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Thursday, March 23, 2023

‘It’s me, in a bar, drinking beer, talking footy’: Mick Molloy’s pitch for The Front Bar

When you have a player on the show, is it easy to break down the media training and get them to come to you on your level, or does it take a bit of coaxing?

Not really, because we don’t speak to current day players. Or if we do, they’re that big that they can speak freely. Anyone currently playing the game is pretty much told not to say anything interesting. But when you speak to someone newly retired, or even one of the older boys going around, they don’t care, they’re happy to talk, they’re happy to tell stories, they’re happy to kind of lift the skirts to find what was going on behind the scenes when they played the game. So that was a conscious decision we made so that we could get players to tell great stories without fear of retribution from club administrations. That was the choice we made so we could get to more interesting facts than stats and kicks.

It does make the modern game a bit colourless doesn’t it, the modern obsession with not giving the media anything?

I think it’s a shame and part of me wonders, when we get this pantheon of past players on our show and hear all their stories, I worry about current players and the stories they’ll be able to tell about football trips and training camps and nights out after a big win. I just hope that there’s still enough energy and adventure in the game for current players that they’ll have a canon of great stories to tell at the end of the day.

Your show draws those stories out, and that’s what sets you apart, isn’t it?
I think you can watch a number of footy shows and walk away with not a lot. But that’s what we set out to do – get someone off guard.

From the outside, the impression you give as a performer is that you’re a very naturally hilarious person, and that it comes very easily to you. Is it as easy for you to be funny as it seems?

No. I’ve got a very smart team of people, from producers to writers to video editors who find the stuff.

It’s very generous of you to say so, because you’re free to take all the credit here if you want to.
It’s a compliment that you say it looks like we just come out and talk a bit of rubbish because that’s what it’s designed to look like. But behind the scenes there’s a very talented group of people making us look good and feeding us the raw material. It’s quite a complicated show in some ways but the idea is to make it look like it’s three blokes having a chat.

The Front Bar is on Seven, Wednesday, 8.30pm.

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