GO & A

GQ (Australia) - - SOURCE -

Gaffes, to dip into the dom­i­nant par­lance of the blokey arena in which Ed­ward Joseph Mcguire lives, there’s been a few. It’s a word that soft­ens the sen­ti­ment of his ver­bal me­an­der­ings – and of­ten in­ap­pro­pri­ate and de­plorable ut­ter­ances – that have come to frame the 51-year-old, di­vid­ing opin­ion as to what he’s about. At the time of print, days af­ter we lis­tened to the Collingwood AFL club pres­i­dent, gameshow host and Mel­bourne broad­caster’s hon­est re­morse at the Adam Goodes ‘gaffe’ (that word again), Mcguire’s part­ing judge­ment over a re­mark in which he joked about the drown­ing of sports jour­nal­ist Caro­line Wil­son. He apol­o­gised, even­tu­ally. Wil­son ac­cepted, though the coun­try was again split – sup­port­ers wail­ing against ‘fake out­rage’; de­trac­tors point­ing to the sex­ist vi­o­lence at­tached to his words. Here, we at­tempt to un­der­stand where the bil­ious blus­ter ends and the man be­gins.

GQ: Is it fair to say you came from lit­tle, that early life in Broad­mead­ows was pretty tough? Eddie Mcguire:

That’s fair, though I had a dif­fer­ent at­ti­tude. [My par­ents] came out af­ter the war; Dad was lit­er­ally down the Scot­tish coal mines from the age of 12 and Mum lived on a farm with a well in the mid­dle of Ire­land... But the mind­set of the house was all about ed­u­ca­tion, about play­ing sport, and what­ever else we were do­ing, and al­ways do­ing it as well as you could.

GQ: So you didn’t go with­out? EM:

You just knew that Mum and Dad would do what­ever it took – driv­ing to ev­ery game and prac­tice, they did that... It was a fi­bro com­mis­sion house in Broady, but the home was every­thing you’d want; I couldn’t have had a bet­ter up­bring­ing. And, to un­der­line that, the edge of some­times not hav­ing every­thing was good, too – it made you hun­gry and taught you the value of things.

GQ: Did it in­stil in you an early want to achieve? EM:

In a lot of ways it in­stilled, sub­lim­i­nally, a de­ter­mi­na­tion to get be­yond that in some way, shape and form. Ed­u­ca­tion and the chance Aus­tralia gave were al­ways spo­ken about in the house. It was fore­most in my mind that Mum and Dad had sac­ri­ficed every­thing; they’d come with lit­er­ally five pounds and two suit­cases... It was a hard strug­gle for them, but they got tremen­dous joy from our suc­cess, so you wanted to give them as much joy as you pos­si­bly could.

GQ: At 17, you se­cured a cadet­ship with Chan­nel Ten. Back then, news­rooms were built on a ‘work hard, play hard’ ethic. Was that your ex­pe­ri­ence – a lot of drink­ing and shenani­gans? EM: GQ: Did you fly close to the sun – it’s been re­ported you were nearly sacked for play­ing a lit­tle too hard in those early years?

It was all that...

EM:

That’s bull­shit. Ab­so­lute bull­shit.

GQ: And there was never any dab­bling be­yond the booze – no gear or cheeky joints? EM:

I don’t even have to say I didn’t in­hale. I’ve never had one, never had a drug in my life – I was silly enough on the grog. I’ll ad­mit that there was al­ways a sense of good fun, but I’d al­ways been smart enough, and al­ways had in my mind, to never, ever get into drugs. I saw what it did to peo­ple out in Broady, so we’d get on the grog – too much at times.

GQ: You moved to Nine in the early ’90s, and a then new TV of­fer­ing called The AFL Footy Show – was the cen­tral ap­peal here the shiny floor of show busi­ness? EM:

To­tally, ab­so­lutely. It was sport and it was the show that I’d dreamt of host­ing all my life with­out ever know­ing I was dream­ing of host­ing a TV show. It had the com­bi­na­tion of every­thing that I thought was great about show busi­ness – break­ing sto­ries, laugh­ter, mate­ship and other peo­ple bring­ing things to the ta­ble. On that first show we dropped in the [’70s va­ri­ety show] Don Lane theme song when I walked out, as an homage – that’s what we were think­ing; we weren’t think­ing we were do­ing a sports show, it was va­ri­ety and gags and by the first break I knew it was fizzing, you could see it.

GQ: Cut to now Ed and many would say that The Footy Show’s fiz­zled – that it should be put out to pas­ture. Thoughts? EM:

It may be [staid] for peo­ple who’ve watched it for 22 years, but it’s still win­ning its younger demos, the 16-34s. It’s No.1 on a Thurs­day night. What it shows me is that live TV is more rel­e­vant than ever; I feel peo­ple want to see that live, parish­pump as­pect – that’s why it will con­tinue to do well, as it’s about what hap­pens [in Mel­bourne], and SA and Perth, who don’t get a look in else­where.

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