Phil Liggett MBE - 'The Voice of Cycling' ... Pro-cycling commentator
Episode 116 - Phil Liggett MBE - 'The Voice of Cycling' ... Pro-cycling commentator
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Show notes (please see Timestamps below for more detail)
Phil Liggett MBE is affectionately referred to as the “Voice of Cycling”. Phil was last on The Greg Bennett Show back in episode 28, almost two years ago!
He truly is the “Voice of Cycling”. In fact, the recent documentary film of his life is called exactly that.
This year is the 50th year that he’ll be working at the Tour De France - what a fantastic achievement that is. Add to that his 16 Olympic Games, and you get an understanding of why he is held in such high regard.
In 2009, he was inducted into the British Cycling Hall of Fame.
Phil is currently residing with his wife Trish on a game reserve in South Africa where he helps with efforts to protect rhinos from poachers.
See the timestamps below for more detail.
0:53 - Introduction to show.
2:55 - Interview starts.
4:55 - When you live in a remote bush location, beware the clever baboons!
8:15 - When you work in the sport of pro cycling ... you must be prepared to work with the animals.
9:05 - The Collins Cup can be a good reason for an old-athlete's reunion.
11:03 - The dangers of staying in too many hotels can be you never remember where the loo is ...
12:49 - The world of commentating live sports has changed dramatically these past two years and Phil explains how and why it might never go back to the way it once was.
17:14 - The Voice of Cycling documentary is a journey of Phil Liggett's personal life, as well his involvement and impact within cycling. It was created by an Australian film crew and has been over 2 years in the making. However it has not been without challenges, Phil explains some of the back story.
21:01 - Phil is incredibly philanthropic and is involved in saving rhinos in South Africa and also building a Vocational School offering quality and relevant skills training programs to vulnerable girls in an area where life opportunities are limited.
The Paul Sherwen Project was established to support the good that Paul was enacting in Uganda and across East Africa – empowering local people to drive progress and economic development through education, job skills, and personal training, while promoting & protecting the unique culture and environment of their communities.
If you feel this powerful project resonates with you, you can donate here
27:43 - Phil managed to turn his hobby of cycling into a career ... and it all started with his first job for ₤15 (approx $25) Listen in for the clues to Phil's success in life ... his incredible work ethic.
33:37 - Phil greatest career failure was not becoming a pro cyclist ... however it led him to his career for the past 50 years ... commentating pro cycling.
43:44 - Phil describes his greatest career highlight ... The 1989 Tour de France call. Extraordinary!
51:47 - Phil's well known in broadcast circles for his attention to detail in research and preparation. This story from Phil around Eric Zabel who was celebrating his birthday within the peloton proves why Phil Liggett is so loved as a commentator.
54:10 - So where did all the Phil Liggett quotes come from? Liggett-isms are a thing! "Dancing on the pedals ... The Rollercoaster of pain ... He's wearing the mask of pain ... Once again, they've stretched the elastic. ... It's rather like holding back the flood with a little finger ..." Phil explains how all these quotes (and more) came about.
57:46 - Paul Sherwen was a cherished friend and colleague in Phil Liggett's life. Paul Sherwen was an English professional racing cyclist and later a broadcaster on cycling, notably the Tour de France. He raced in seven editions of the Tour, finishing five, and gained a reputation for his ability to suffer over long mountain stages. Paul Sherwen passed on December 2, 2018.
1:05:08 - Phil names his three living people (non-family), that he'd invite to dinner. * Spoiler alert * The story Phil tells of his experience with the warden of the prison that incarcerated Nelson Mandela is fascinating.
1:14:22 - Phil gives us his exclusive predictions for the 2022 Tour de France.
01:18:08 - What's next for Phil Liggett?
01:21:41 - Interview ends.
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Paul Sherwen Project website: https://www.paulsherwenproject.com/
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