The special raises money for cancer awareness amongst men and it recreates the classic British movie, which climaxed with a striptease featuring the male stars.
Taylor stars alongside former AFL footballer Campbell Brown, NRL great Matt Cooper, TV host and actor Shane Jacobson, WSFM’s Jonesy, Ironman Jett Kenny, Sunrise’s Sam Mac and model/TV presenter Kris Smith.
Seven took a couple of weeks to sell Taylor on the idea. “I thought I would give it a go and if I didn’t like it or don’t feel like I’m doing the right thing I’ll pull out halfway through.”
By the time he was halfway through, Taylor said friendships had formed among the cast and they were having a good time.
“I kept going, thinking less and less about the outcome at the end and more and more about what we were doing at the time.”
At the time we spoke with Taylor he had seen a completed version of the special. After pausing to consider how he felt about stripping naked in primetime on FTA TV, Taylor told Mediaweek: “It is a great show for all the right reasons. First and foremost the men’s health message is strong and that’s really why we all did it. If it didn’t have the men’s health message attached none of us would have been involved. We have all been affected in some way through prostrate cancer or testicular cancer and we all have stories to tell.”
Taylor said he wasn’t in great physical shape as he stripped for the cameras. “At 125 kilos you could probably guess I’m a few kilos heavier than I should be. From that point of view it was even harder for me. Both Shane Jacobson and I are pretty big guys and we have to stand next to athletes like Campbell Brown and a triathlete like Jett Kenny, who has got muscles on his muscles. Shane and I were the standouts when it came to being unfit.”
Taylor won’t be surprised if social media has a field day with highlights from The Real Full Monty. “I did have a bit of a tactic up my sleeve to avoid the cameras’ full glare. On the night we were to do the live performance there was going to be a V formation on stage with the pointy end of the V right at the back of the stage.
“I thought that if I got very friendly with Todd McKenney I could get him to place me right at the back of the V and no one might even see me. I was able to negotiate to get that position after talking with Todd and Shane, which I was delighted with.
“But then when I got to the Enmore Theatre in Sydney to perform the striptease I saw a camera was placed right at the rear, within one metre of my backside behind the curtain. It was then that I realised that being at the pointy end of the V wasn’t the best position at all.”
The live performance of the strip had to be performed only once for the cameras and the audience in what Taylor called a “make it or break it” routine.
“I don’t think the crowd wanted to see it again! To do it once and get it right was something of an achievement. We had negotiated with each other how long we would spend on stage after revealing the Full Monty. There was some debate about it with the range of options from zero seconds to five seconds. In the end we settled on two to three seconds before we marched off quickly.”
Taylor admitted it was a very long couple of seconds.
“When you do it, you are not thinking about getting nude. You are thinking about what you have to do not to let the rest of the team down. The nudity thing really only took over mentally in the last few seconds when in panic you ask ‘what am I doing?’ But it was too late to stop then.”
It’s a long way from working with Bruce McAvaney on Seven’s Friday Night Football. The best thing about the whole exercise for Taylor in addition to the awareness raising was to be involved in something outside of football with new people.
“The production crew in Sydney was new to me and some of them hadn’t done sport before. Interacting with non-sports people opened up a whole new world for me and we’d do it again tomorrow at the drop of a hat.”
Monday in Mediaweek: Brian Taylor on Seven’s 2018 AFL coverage