What a sport!
- Can you walk us through how you first got started in your career path?
That’s a long time ago! I studied at the University of Cape Town and joined the university radio station; six weeks later, I found myself hosting the drive show. From there I ended up on Cape Talk as a sports presenter on the breakfast show and eventually on television hosting Champions League football.
- What you attribute your success to?
I’d love to suggest rugged good looks and athleticism. However, I’ve worked extremely hard, I’ve had a lot of people who’ve believed in me and I’ve had some doors open at just the right time. I’m always appreciative of the fact that I get to do something I’m so passionate about; I only have to think of my friends who have to work as accountants…
- When did you realise that your TV career had gained momentum?
When I was hosting Champions League football and a guy on a ‘plane stopped and asked me if I could give him Steven Gerrard’s number, as he wanted to get his son a trial at Liverpool. I had to let him down gently.
- What do you enjoy most about being a talk show host?
Getting to know a side of people we don’t often see, especially with our sports guests. We tend to hear them talking about scoring a try, or making a hundred, or getting a hat-trick; discovering the more personal side of superstars can be fascinating and extremely entertaining.
- What can we expect from the new season of The Dan Nicholl Show? And where you do see the show going in the future?
Another collection of celebrity guests coming together for what I hope is an hour of fun, laidback television. We’ll include some pretty cool destinations, such as the Seychelles (I’ve had to tell my wife I’m speaking at a conference in Midrand that week – she’d never let me go to the Seychelle without her). Going forward, meeting more incredible people, exploring exotic parts of the world, and having a huge amount of fun!
- What was your top moment from the last season?
I asked Bakkies Botha if he’d ever been scared of anyone on a rugby field. He told me that person hadn’t been born yet.
- If you could interview one person on your show who would it be?
I’ve already ticked off a lot of guests on the bucket list, but there are still plenty I’d love to include. As we’re have three guests and an insert on each show, I reckon Usain Bolt, Rory McIlroy and Trevor Noah, with an insert on caddying for Ernie Els at the par-three competition at The Masters at Augusta. That would make for a pretty awesome show.
- How do you keep your passion for the media and sport industry alive?
Sport is a wonderful medium of escapism in South Africa; it’s also a platform for regular celebration, as we generally have somebody doing well on a sporting stage somewhere in the world. I work with some creative, dynamic people with infectious enthusiasm.
- Tells us about your family and your newly born son?
My wife has the real job in the family – she’s a very successful lawyer, which means I don’t win any arguments. However, she’s been enormously supportive and keeps my feet very firmly on the ground. My daughter will be three in July; disappointingly, she prefers Barney and Paw Patrol to ‘daddy’s show’, which she’ll watch for a couple of minutes before demanding the channel is changed. My son is a happy, smiling little man who turns one in July; together, they make me an extraordinarily lucky man.
- Who controls the remote in the house?
My daughter Erin and Stavros the Terrible (my bull mastiff) – who likes watching Animal Planet.
- What is your guilty TV pleasure?
I watch a lot of other talk shows to see what people are doing around the world – Graham Norton is brilliant and Trevor Noah has had a huge impact. I love James Spader in ‘The Black List’ – ties in with my dream of one day playing the villain in a Bond movie.
- What are your TV turn-offs?
French rugby referees and yet another episode of Barney the Dinosaur.
- When was the last time you cried watching TV?
South Africa at every Cricket World Cup we’ve ever been to.