Rants about coronavirus restrictions on final show

Radio host Alan Jones had a dig at coronavirus measures during his final show on Friday but said “it ain’t over really” as he concluded 35 years on the airwaves.

Jones, 79, is retiring from radio after three decades, finishing his final 2GB breakfast program at 9am.

During his last show, Jones also criticised coronavirus restrictions, saying the “figures are made up”.

Noting that NSW would be winding back some of its restrictions from Monday, including that 20 people will be able to attend weddings and up to 50 people will be able to attend funerals and other places of worship, Jones asked: “Where do they get these figures from?”

“These figures are made up.

“Can someone put a paper on a table and tell us where those figures come from?”

Jones added that 98.3 per cent of coronavirus cases in the world were mild.

Joining him for his final broadcast, Jones said, were former prime minister Tony Abbott, an “amazing human being” whose “removal from that office made Australia the poorer”, and state leader of One Nation in NSW, Mark Latham, “who would today be an outstanding prime minister”.

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The former Wallabies coach noted that his career is not over and said Mr Latham would be part of a regular segment on Sky News, where Jones is expected to continue hosting an evening TV show.

“There will be a regular segment with Mark, and will replicate the kind of things we’ve been doing here because he’s got something to say, something to contribute,” Jones said.

“So it ain’t over really, we’re just going to another medium.”

Mr Latham was sacked as co-host of Outsiders on Sky News in 2017 after a series of on-air outrages, including his description of a Sydney Boys High School student as “gay” for appearing in an International Women’s Day video.

Jones dedicated his final program to his “loyal, supportive and sometimes critical” army of listeners before taking a call from US country music star Kenny Rogers.

Jones also spoke with NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller, who thanked him for his support of his officers and public safety.

NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro phoned in to tell Jones his support for the regions would not be forgotten.

“What keeps me up at night is that there are people falling through the cracks and if it wasn’t for you, Alan, they would never be identified,” he said.

Jones announced earlier this month that he was retiring on the advice of his doctors, after decades of 2am-3am morning starts to prepare for his show.

In his many years on radio, Jones became the self-appointed and sometimes outrageously dogmatic voice of the battler, feared and courted by politicians.

Jones’ radio career began at 2UE in 1985 and moved to 2GB in 2001, where he delivered a record 226 wins in rating surveys.

His presence at 2GB was pivotal in driving the station to No. 1 in the Sydney market.

Jones will continue to host an evening TV show on Sky News and is expected to keep writing a column for News Corp Australia’s newspapers.

His breakfast show replacement, Ben Fordham, is due to take over on Monday.

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