Radio veteran John Laws in hospital awaiting procedure

Staff Writer

85-year-old radio veteran John Laws is in hospital with an infection and will undergo a procedure.

The news emerged this morning on Ben Fordham’s 2GB Breakfast show.

Fordham said he had known of Laws’ condition since the weekend, however had been asked to keep the news quiet.

In the wake of the death of John Brennan, however, journalists have been chasing Laws for comment, prompting the broadcaster to reveal his predicament.

Laws’ program goes to air 9am to 12pm on weekdays on 2SM, which refers to him as the “undisputed King of Talkback Radio”.

On his program this morning, Fordham sent his best wishes to the industry stalwart.

“Get well soon Lawsie, before you know it you’ll be back on your feet, hooning around Sydney, and sitting down to a Wild Turkey or two. Take your time with your recovery, rest up, and get well soon.” he said.

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Old Journo
17 Mar 2021 - 2:10 pm

Best wishes to Lawsie – the “undisputed King of Talkback Radio”.

Laws without doubt, from the late 1960’s on 2UW mornings put a stamp of his version of talk radio that not only crowned him as ‘best in the world’ at New York Radio Awards, but, everyone here wanted to emulate Laws’ style. No one could of course. Without doubt he is the King of Talk radio in Australia. He took his number 1 audience across to four Sydney station moves. Some of Laws’ innovations/style are still being emulated (poorly) by Hadley on 2GB.

He may well be in his golden years, behind the gold microphone, but no-one should forget or diminish the role he has played in Australian radio since the 1950’s.

Get well champ!

Marcus Paul Fan
17 Mar 2021 - 3:38 pm


Marcus Paul has been pulling 6 hour shifts on air for ages now, and has been keeping listeners up to date with John’s condition, yet 2GB and Ben Fordham are front and centre of this story. Must have been a copy and paste from the newspaper.

A little respect to 2SM wouldn’t go amiss here…

Miriam Martinez
18 Mar 2021 - 8:03 am

Dear JOHN get well soon
Miss you

Maya W.
18 Mar 2021 - 9:20 am

@Marcus Paul Fan … you do know Ben’s father was Lawsie’s long-time manager, right? Fordham is a much more high profile and respected broadcaster than Marcus Paul, thus why media outlets mostly ran with his comments rather than Marcus’. It’s really got nothing to do with disrespecting 2SM, it’s all to do with relevance.

Also, I thought it lacked a lot of class how Marcus Paul attacked Fordham on Facebook yesterday. Marcus was having a man-tantrum about Fordham’s comments on Lawsie getting picked up by the media … grow up, mate.

Michael Rosenow
19 Mar 2021 - 9:09 am

Rest up and take care “GOD” !!! All the best for your recovery…

Marcus Paul
20 Mar 2021 - 3:51 pm

@MayaW . You completly missed the point of our post. Its not that Fordham gave his best wishes at all.
We are becoming increasingly frustrated at our content being ignored by the other press. For instance we often run interviews early on breakfast … The same story and interview subject appears later on 2GB and they ALWAYS get credited.
Of course with this pattern at play Ben and GB will always as you say be more relevant. Be assured though that i will always fight for my content to be acknowledged too … Otherwise what the hell are we running a news and talj format for?
As for your other opinion, well thats coming from your own perspective. I dont know who you are or what you do … but at 2SM I pull a 6 sometimes 7 hour talk shift with big interviews and dozens of callers with just 1 producer and do my own writing and research.
So excuse me if I occasionally show a little frustration when I feel our efgorts are not being accorded the respect you speak of.
Marcus Paul

Old Journo
23 Mar 2021 - 2:56 pm

@Marcus Paul – you raise a very good question in your response: ….’what the hell are we running a news and talj (talk?)format for?’

Also, you acknowledge the earlier post as ‘Marcus Paul Fan’ was from you or someone associated.

Relevance is the key indicator here. Fordham is number 1 overall in Sydney breakfast with a 18.1 share and a cume of 469. How do I know that? They’re from GFK survey 1/21.

2SM do not pay for ratings inclusion, you don’t rate. Therefore you’re not relevant.

So, stop whinging about a lack of attention, the long shifts, own writing/research – that’s what regional radio is all about, which is the market you serve for the network.

Your long-time predecessor, the late Grant Goldman was a formidable, gifted and talented professional broadcaster. He enjoyed entertaining and informing his audience every morning for many years and not once did whinge about relevance, like you.

Marcus Paul
24 Mar 2021 - 2:02 pm

Ok @Oldjourno … Again whats with the personal stuff. I have no idea who made the initial comment but considering my considerable reach on social media and my show it might surprise you to learn 2SM does have supporters
Im not whinging at all. Simply pointing out that i value what i do – even though quite obviously you dont.
Are you suggesting that because my network owner refuses to go into the CRA surveys that my show is irrelevant?
If so then shame on you … The show im covering (Laws) is hardly a regional only show, and your attitude is clearly proving my point.
Im not suggesting Bens credentials or the survey stats at all … What im saying is our work should be just as valued as 2GBs.
Regarding your bringing up Grant well I do a completly different program that is far more news heavy with more political content and interviews. I dont know maybe im hungrier than he was … Anyway despite your derision I will continue to chip away and gain credibility while you can stick to the ‘old ways’ of believing 2GB is the be all and end all of talk radio in Sydney. Its simply not. Say hi to your mate Ben for me and make sure you pass on my congratulations for the great job hes doing

Old Journo
25 Mar 2021 - 1:55 pm


1. @MayaW . You completly missed the point of our post.

2. …”I have no idea who made the initial comment…”

I’ve never met nor talked with Ben Fordham – I can, however read survey stats.

You’ve hijacked a story about an Australian radio legend. You’ve also denigrated your predecessor.

I suggest you stop embarrassing yourself now.


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