triple j presenters are often a pretty multi-talented bunch, not just taking to the airwaves to curate our radio playlists, but continuing to pop up in front of the camera or behind the decks to spread their music knowledge far and wide.
Case in point: a heap of our favourite triple j tastemakers have jumped on board Newtown’s newest weekly party, WYD? Wednesdays at the Marly Bar, with each night featuring DJ sets from some of triple j’s best, including KLP, Linda Marigliano, Luen Jacobs, FlexMami and Shantan Wantan Ichiban.
Not only that, but triple j favourites like Thundamentals and Luke Million have already played headline DJ sets there too, and there are more big names on the way over the next couple of months like Melbourne’s favourite party starters, Northeast Party House. Better yet, it’s completely free entry and the drinks are cheap, making it a perfect mid-weeknight out.
With so many JJJ presenters warming up the dancefloor, we got thinking about the long list of other triple j hosts who’ve played a big part in curating the soundtrack of Australia over the course of decades, and who still stick in our memory years on, so we’ve put together a list of some of our absolute favourites, and why.
In order to avoid offending any current employees of triple j, we’ve stipulated that you need to be retired from the station in order to be included among these ranks – although the station currently has some cracking presenters, from Roots and All host and Saskwatch frontwomen Nkechi Anele, to the multi-instrumental music whiz Tim Shiel and hip hop vault Hau Latukefu.
Even when narrowing our list down to former voices, however, the station has 43 years of broadcasting under its belt, meaning we’re sure to have missed many great presenters – so let us know in the comments which triple j legends deserve to be in part two.
Helen Razer & Mikey Robins
Throughout the early ’90s, Helen Razer and Mikey Robbins were the whip-smart, sarcastic breakfast team on triple j – with Razor starting at the station in 1990, and Robbins joining two years later. Razer’s take-no-prisoner’s approach, delivered in her verbose manner saw her attract more than her fair share of barbs; she was also perfectly at home with the brilliantly dry Judith Lucy, co-hosting the Ladies Lounge program in the afternoons. In 2015, Helen and Mikey teamed up once again for a special to celebrate forty years of triple j – joined by their oft-partner The Sandman.
Zan’s warm nature, and infectious love of music made her a long-time triple j fave; the best voice to ease listeners into the weekday. Although she often hosted alone, her friendship and double act with triple j’s resident scientist Dr. Karl was a highlight of the station’s programming for years. Rowe recently left triple j, graduating to the more mature double j, as well as launching her own ‘Bang On’ podcast with much-loved former Lunch presenter Myf Warhurst.
When The Sandman joined triple j in 1993 as a daily provider of odd musings and tales of the downtrodden, he had already spent a decade touring in the Castanet Club, a twelve-piece comedy band with fellow triple j presenters Mikey Robbins. His insanely-popular radio serial 204 Bell St. ran on triple j until 2000, spinning off into numerous hit books, records, and stand-up shows, making The Sandman one of the most successful, singular presenters the station ever had.
While John Safran was initially known for his immersive and outlandish documentary work on TV, it was his addition to the triple j roster that made him a household name. Famed for his Sunday Night Safran program in which he was teamed up with Father Bob Maguire, Safran’s cheeky humour was a huge hit with the station, with a style that jives with how the station felt back in the ’90s.
Adam Spencer & Wil Anderson
Adam Spencer & Wil Anderson were undoubtedly two of the most beloved presenters on triple j, thanks to their equally highbrow and lowbrow sense of humour. Famous for their highly irreverent nature and their legendary ability to improvise, the duo can’t be spoken about without their legendary attempt to troll the Hottest 100 being mentioned.
Considering that Frenzal Rhomb were once banned from the triple j playlist, Lindsay McDougall did well to weave himself into the station’s tapestry over many years. Initially hired as a double act with his Frenzal bandmate Jason Whalley, the duo filled in various late night shifts, with their off-kilter humour soon seeing them promoted to the Breakfast shift in 2005. By 2007, Jay had left, and by 2009 The Doctor had moved to Drive where he stayed until retiring from the air in 2014 – after ten years of service. Fittingly, he announced this with a song titled ‘I’m Fucking Off’.
Nina Las Vegas
Back in 2004 when Nina Las Vegas started at triple j, dance music was nowhere near the dominant genre it is today. Through the House Party show — which she hosted from 2009 — she helped build the genre’s reputation, and launched the careers of numerous local and international artists, work she has continued since leaving the station in 2015, through her own record label – NLV Records.
Okay, we’re stretching the rules a little bit here, considering Dyson is currently back on air hosting Lunch at the moment, but given he is just filling in at the moment, he counts! Dyson started his radio career as one half of the Tom and Alex duo (with Tom Ballard) at community radio station 3WAYFM, before impressing programming director Chris Scaddan with a stand-up set and locking in mid-dawn shifts at triple j. From there the pair moved to weekends, before taking over the breakfast show in 2010. When Ballard left in 2014, Matt Okine joined Dyson on air – luckily the pair shared a similar easy chemistry to that of Tom and Alex, and a second successful on-air team was born.
One of Australia’s favourite TV and radio personalities, Myf started as editor of street press Inpress, before hosting bi-weekly segments for Merrick and Rosso’s Drive show in 2000, which saw her profile soar. In 2002, Warhurst started hosting the Saturday night request show The Net 50, before moving to Lunch the following year. In 2007 she joined Jay and the Doctor on Breakfast, before leaving the station for commercial radio later that year.
Having first joined triple j in the late ’90s, Robbie Buck became a favourite of listeners thanks to his laid back presenting style, and versatility. Famed for the moment when he played the wrong Led Zeppelin song in a Hottest 100 Of All Time countdown, Buck stuck around with the station until 2009, but not before spending two years on the Breakfast shift with Marieke Hardy and Lindsay McDougall.
triple j hosts and expert selectors Linda Marigliano, KLP, Luen Jacobs, FlexMami and Shantan Wantan Ichiban will be getting the dancefloor moving every Wednesday night at Newtown party hub the Marly Bar, along with the biggest dance floor fillers like Thundamentals DJs, Luke Million and more. Better yet, it’s free, so head to The WYD Facebook page to check it out!