THE BIG ASK STU­ART MACGILL Stu­art MacGill Un­corked

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Out Of The Box - ERIN McWHIRTER

SPIN bowler-turned TV host Stu­art MacGill was stumped when nom­i­nated for this year’s Lo­gie for Most Pop­u­lar New Male Tal­ent. Al­though his wife Rachel Friend had bagged the Pop­u­lar Ac­tress award for her role in Neigh­bours 18 years ago, it felt bizarre to MacGill to be up against the likes of Home and Away spunk Lin­coln Lewis. Fol­low­ing his re­tire­ment from Test cricket, an in­jured MacGill launches a sec­ond se­ries of the pro­gram that led to his Lo­gie nom­i­na­tion— Stu­art MacGill Un­corked. How did it feel to be nom­i­nated for a Lo­gie? I think peo­ple worked out that it was kind of stupid to give a grey­ing older guy best new­comer! I am not sure how it hap­pened be­cause we’re on pay-TV and the free-to-air chan­nels have the cov­er­age ad­van­tage over me and I was sur­prised to get the nom­i­na­tion. But I am very, very pleased that peo­ple are en­joy­ing the show. What’s your re­ac­tion to view­ers call­ing you a wine con­nois­seur? I would cringe at be­ing called an ex­pert be­cause I am not that at all. I think I am tak­ing ad­van­tage of the fact that I have a bit of a thick skin so I ask the stupid ques­tions that we all want an­swered about wine. Lots of th­ese ques­tions I have asked be­fore dur­ing my win­ery trav­els and for­get the an­swers. So I hope the pro­gram’s in­for­ma­tive and I am de­mys­ti­fy­ing this whole thing, the lingo and just say­ing it in nor­mal terms. What can view­ers ex­pect from this se­ries? This is in­tro­duc­ing wine­mak­ers from all over the coun­try and show­ing that they are not bow tie-wear­ing freaks, they are nor­mal down-to-earth peo­ple who in a lot of cases are farm­ers. It seems funny that just be­cause they grow grapes peo­ple be­lieve they are more high and mighty then us. That’s strange be­cause they aren’t like that at all. What have you dis­cov­ered about wine­mak­ers while film­ing the se­ries? It just brings home that th­ese guys work re­ally hard, long hours and op­er­ate heavy ma­chin­ery. It’s a pretty tough en­vi­ron­ment to be work­ing in and it’s a com­pet­i­tive mar­ket be­cause there are loads of pro­duc­ers with an in­ter­na­tional pro­file. Where does your wine ap­pre­ci­a­tion come from? In a stupid way it came about be­cause I didn’t drink beer and didn’t have my first beer un­til I was 30. I love that you have wine with friends, with mu­sic and with food. You con­sume it quite of­ten in a nice en­vi­ron­ment, you rarely do it in a freez­ing cold room with no chairs. It’s done with mates in a pleas­ant en­vi­ron­ment and just has a good vibe which makes you feel wel­come. How does play­ing a Test in front of thou­sands com­pare to host­ing a TV se­ries? In the se­ries it’s just me, the cam­era and the cam­era guy, but when you are play­ing a sport you feel the num­bers watch­ing you. If you are play­ing against In­dia like th­ese guys (the Aus­tralian cricket team) have done re­cently, there could be a bil­lion peo­ple watch­ing you. It’s pres­sure. Do you wish you were on tour with the Aus­tralian cricket team at the mo­ment? I am feel­ing ex­tremely jeal­ous. I would love to be in In­dia and play­ing. They have been cop­ping a bit of flak but for two of th­ese guys they are play­ing their first Test and it’s the most ex­cit­ing thing ever. We should be cel­e­brat­ing that. In the en­tire his­tory of Aus­tralian Test cricket just over 400 peo­ple have played and th­ese guys are in a se­lect group.

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