After an offseason that included a trip to Miami for the Super Bowl and a trip to Memphis, Matty Johns is ready to return to TV now the NRL season is about to kick-off.
He spoke with Mediaweek recently about his first year doing Fox Sports full time after stepping down from breakfast radio in 2018 and what 2020 has in store for his Thursday and Sunday night Fox League shows.
While Johns is admittedly still drying out after eating and drinking too much during his time off, he says the magic of the sleep-in is working wonders now that he doesn’t have those breakfast radio wake-ups.
“It’s amazing how much energy you’ve got after not getting up 4 am every morning, you can do it a few times but if you do it day after day it compounds and it was nice to have a bit more space and juice in the tank to be able to film more content for Fox Sports.”
While he was linked to the Sky Sports Radio breakfast gig last year, he said he isn’t ready to return to radio just yet and if he did then afternoons would be much preferred after factoring in his sleeping habits.
“My first few years I had to get out of bed at 3:20 am and the whole drive in I would fantasise about going back to bed. I could sleep through Australia; I would sleep till midday if I could.”
Johns says he didn’t quit breakfast radio to listen to it, so he hasn’t heard too much of The Grill Team’s successor, Moonman in the Mornings but has listened to bits and pieces.
“Lawrence is a talented bloke, and Pagey is good value and Jess is an outrageous character so they will be as good as gold.”
His two marquee shows the Late Show with Matty Johns and Monday Night with Matty Johns both follow a tried and true formula of blending comedy and footy but he also makes sure to mix in some new segments every year.
“We have a new segment called kleptomania which is segments that we stole from both current and dead TV shows”
When asked if we would be seeing a version of Beau Knows, the channel Nine segment that has been lambasted in the past by the Matty Johns crew, he said time will tell but he dropped a heavy hint at the return of another Footy Show classic – Dear Devil Dudes.
“Stuff like the red chair on The Graham Norton Show, we just look at other shows and go, yeah we are gonna steal that segment”
Johns also says to expect the shows to continue to branch out from sport at times by using their talent for different topics such as entertainment.
“We have got Nathan Hindmarsh as our entertainment reporter this year. He has a half cinema screen at his house so I want to get him and all his kids to watch Parasite which won the Academy Award and get their family’s take on it.”
Ahead of the 2020 season, Johns tipped the usual suspects like the Sydney Roosters and South Sydney Rabbitohs to do well – he also says to keep an eye on black horse teams like the Parramatta Eels and Canberra Raiders.
One thing that he is not tipping though is his brother Andrew Johns following suite and jumping ship from Channel Nine to join the Fox Sports team following rumours last year.
“I had to sleep in the same room the first 20 years of my life with Andrew – he can stay where he is.”