Jon Vertigan overcomes colour blindness for a career in radio

Breakfast in Warrnambool

Jon Vertigan thinks the carpet at his home is blue but “apparently it’s dark grey”.

That’s one thing listeners to his breakfast show wouldn’t know, Jon is 100% colour blind.

Meanwhile, we are not sure how long it took co-host Maria Foundas to realise she is a girl, after growing up in a family of boys that convinced Maria her willy had been bitten off by the family dog.

Meet the award winning Jon & Maria from Warrnambool’s 3YB Morning Rush.

The show picked up an ACRA this year for Best On-Air Show in the Country Category and it appears the pair enjoyed themselves at the awards on the Gold Goast.

“Maria had a dress blowout when she stood to applaud Jeremy Cordeaux. Hilarious,” laughs Jon.

“She also slammed in a few quick Sauv Blancs early, and my wife actually ordered her to drink water in case we won an award.”

It’s often said having a female on-air partner is a bit like having two wives and Jon agrees.

“Yes! Very much so…it can get very confusing. I probably get more solicits out of Maria though. (That’s a radio and a marriage gag all in one there).” 

Jon started on commercial radio in 1992 and has been on air with Maria for two and a half years.

Maria also started around the same time “…1993, but I had a 12-year hiatus returning in 2007, coming from across the border (South Australia) to join Jon on-air mid 2013.”

And yes, like any South Australian who can string a few words together (that’s a footy joke), Maria is a huge Crows fan. But what’s it like living in Victoria going for a team no-one there largely cares about?

“Very funny… but generally being a proud South Aussie they take me supporting the Crows as part ‘n parcel and happy that at least I’m not a Collingwood supporter!”

Maria’s South Australian heritage is often a source of frustration for Jon.  

“Being from Adelaide she says things funny, like Lego she pronounces ‘Laygo’. It’s odd. And also whenever a celebrity comes on Sunrise or Today Show, she always says ‘they are originally from Adelaide’, even if they’re not.”

For the record Jon follows the Essendon Football Club.

Neither the Crows or Bomber’s were there at the end of the 2015 season unlike Jon and Maria, whose ACRA is a bit like the radio equivalent of a Grand Final.

As for the statue itself?

“Where is it Foundas?” asks Jon.

Kim Napier