I rarely get to the cinema these days. Too many folk talking, tweeting and eating. But on my impending trip to the UK I’m going to see the new movie about the life and times of the greatest jump jockey of all time, AP McCoy. Specifically about his final season in the saddle.
Being AP has its premier in Dublin and then I hope to catch it in London later this month. If I bump into AP I shall try and prise from him the tenner I’ve lost betting on him entering the jungle for ‘I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here.’
Before he retired from the saddle he said there was no chance of him going on that programme. Nevertheless, I took up the odds of 16/1 for the hell of it. And he admits that he almost said ‘Yes’ when approached by the programme producers.
McCoy says: “I did think about doing it just for the craic. And doing none of the challenges and making everyone starve, because I think if we’d have ended up having a starving competition, I’d probably have won. But I’m not sure that reality TV is really for me.”
Tony McCoy is instead promoting the film shot during that memorable and emotional final season and he’s doing the rounds signing copies of his latest autobiography.
Here’s a trailer for the movie
I always he think he comes over well on programmes like ‘The Morning Line.’ He’s noticeably more relaxed when he’s interviewed by his friends Clare Balding and Alice Plunkett. But he’s not so sure about how good he is on the telly.
He says: “I’m frightened about it, more than I ever was when I was riding. Because I always felt confident on a horse, even when I was young, I felt confident on a horse. I don’t feel comfortable talking on the TV, even when I’m talking about something that I like. I don’t feel comfortable about it at all.
“I’m going to tell the truth, and hopefully it doesn’t upset too many of them, but everyone makes mistakes and I’ve made more than the rest of them. Hopefully, I’ll like it and be OK at it and enjoy it.”
No racing journalist or presenter can provide the inside knowledge and expertise that the likes of AP McCoy and Ruby Walsh can offer the viewer. Their insight is often illuminating.
Nothing will ever replace being a jockey and, at Cheltenham this weekend, AP will be looking upon those he competed against with a pinch of envy.
He reflects: “I’ve never been to a big weekend meeting before that I haven’t ridden at. Cheltenham is one of those meetings that gets everybody back in jumping mode again after the Flat season. Hopefully I’ll cope with it all right. But I’m jealous of them all, that’s for sure.”
I feel sure the champion of champions will be a fine addition to the Channel 4 racing team and can only help to draw in more viewers to their free-to-air coverage of the very best of racing.
Back in December 2011, at the time of him releasing an earlier autobiography, I sat down with Tony McCoy to discuss his career and I asked him to offer us punters some advice on betting. Here is the director’s cut version of that interview.