John Laws

News - November 2007

Media Man Australia wishes John Laws well with his retirement

The Undisputed King of Radio, John Laws presents the morning program on Sydney's 2UE, Brisbane's 4BC and networked stations around Australia, weekdays from 9am-noon. Making and breaking the rules, John brings a common sense approach to the news of the day, speaking to the people who matter - the newsmakers and you.

John's influential relationship with his listeners is both as friend, confidante and teacher. The influence was recognised by former Prime Minister Paul Keating when he said in an interview with The Bulletin (July 1997) that, 'If you can educate John Laws, you educate middle Australia'

John Laws sees himself as entertainer and salesman. His morning show delivers a mixture of both regular features and the unpredictable to more than two million listeners on around 70 stations including Brisbane's 4BC, and his velvet voice is as well-known as his relationship with the products he endorses. His live reads are persuasive, educative, interesting - even witty - and form an integral part of the morning show's structure.

Lawsie might not always break the news, but he makes it funny. With the show being broadcast across the country, he canvasses a range of opinions unlike any other radio program. He tries to take a lighter look at politics where he can, while ensuring to keep the politicians on their toes. He'll also keep you up to date with anything that breaks during the show, along with all the latest in sport. But best of all, he talks to you on 13 13 32.

Born in Wau, New Guinea, on August 8, 1935, John was educated at Mosman Preparatory School and Knox Grammar School, Sydney.

For virtually all of the 45 years he has worked in radio, John Laws has been the undisputed king of Australia's talkback airwaves and has remained at the top of the ratings - an achievement many say will never be obtained again.

Since his career began as an 18-year old announcer on 3BO in Bendigo in 1953 - John Laws has won more radio awards of excellence than any other Australian broadcaster. They include a special award from the Federation of Australian Radio Broadcasters for his broadcasting excellence as well as a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Producers and Directors Guild of Australia.

John Laws worked at several country radio stations prior to joining 2UE in 1957, the first of four terms at Sydney's top-rating radio station. It was the move to 2UE which kick started his career.

When his first stint at 2UE ended in 1959, Laws joined 2SM for a short period before moving to the Hunter Valley where he bought a farm. For several years he broadcast a syndicated Australia-wide program for the Newcastle station 2KO. In 1962 he moved back to Sydney where he joined 2GB. Two years later he rejoined 2UE and remained with the station for five years. In 1969 he became a member of 2UW's line-up, an association that lasted for a decade. 2UE lured him back in 1979, this time for another five years. Then he switched to 2GB again when the station made a highly publicized, all out bid for his services. He returned to the 2UE fold when the station was in No 8 position. Since his return in 1988, he and the station have been consistently at the top of the ratings ladder.

At a glittering black-tie dinner celebrating John Laws' 40th anniversary in Australian radio, Prime Minister Paul Keating handed him the ultimate compliment, hailing him as 'the broadcaster of the century'. 'You have re-written the rulebooks of Australian broadcasting,' said the Prime Minister in a glowing tribute. 'There is probably never going to be another one like you. No one has done it like you have.' Mr Keating continued: 'As a consequence, I mean, if the measure of it (John Laws' success) is ratings and salary, you're on top of the heap. And, of course, that great voice. I mean one would say God gave that to you. I'm sure you'd say you developed - it's probably true on both accounts. At any rate, it carries more authority than I think any other in radio does.' On another occasion when explaining the incredible influence John Laws wields on his radio program Mr Keating noted: 'Forget the Press gallery in Canberra. If you educate John Laws, you educate Australia.'

The Independent Monthly, in a November 1994 story, described John Laws as a 'rare phenomenon, a voice of the masses'; 'one of the prominent people who still speak for the working and lower middle classes' and said he, more than any other public figure, was 'in touch'. Wrote Editor Michael Duffy, who admitted to growing up 'hating John Laws': 'Today when I listen to him I am struck by his ability as an entertainer and a communicator, by the marvelous voice which manages to combine arrogance and vigour with elements of conscious self-parody.' He added: 'Laws is smart and has a sense of humour, unlike some of his critics.'

John Laws has also been extremely prominent in other areas of the Australian media. He has hosted four national television series, writes a column for Australia's biggest selling newspaper Sydney's Sunday Telegraph and has written several best-selling books including The John Laws Book of Irreverent Logic, published in 1994 which became Pan Macmillan's biggest seller for the year. The following year, John released The John Laws Book of Uncommon Sense. This also raced to the top of the best selling lists. In 1996, John released another book with Pan Macmillan, The John Laws Barbecue Cookbook, which features recipes submitted by his listeners and mates in the restaurant industry. He has also released a video entitled John Laws In One Lifetime, a summary of life in Australian over the past 60 years.

In 1998, John Laws joined Australia's leading cable television company, FOXTEL with his own nightly talk show, LAWS. The program is produced at FOXTEL's Sydney television studios and featured interviews with leading national and international celebrities, politicians and newsmakers and reached 2.5 million people.

John Laws assistance to charities is continual, raising money for and giving money to various institutions. Twice the Queen has honoured him for his services to broadcasting and charity. In 1974 he was awarded the O.B.E. for his services to broadcasting and charity and in 1978 he was honoured again by Her Majesty, being awarded the C.B.E.

John Laws is known for his passionate interest in motor sports, motorcycling, writing, reading, tennis, rural pursuits, photography, antique furniture, works of art and sculpture, timepieces and first collector's editions of books.

*The founder and webmaster of this website (Media Man Australia), Greg Tingle, would like to publicity thank John Laws for his support and encouragement.

For more information, visit , which was launched in March 2003.

Credit and thanks to Southern Cross Broadcasting and 2UE for the above profile on John Laws.

Listen to Lawsie and Tingle's go one on one

7th September 2000

31st July 2002

20th February 2003


Media Man Australia does not represent John Laws or any 2UE announcers