona as Judge Burns.
Over the past 19 years, Ross and John have broadcast from every Olympic Games, from Athens in 2004 to Rio in 2016. John’s send-off was scheduled to take place in Tokyo this month, until COVID-19 put a stop to that.
Both sports fanatics, they also did broadcasts from the soccer World Cup in Germany in 2006 and South Africa in 2010, as well as the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2014.
Additional overseas broadcasts came from New York in 2002 on the first anniversary of the September 11 attacks and from Vietnam (2005), New Caledonia (2014), Malaysia (2016), USA (2017) and Denmark (2018).
John will continue to be heard as a regular contributor on 3AW.
The Ross & Russ breakfast program will start at 5.30am on Monday, August 3, when Russel Howcroft joins Ross Stevenson in the studio.