||This article possibly contains original research. (April 2017) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
The Coodabeen Champions (often referred to as "The Coodabeens") are an Australian comedy team with two programs currently broadcast on ABC Radio. These programs are the Coodabeens Footy Show (Saturdays between 10.00 am - 12.00 pm) on 774 ABC Melbourne, ABC Victoria and ABC Tasmania and, in the non-AFL season, a national Saturday evening variety program called The Saturday Soiree on ABC Local Radio. The Coodabeen Champions also broadcast live from major Victorian sporting events such as The Melbourne Cup, the AFL Grand Final and the Boxing Day Test. The Coodabeens have been a feature on Melbourne radio for 35 years. The Coodabeen Champions producer is Andy "Young Andy" Bellairs.
Coodabeens Footy Show
The program began in 1981 on 3RRR and has twice moved to 3AW. It is now broadcast primarily on 774 ABC Melbourne and ABC Victoria. It is mainly focused on Australian rules football, with the Coodabeens discussing current sports events and news in a humorous manner, also interviewing numerous retired football players and commentators. Its current members are Jeff Richardson, Ian Cover, Greg Champion, "Torch" McGee and Billy Baxter. Former members of the group include Tony Leonard and Simon Whelan (now a Judge of the Supreme Court of Victoria).
The show includes various regular segments, including:
- Covie's Quiz: a football-related quiz run by Ian Cover.
- Guru Bob: a fictional Guru - he has belonged to various religions - who claims to relate advice to Australian Football League players and coaches who "visit the temple", often giving them comical spins on well-known philosophical quotes as this advice. He is described as the Coodabeens' Special Adviser on Football Spirituality and has released numerous books of football quotes. For example, "It says in The Bible, Book of Shane 3:11: 'It is harder to win a Premiership, than it is to put a needle into the eye of a camel'."
- Greg's Songs: Greg Champion, a singer-songwriter, performs parodies of popular songs and relates them to Australian rules footballers. Most of the lyrics are contributed by listeners
- Bush Footy: regional Australian football stories are told through interviews with country footy identities.
- Gardiner Medallist: In 2011, each week, the Coodabeens talked to a winner of the VFL/AFL reserves league best and fairest award (not awarded after 1999), the Gardiner Medal.
- Torch's Footy Talkback: a fictional talk radio segment, with callers phoning in with various football questions, rumours or thoughts, often in the form of humorous and subtle attacks against football personalities. Regular talkback callers include: Lance from Lara, Wayne from Wantirna, Donnie from Devonport, Peter from Peterborough, Danny from Droop Street (Footscray), Hans from Hahndorf, Barrie from the Barossa Valley, Stan from Stradbroke Island, Cayden from Caroline Springs, Hayden from Hawthorn, Nige from Nth Fitzroy and Pearl from the Peninsula among others. Former talkback callers include: Massive Merv from Moorabbin, Digger and Tiny Timmy from Thomastown.
- Sam the Sub: A new segment in 2011 where the Coodabeens take a call from the offices of fictional football publication 'Outside Football' to get the headlines for the day's newspaper. Sam mainly uses alliteration to provide some funny take on a current football issue.
In previous years, the Coodabeen Champions Footy Show has also featured segments such as 'One-game wonders'; where each week, the Coodabeens track down a former footballer who played one game of VFL/AFL football and 'Oh brother!'; where the Coodabeens speak each week to the brother of a former AFL/VFL star who also played at the highest level.
- Sunday nights: This program ran 12 months of the year and was on air between 6:30pm and 9:00pm each Sunday. The program was discontinued in 2008. A number of this program's elements were incorporated in the Coodabeens' Saturday Soiree program. These included Magic Moments, Greg's songs and live music guests
- The Idlers: Saturday night program that concentrated on Australian travel and leisure topics. The program initially ran from 8:00pm until 10:00pm on Saturday evenings in the non-AFL season and then from 6:30pm to 8:00pm on Saturday evenings. This program made way for the Saturday Soiree in 2008.
In 2003, the Coodabeen Champions were inducted into the MCG Media Hall of Fame