The #1 podcaster with The Good, the Bad and the Rugby, author of Sunday Times Bestselling book “What A Flanker”, smash-hit follow up “Ruck me” and host of Amuse Douche is back on the road once again with his new stage show – “Sex, Tries and Videotape”.
Taken from a conversation between Jules Boyle and James.
The new tour
After James had really enjoyed a run of five dates, he was keen to do more. He relished the opportunity to combine story-telling with performance, and he certainly has plenty of material. James: “I’ve had lots of adventures in my career, which was very colourful to say the least. I worked under five different England managers, played in multiple different countries, I’m married to Richard and Judy’s daughter, I’m a DJ and producer, I host multiple different podcasts and obviously I’ve gotten myself into a fair bit of scandal over the years, so there’s quite a lot to talk about I think! So it’s a nice opportunity to entertain people and make them laugh. It’s not meant to be overly serious, but it’s a true reflection on my career, but just focusing on the funny bits!”
Whilst the performance includes plenty of rugby chat, it’s not your typical combination of analysis and opinion. James explained that the general perception of what being a sportsman is like doesn’t always match the reality. He enjoys the revelations he has for his audience. Whilst these are obviously personal and anecdotal, he hopes they provide more entertainment than lecture!
Opening some eyes
James’ reputation for being candid about his life and his experiences grew with the publication of his book ‘What a Flanker’. Now, being a first time dad, living with his in-laws and being the brunt of some media stories, he wants people to know what he’s like, especially as some of his tales, whilst true, might shock or challenge credibility.
It’s not all about rugby, is it?
James: “No, not at all! It’s anchored around my journey of not wanting to be a rugby player to becoming one and breaking the mould around what that means. You don’t need to know anything about rugby to come and watch it; you just need a sense of humour and be prepared to laugh at some parts, get a bit emotional at others and possibly even be mildly shocked at some others. My life has been a bit of an adventure, so there’s so much to talk about that isn’t just rugby. Some players go through their whole career and have amazing achievements, but don’t have anything funny to say. I’ve got a lot of things to draw upon, so there’s no shortage of material, that’s for sure!”
Approach Without Caution is another of James’ books.
James: “If Sex, Tries & Videotapes and What A Flanker were entertainment with some serious themes, Approach Without Caution is much more about the mindset of how to deal with being successful and all the ups and downs that come with it. It covers things like how to reconcile your mental health and how to be constantly reviewing yourself getting better. Yes, it does have some humour in it, but it’s more focusing on steps to be revisiting every day to be better. That was one of the things for me that came out of the books, as people loved the stories, but they also wanted to know more about how I dealt with things like criticism and failure, or how you can pull yourself back up. I worked with some of the best coaches, psychologists and people in business around the world, so I’ve picked up a lot good ideas and information that I’m able to share. I’ve never wanted or expected anyone to look up to me, but I’ve lived a life where I’ve made plenty mistakes and I’m honest about them, so I’m happy to share the lessons I’ve learned with people, without being dogmatic about it. These things I’m talking about might not work for everyone, but I’m hoping they’ll be of help to some people. That’s the reason I’m doing it. There’s some universal lessons there that I think are important. It’s hard being a young man at the moment I think, so some positive guidance is no bad thing.”
The Good, Bad and the Rugby is increasingly popular
James is so pleased to be a part of the podcast and really appreciates the chemistry he shares with Alex Payne and Mike Tindall. “We never set out to change anything; it was more just about loving what we do, having fun and hopefully promoting some good things about rugby. It was never going to have detailed reviews and nauseating breakdowns of the game; it’s about the people, the personalities and the stories. It was meant to be about the emotional and personal side, which I think we’ve managed and are getting better at all the time. We cover a lot of difficult topics too, but at the heart of it, it’s just three really good friends who absolutely love working together.”
Amuse Douche, a new podcast following James’ journey to become a stand-up comedian
James’ fascination with comedians and his familiarity with public speaking are the perfect combination for him to make people laugh. He admits it was all a bit scary, especially as recording the process and progress could have been a documentary of failure! However, it’s a case of ‘so far, so good’. The first ten episodes led to an eight minute stand up, and the second series will result in a 20-minute warm-up for Russel Kane. James: “…..it’s been a great adventure, but it’s also been the most nervous I’ve been to do anything for a long time, which makes you feel alive!
James enjoys a successful career as a house and techno DJ/producer.
James: “Of all the things that I do, that’s probably the one that I can’t get enough of. I want to keep making music and getting paid to perform in front of people and fly around the world while I’m doing it. So I’m trying to produce as much music as I can and release as many records as I can to really push that. I’ve just come back from a trip where I was DJing every day in the Alps in France and Italy for example, which was an amazing experience. If feels like a perfect transition for a sportsperson to go into I think, as you still have the crowds and the adulation, but also the attention to detail and the need to work really hard at it. The fact I’ve had people like Carl Cox playing my records, though, that’s next level stuff. I’m a very lucky man to get to do all these great things that I love.”
SEX, TRIES AND VIDEOTAPE UK 2023 tour dates:
08-Mar-23 Nottingham Glee Club
14-Mar-23 Norwich Playhouse
15-Mar-23 Cambridge Junction
16-Mar-23 Oxford O2 Academy
24-Mar-23 Salford Lowry Quays
28-Mar-23 Southend Palace Theatre
29-Mar-23 London Richmond Theatre
04-Apr-23 Cardiff Glee
06-Apr-23 Leeds City Varieties
15-Apr-23 Southampton Mast Mayflower Studios
19-Apr-23 Birmingham Glee Club
20-Apr-23 Leicester The Y Theatre
21-Apr-23 Bristol Tobacco Factory
22-Apr-23 Plymouth Quad Theatre
27-Apr-23 Coventry The Albany Theatre
General & VIP Tickets – https://myticket.co.uk/artists/james-haskell
VIP ticket includes:
Pre-show meet and greet with James
Photo opportunity with James (photo to be taken on customer’s camera)
Seat at the front of auditorium
Includes ticket to the event
Feature based on a conversation between Jules Boyle and James.
Photography by Betty Zapata.