Kevin, Jane and the radio segment that was pure Magic


Radio, as we know, is all about human connection.

And as Jane Holmes reveals, that certainly came to the fore during a weekly cooking segment in the days when she co-hosted Breakfast with Kevin John on Melbourne’s Magic 1278.

I caught up with Jane on the Food Bytes podcast, just a few days after she finished full-time on-air duties at 3AW.

We reminisced about her much loved former Magic on-air partner and talked about their special segment called Kevin and Jane’s Kitchen.

“It sounds so naff, but it was so wonderful, because we’d have the listeners ringing up each week and they would share their recipes,” Jane says.

“When tomato season came in, for instance, they’d ring in with recipes for tomato chutney, how to grow tomatoes, what to do with your tomatoes.”

Jane says it was wonderful to see all the different cultures coming together.

“You realise that there are a lot of people who love passing their recipes on, and they were passing them onto us.”

“That’s almost better than getting them out of a cookbook, because these recipes have come down through generations.”

Jane says she would diligently transcribe the recipes off-air, then they’d go up on the station website.

“And tips! People would ring up with barbecue tips live!” Jane remembers. “Such as – instead of using a metal skewer and sticking it into your shaslick or whatever, use a stick of lemongrass.”

“We were blessed to share things like that. And every week, there was no shortage of calls.”

Makes you wonder how a segment like that might fly today.

“They’re the things that make you realise what radio is all about – reaching out and connecting with people’s lives and things that are precious to them and passing that on,” says Jane.

“We were able to do that. It was absolutely super.”

Jane says it just goes to show that radio – and food – is at the heart of people’s families.

“I wish I’d written a book (of recipes) from Kevin and Jane’s Kitchen. Because they’re the treasures.”

It’s now more than three years since Kevin John passed away at the age of 66.

Jane says it’s still hard to believe he’s no longer with us.

“It still just sits so sadly to hear ‘the late’ Kevin John,” says Jane. “But he’s always with us.”

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