James Valentine (journalist)

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James Valentine
James Matthew Valentine

c. 1962
Ballarat, Victoria, Australia
OccupationJournalist, musician, radio and TV presenter, writer
Years active1980-present

James Matthew Valentine (born c. 1962, Ballarat) is an Australian journalist, musician, and radio and television presenter. As a saxophonist he was a member of Jo Jo Zep (1982), Models (1984–87) and Absent Friends (1989–90).


James Matthew Valentine was born in about 1962 in Ballarat.[1] His father was a car salesman and his mother taught elocution and was a part-time radio announcer. He has two older brothers.[1] He attended Ballarat Grammar School where he learned saxophone, he described his performances in the local area, "a really bad jazz rock fusion gig."[2] In the early 1980s Valentine relocated to Melbourne to attend university, he later recalled "First year I spent studying, and then I started getting gigs, and I didn't pay much attention to uni after that because I wanted to be a jazz musician."[3]

Musical collaborations[edit]

In 1982 James Valentine joined Joe Camilleri's group, Jo Jo Zep.[4][5]

Valentine, on saxophone, and Kate Ceberano (of I'm Talking), on lead vocals, were members of Diana Boss and the Extremes, a covers band which performed The Supremes material.[3] Other members included James Freud (of Models) on bass guitar, Barton Price (also of Models) on drums and Zan Abeyratne (of I'm Talking, with Ceberano) on co-lead vocals.[6] He described his experience, "The rhythm section of that band was The Models. When that finished, they asked me to go on tour with them and then I never left. All of a sudden I was in this pop band wearing black leather jackets."[3]

Valentine joined Models in late 1984, when they relocated to Sydney and he played saxophone with them until 1987, the group broke up in June of the following year.[5][7][8] As a member of Models he appears on their studio albums, Out of Mind, Out of Sight (September 1985) and Models' Media (October 1986).[5][7]

Valentine joined Absent Friends on saxophone and clarinet in 1989, they recorded a lone album, Here's Looking Up Your Address (April 1990).[9] He also worked for Wendy Matthews (ex-Models, Absent Friends) on her debut solo album, Émigré (November 1990).

Radio and TV presenter[edit]

Valentine has been a music and TV journalist and radio and TV presenter. He was the host of The Afternoon Show on ABC TV, children's afternoon TV series, from February 1987 until 1990. He continued at the ABC as a presenter of TV TV.[3] As a radio presenter he worked on 666 ABC Canberra and currently presents an afternoon show on 702 ABC Sydney. Valentine wrote and presented comedy sketches on air for the ABC's Humour Australia website.[10]


Valentine is also the author of a series of books for teenage boys, beginning with the sci-fi novel JumpMan.

As of January 2010 Valentine narrates the Australian version of Come Dine With Me.


  • McFarlane, Ian (1999). "Whammo Homepage". Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop. St Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1-86508-072-1. Archived from the original on 5 April 2004. Retrieved 11 June 2015. Note: Archived [on-line] copy has limited functionality.
  1. ^ a b Javes, Sue (20 July 2004). "Valentine's day". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 11 June 2015.
  2. ^ Rollason, Bridgit (17 July 2013). "A Valentine for the Exhumed". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 11 June 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d Shanahan, Brendan; Throsby, Corin (21 February 1997). "Flipside: Be My Valentine". Woroni. Canberra, ACT: National Library of Australia. p. 42. Retrieved 11 June 2015.
  4. ^ McFarlane, 'Jo Jo Zep and the Falcons' entry. Archived from the original on 13 August 2004. Retrieved 11 June 2015.
  5. ^ a b c James Valentine at Australian Rock Database:
    • Jo Jo Zep (1982): Holmgren, Magnus; Baird, Paul. "Joe Camilleri aka Joey Vincent aka Jo Jo Zep". passagen.se. Australian Rock Database (Magnus Holmgren). Archived from the original on 22 October 2013. Retrieved 11 June 2015.
    • Models (1984–87): Holmgren, Magnus; Baird, Paul; Aubrey, Ross; Acosta, Lisa. "The Models". passagen.se. Australian Rock Database (Magnus Holmgren). Archived from the original on 12 June 2012. Retrieved 11 June 2015.
    • Absent Friends (1989–90): Holmgren, Magnus; Francois, Ron. "Absent Friends". passagen.se. Australian Rock Database (Magnus Holmgren). Archived from the original on 29 October 2008. Retrieved 11 June 2015.
  6. ^ Warren, Rachel (18 July 1985). "Models proving that opposites equal". The Canberra Times. ACT: National Library of Australia. p. 15. Retrieved 11 June 2015.
  7. ^ a b McFarlane, 'Models' entry. Archived from the original on 4 June 2004. Retrieved 11 June 2015.
  8. ^ "Models band members (archive copy)". Angelfire.com. Archived from the original on 1 September 1999. Retrieved 11 June 2015.
  9. ^ McFarlane, 'Absent Friends' entry. Archived from the original on 3 August 2004. Retrieved 11 June 2015.
  10. ^ "Humour Australia History". Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). Archived from the original on 29 May 2013. Retrieved 11 June 2015.

External links[edit]