MODESTY TO MATCH THAT SEXINESS
PRACTISING martial arts has made Graeme Richards more appreciative of how his body works. Being an Expresso presenter, a film and TV actor as well as frequently gracing SA’s sexiest man lists has made him grateful. He took time out of his schedule to take us through his personal style. Yours is one of the first faces most people wake up to. How has presenting Expresso been? Life changing, to say the least. I have formed an incredible bond with the presenters and crew. I have been able to throw myself into the most amazing experiences and have the opportunity to be a positive influence on both individuals and South Africa as a nation; what a privilege. I certainly don’t take a second of it for granted. Which interviewee has impressed you the most in your 20-year career? The individual who has made the greatest impact was Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu. I was lucky enough to interview him and his daughter and thought it would be a stroke of genius to bring my mother, who lives by a very similar ethos of love and compassion, with me and turn it into a family affair. He ended up missing a flight and spent hours regaling us with incredible stories and insights. When he quietly took her aside to tell her that she had raised a wonderful son and man… probably the proudest moment of both our lives. Which celebrity’s closet would you like to raid? David Beckham. Tell us about a fashion faux you experienced? At age 19, my first really big gig on TV was being part of the very new and groundbreaking, for SA certainly, SABC1 Simunye continuity team. Arriving for our first ever promo shoot, very nervous, pasty white and completely inhibited and intimidated amongst all the bona fide celebrities, I patiently watched as everyone was given outfits in which we would be grooving to the still ridiculous Barbie Girl song.
I saw tuxedos, sporty and ultra trendy gear leave the rail until I had to step up to retrieve what looked like a 10cm square of Lycra, a hat I assumed... I was wrong. And my first ever appearance in front of millions of people dancing in a pair of bright red hot pants followed shortly. All I can say is thank goodness my scene also involved a giant beach ball. You’ve received a few style awards and been nominated as SA’s sexiest man for a couple of times now. How do you define sexy?
My style is masculine, simple and classic and more often than not hugely influenced by the brilliant stylist I had at my side at the time. I think sexy has something to do with being comfortable in your own skin and obviously having a strong sense of physical-self, maybe even an energy you put out. Ultimately it’s important not to put too much stock in these kinds of competitions personally. That being said, I really do appreciate those who vote on these platforms. Take us through your grooming routine. What are the things you absolutely must do and which ones do you steer clear of? I have been lucky enough to learn so much from the various stylists, brands and beauticians that I have worked with, so now I have a pretty solid routine of wash or scrub, moisturise and a little something for the eyes. Also sporting a beard most of the time now, I have found a brilliant twoinone face and beard moisturiser from Clinique. Something else I now live by religiously: sun protection, I spend a huge amount of time shooting outdoors and never step out in anything less than a factor 40 or 50. What were your favourite fashion trends last year? In general, a move toward individuality. We seem to be living in a time of both retro and progressive fashion trends. What is most important now is to find a look and mode that works best for you and your lifestyle... Loving that classic suits; cuts are also back in a big way. What fashion and grooming trends are you looking to try out in 2017? Trainers! I have developed a bit of a trainer fetish so I’m sure I’ll be hunting down as many as I can this year. I also have a very full year of high profile appearances and opportunities lining up so really going to enjoy getting properly turned out. What can we expect from you in 2017? A beautiful baby boy. I can’t wait to embrace being a father and parent with Lindsey. Can you believe what started out as a little chemistry doing the rumba on Strictly Come Dancing a couple of years ago is about to become the greatest journey of our lives. Expresso promises to break new ground and take our positive influence to an even higher level and I have some amazing projects on the go that will allow me to do that on a personal level as well.