This Sporting Life.
To celebrate the 30th anniversary of Roy & HG’s iconic triple j sports comedy program This Sporting Life, ABC Music have announced the release of a 2CD album, available now.
Written and hosted by the duo (John Doyle & Greig Pickhaver); the live, improvised, and satirical radio program aired on triple j from 1986 to 2008, and stands as the longest-running show in the history of the station. Their act is an affectionate but irreverent parody of Australia’s obsession with sport. Their characters are based on archetypes in sports journalism:
H.G. ‘Immortal’ Nelson as the excitable announcer;
Rampaging Roy Slaven as the retired sportsman turned expert commentator.
While ostensibly a parody of sporting panel programs, This Sporting Life cast the net wide and included politics, celebrities, entertainment and contemporary Australian culture. Spanning from their earliest days on the Jays, right through to the unforgettable 2015 installment of Festival Of The Boot, this album assembles a veritable cornucopia of memorable moments from across the series.
Settle in as they recount their dealings with the British Royal Family, ruminate on violence in junior sport, and charm Juan Antonio Samaranch in aid of the Sydney 2000 Olympics bid. Bask in Roy’s wisdom gained from his playing career with the Lithgow Shamrocks, and heed the advice he offers based on his success with prized racehorse Rooting King. Share HG’s enthusiasm for sports stars’ cameos in soap operas, and join in his disgust at accusations of tanking in professional tennis.
Re-live the parade of ads for products and services offered by Nelson-Slaven Industries, including Roy’s Rectal Ring Balm, Aussie Fuzzy Fruits For Kids, and Lakemba motor vehicle dealer Frosty Lahood’s famous ‘No Root, No Toot!’ guarantee. And of course, no This Sporting Life collection would be complete without the dulcet tones of King Wally Otto in the soundproof booth.
‘To me this very fine album makes for extremely sobering listening. To think that looking back over so many years, so little has changed. Kids with dreams set off on an often lonely journey and reach international success time and time again and are given such little recognition and such scant regard by the Australian population at large. It’s great to hear references to our former greats who are now unacknowledged and largely forgotten – people like The Great White Shark, Jeff Fenech, Rooting King and Stumpy Boon. In days gone by there would be huge statues of these greats decorating all of our public spaces serving as talking points for kids and parents to engage, celebrate and remember. But sadly, our sporting heroes come along, share with us their genius and self-sacrifice and are inevitably, ignominiously booted from the stage. I hope in its small way this album might set about restoring the balance.’ – R. Roy Slaven
‘When I started working with Rampaging Roy Slaven thirty years ago I believed the weekly axe-minister we laid on the ABC would be seen for what it was, a bunch of old rope headed for the nearest S-bend. This compilation proves those initial reactions to be absolutely correct. If only it was available on a C60 cassette then it could be heard in all its glory. Enjoy the journey to the deep outflow!’ – H.G. Nelson
This Sporting Life is available now.  Related Articles: