Lords of the rings

Roy and H.G. have shed Chan­nel 7 for Triple J Olympic heaven

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Front Page - GREG THOM

IT WOULDN’T be the Olympics with­out Roy and H.G. The pair that dared to dream dur­ing Syd­ney 2000 with their top-rat­ing late-night TV show The Dream and fol­lowed up with sim­i­lar ef­forts at the Salt Lake City Win­ter Games and Athens in 2004, will turn their take-no-pris­on­ers blow­torch on Bei­jing.

This time, how­ever, Aus­tralia’s most un­usual sports-com­men­tary duo will be peer­ing through the bam­boo cur­tain on the ra­dio.

Chan­nel 7’s de­ci­sion to de­cline the pair’s ser­vices means Triple J ra­dio lis­ten­ers are the big win­ners.

The Golden Ring Show fea­tur­ing Ram­pag­ing Roy ‘‘Crouch­ing Tiger’’ Slaven and H.G. ‘‘Hid­den Dragon’’ Nelson kicks off on Sun­day at 2pm ‘‘live’’ from the Mon­go­lian Club in the For­bid­den City.

Though dis­ap­pointed at Seven’s de­ci­sion to leave them be­hind, Nelson’s al­ter ego Greig Pick­haver says he is en­thu­si­as­tic about the ap­proach­ing ex­trav­a­ganza of sport.

‘‘We knew Seven didn’t want us, but of course we would have loved to have done it,’’ he says.

‘‘But fall­ing back on to Triple J isn’t a bad re­sult for us nec­es­sar­ily, be­cause we get a toe in the wa­ter, have fun with more of the events and there are go­ing to be up­dates and in­ter­views and previews.’’

Ex­actly what Chi­nese of­fi­cial­dom would have made of the an­tics of Roy (John Doyle) and H.G. had they made it to the land of pan­das, long marches and bar­be­cued pork, though, is any­body’s guess.

Af­ter all, this is the pair who in­tro­duced the world to Fatso the Wom­bat and en­sured the term ‘‘bat­tered sav’’ and gym­nas­tics are in­sep­a­ra­ble in the pub­lic mind.

H.G. is also the only com­men­ta­tor whose use of the phrase ‘‘up­date’’ pro­duces in­stant snig­ger­ing.

Pick­haver says The Golden Ring Show will not be a pale im­i­ta­tion of their pre­vi­ous Olympic tilts on the box.

‘‘It’s un­fair to say it’s go­ing to be a ra­dio ver­sion of the TV show, but it’s hard to know what’s go­ing to un­fold,’’ he says. ‘‘The big is­sues ob­vi­ously we will seize on and could spend half an hour on that.’’

Pick­haver says Bei­jing’s Aus­tralia-friendly time zone means the team can de­liver its unique take on events in real time, as op­posed to the late-night af­ter-ac­tion re­ports of pre­vi­ous Olympics.

‘‘So you can ac­tu­ally watch things on TV as we talk about it,’’ he says.

H.G. couldn’t re­sist hav­ing a spray at some of the sports lin­ing up for a crack at gold.

‘‘This de­sire to at­tract a younger au­di­ence by in­clud­ing BMX bike rid­ing and stuff just seems to be re­ally try-hard,’’ Nelson says.

‘‘They should de­cide to have (video)gam­ing, like a gold (medal) in Grand Theft Auto. I can see Roy and me get­ting that to­gether, es­pe­cially in the pairs.’’

Nelson feels Aussie rules foot­ball’s place in the Olympic sun is at hand.

‘‘What would worry me, though, is we couldn’t con­fi­dently go in think­ing we’d get gold. Never mind what Kevin Sheedy says. I think Aus­tralia’s No.1 sta­tus in AFL is re­ally sus­pect.’’

He pre­dicts the con­se­quences of fail­ing to mount the dais in No.1 spot af­ter AFL Olympic com­pe­ti­tion would be dire.

‘‘Could you imag­ine the chat­ter on 3AW if that hap­pened,’’ H.G. says.

‘‘You wouldn’t hear the end of it. Would it be the se­lec­tors to blame? Would you have to go back to ba­sics with the coach­ing?’’

Gold med­dling:

Roy Slaven (left) and H.G. Nelson will run their Olympic Chi­nese take­away from Triple J.

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