The Crowd Goes Wild Interview with James and James
1. In 2009 CGW viewers can look forward to you both presenting as well a being roving reporters. What are you most looking forward to about keeping Mark and Andrew’s seats warm?
JMc: I don’t know if they should let us present! We’ve got unbelievable chemistry. In fact, they’ll need to invent a new symbol on the periodic table for us – we’ll be that flammable.
JS: We’re like water and wind – two very different forces but equally powerful. However, I am looking forward to the challenge of taking on a new role and of course hanging out with James.
JMc: I like spending time with James, if he is gone for too long on a story I worry about him, like a parent. Plus I don’t like it when he gets to go on better trips than me – I prefer it if he’s having exactly the same amount as fun as I am.
2. You are fast becoming a favourite double act around the Prime offices (and soon with CGW viewers) – what is the secret of your charm?
JS: James McOnie.
JMc: I am The Secret – you know the book form Oprah’s Book Club, it was based on me. Watching CGW is the key to happiness. In fact it is like I am giving back to TV, to the viewer. Together we are like Tony Robbins to the power of two. I predict that we will be so successful that they’ll start making McOnie and Somerset dolls.
3. What are your top two tips for being a successful sports journalist?
JMc: Don’t write the same thing twice. Sport is cyclical but that doesn’t mean you write the same thing over and over again.
JS: Don’t write the same thing twice. Sport is cyclical but that doesn’t mean you write the same thing over and over again.
JMc: And, don’t plagiarise your colleagues.
JS: Be who you are – don’t be something you’re not, y’all.
4. What do you think of Mark and Andrew’s presenting styles?
JMc: Solid. I think they are the best presenters on TV.
JS: They are the best in the world.
JMc: They are reminiscent of Leeza Gibbons in her heyday, before the infomercials, it is not often you work with people in the same realm as her.
5. What is your most memorable 2008 CGW moment?
JMc: I think it would have to be James interviewing Helen Clark and asking if she had ever ‘donned the boots’.
JS: McOnie interviewing Phelps at the Beijing Olympics. Oh, and scoring my job on CGW.
6. If you could be any sports-person for the day, who would it be and why?
JMc: Sharapova – I would love to perfect my backhand.
JS: Tiger Woods – I am pretty average at golf but would like to be awesome, only for a day though.
7. Tell us three things we don’t know about James McOnie…
JS: He’s a fast runner – like lightening. He only owns two pairs of shorts and he’s old enough to be my dad.
JMc: Really? How old are you?
JMc: Oh, I could be! But only if I had started very young!
8. Who is your favourite – Mark or Andrew?
JS: They are both great for different reasons.
JMc: Andrew, he’s going places whereas Mark has peaked. So I feel I would be better aligned with Andrew.
9. Describe a typical day at the CGW office…
JS: Come in, say ‘hi’ to everyone, wait for James to come in and then it is just one big blur of fun.
10. James Somerset is the CGW new boy – have you taken him under your wing and imparted your extensive broadcasting knowledge to him?
JMc: Yes, I have taken him under my wing but simply because it is comfortable. It is less about imparting knowledge and more about body heat.
JS: I nestle.
JMc: If I had a pouch he could sit in it, gladly.
11. McOnie, you are known as the CGW comedian – would you ever consider a career in comedy?
JMc: I tried it once – the first night was good, my sister was in the audience, she’s an opera singer so she has a loud laugh. The second night – my sister wasn’t there and I changed my jokes. It wasn’t so good. I am scarred by the experience.
12. Anything you’d like to say to Skywatch readers?
JMc: Yes, I challenge the Skywatch readers to go through the programme listings and find the funniest programme name and then e-mail it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. No prizes, I’m just curious.
JS: Frame this page. I t could be worth something one day.