James Valentine tickles Shoalhaven's funny bone

NIGHT OF FUN: James Valentine is one of Australia’s most loved radio presenters and in a long and eclectic career has worked as a journalist, author and musician.
NIGHT OF FUN: James Valentine is one of Australia’s most loved radio presenters and in a long and eclectic career has worked as a journalist, author and musician.

There’s definitely an afternoon theme running through James Valentine’s career. 

He started out on ABC TV hosting The Afternoon Show in the ‘80s and has come full circle, now hosting the popular and very interesting Afternoons with James Valentine on ABC radio. 

As a youngster I spent so many afternoons watching him introduce my favourite TV shows and playing saxophone that when we spoke on the phone for this interview, it actually felt like talking to an old friend. 

So, is he a morning person or an afternoon person?

“I think as I have grown older I have become more of a morning person. When I was a muso based in Melbourne I would be up all night and get to bed about 5am after being wicked all night so I had a nocturnal lifestyle,” he said. 

“When I was doing breakfast radio I would be up by 3am, so the complete opposite. Nowdays I feel a bit unclean if I sleep in.

Music and media have been the two great passions in his life.

He has played saxophone with Jo Jo Zep, Wendy Matthews and the Models. 

When James was interviewed back in 1997, his one rule was that he never let the ABC dress him. Since his return to the national broadcaster, I wondered if anything had changed.  

“I did actually wander down to the wardrobe department not that long ago to see if they had anything for me recently and they offered me Kerry O’Brien’s old suits… so that rule still applies.

In that same interview in the ‘90s, he admitted that he was not that good live. 

“Well, that’s something that’s changed. I am actually excellent live now,” he said with a laugh. It’s taken me a long time to figure out how to be comofortable on stage. I’m finally embracing it. 

“As a musician I tend to think if I practice long enough I’ll eventually get better and I have. 

His show at the Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre promises to be a great night out. 

“If you know my radio show, you’ll know what the show is going to be about. If you don’t know my show, come along and be entertained. It’s the best of 20 years  – the cream of my career. 

Afternoon Tonight! With James Valentine will be on at the Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre on Saturday, March 3 at 8pm.

Expect live versions of such legendary segments as This Is What I Live With, Ex, The New Normal and Petty Crime Stoppers…they’ll all be there. Who knows, maybe he’ll even attempt…Nothing.

You’ll laugh, you’ll crack up and you’ll have something to talk about all weekend!