John Burns says goodbye to breakfasts on 3AW

Today marks the last day John Burns will host breakfast on 3AW, a role he’s held since 2001.

Burns, who announced he would be stepping down earlier this year, will be replaced by veteran adman Russel Howcroft. Current co-host Ross Stevenson will stay on in his role.

Burns [L] with his longtime co-host Stevenson

Burns and Stevenson have notched up 147 consecutive ratings survey wins during their time in Melbourne breakfast. As of April, the duo held 17.3% market share in the Melbourne breakfast – a clear lead over the closest competitor, ABC Melbourne, with 11.8%.

Tom Malone, managing director of Nine Radio, paid tribute to Burns.

“Burnso has made an incredible contribution to 3AW over the past 19 years,” said Malone.

“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.”

Burns was a barrister before he turned his hand to radio, first taking to the mic in 1988 with 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 Burns continued as Sir Lunchalot while still working as a barrister.

When Dean Banks retired from the 3AW breakfast program in 2001, Burns decided to end his law career and joined 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 – Athens in 2004, Beijing in 2008, London in 2012 and Rio in 2016. Burns was due to farewell the station from Tokyo this month before the games were delayed.

The Ross & Russ breakfast program will start at 5.30am on Monday, August 3, when Howcroft joins Stevenson in the studio.


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