Australian TV and radio star Jonathan ‘Jono’ Coleman has died at the age of 65.
Coleman, who is survived by his wife Margot and two children, died after a five-year battle with prostate cancer.
His career began in Australia in 1979, reporting for TV children’s show Simon Townsend’s Wonder World.
After moving to the UK, Coleman joined the Virgin Radio presenting team as one half of Russ ‘n’ Jono with partner Russell Williams.
He was sacked from Virgin by his former rival, and new boss, Chris Evans in 2011 on a return visit to Australia visiting his mother Sylvia who was ill.
Russ ‘n’ Jono had been Evans’ main breakfast rival while he was at Radio 1.
Following his dismissal, Coleman went on to work at London’s Heart Radio and the BBC.
He also won ITV’s Celebrity Fit Club in 2005 before heading back to his native Australia with wife Margot to be closer to his family.
Speaking after his death, Margot described Coleman as her ‘soulmate’ and said they had live a ‘wonderful life’ together.
Mrs Coleman said in a statement: “Jono and I have been soulmates for close to 40 years. We have been fortunate to have lived a rich and wonderful life and I have been lucky enough to watch up-close someone with enormous talent and the special gift to make people laugh.
“I will miss him beyond words and with the support of our gorgeous children, Oscar and Emily, and their partners, we will continue to live in the manner that he wanted.”
Margot said she and their children had been by Jono’s side when he passed away.
“When I asked Jono recently how he wanted to be remembered, he said, ‘For doing a good deed every day.’ Such was the generosity and caring nature of the love of my life,” said Margot.
“We will find the time to bring together all those close to him to celebrate his life when circumstances permit,” she added.
Jono had initially kept his prostate cancer diagnosis a secret for over a year, before deciding to share his story to raise awareness.
Speaking to the Mirror in 2018, Jono said his diagnosis came about because he was encourage to go undergo blood tests every six months after appearing on Celebrity Fit Club.
“They made me get my act together because my dad had died of a heart attack at 62 – the age I am now – and his mother had died young. They put me on statins and said, ‘If you want to see your children grow up you have to change your lifestyle,’ he said.
“I was supposed to be going to farewell drinks for a colleague, but instead I was lying on the exam table of Professor Phillip Stricker of St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney with his finger up my bottom.
“This is a different way to spend a Friday afternoon!’ I thought.
“And he just said, straight out, ‘Your prostate is enlarged, there’s a hard lump on the side, and I’d say you’ve got cancer.’ I thought, ‘Jesus, what’s happening?’
“I was there on my own: my wife Margot, who produces commercials, was about to fly off to film an ad for Toyota, and it’s not the sort of news you break on the phone. I had a radio show to do that evening. I was stunned.”
Jono said his wife had been ‘fantastic’ from the moment he told her over the phone about the diagnosis.
The presenter said he also received a supportive message from Stephen Fry, who also endured a battle with prostate cancer.
Jono later discovered the cancer had moved from the bone to his lymph system and had become aggressive.
He underwent chemo and radiotherapy and monthly injections into his stomach to try and fight the disease.
Throughout his treatment, Jono carried on working and said he didn’t want viewers to wonder what was wrong with him.
“I haven’t allowed myself to be negative,” he said. “You need to take it seriously but not freak out.”
And don’t forget to count your blessings and make the most of each day,” he added.