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This Ten Questions idea is to ask a leading rugby personality; either a player, from the the media or an administrator some questions which may prompt a response from them which we have not heard of before;
For a start let's get the pronunciation correct of Wyn's name. His glorious Welsh surname of Gruffydd is pronouced as 'Griffith.' The, shall we say, curious look of the surname has had many of his travelling colleagues simply ask for 'Mr Gruff-idd' to hotel desk staff etc. It is easier perhaps.
Wyn has been a great travelling buddy for several decades now. His genial nature makes him a pleasure to work alongside. He and I have mostly worked together on the World Sevens rugby series where, quite simply we have had a lot of fun.
Of Wyn's particular talents none is great than his ability to commentate fluently in two languages; English and Welsh. To a Welshman that might seem no problem - but we outsiders can only marvel that all of the jargon of sport and the coloquialisms of different sporting expressions tumble off the lips of Wyn with nary a hesitation. Well not that I can see anyway! [See Wyn's beautiful answer to Question 7 below]
My thanks to Wyn for his willingness to open up to 'Ten Questions' on keithquinnrugby.com
From soccer it was Leeds and Juventus' 'Il Gigante Buono', Swansea born John Charles. From rugby, it was former Swansea, Wales and British Lion wing threequarter Dewi Bebb. By chance, we became work colleagues at HTV Wales in years to come. When I commentated on the final of the Rugby World Cup in South Africa in 1995, Dewi was directing back in Cardiff. At the end of transmission, he opened all the microphones and declared that was his finest hour in broadcasting. Thousands of miles away in Jo'burg I shed a tear. Nine months later he passed away. I cried.
I have been very fortunate to visit wonderful places through my work, but would not exchange any of them for where I now live. To take your question literally, I would move next door. Otherwise it would be Patagonia in wild and woolly southern Argentina. They speak Welsh there you know!
That is for others to say, but I find it hard to say "No".
Arrogance and ignorance; they usually come together. My late mother would always ask me after a broadcasting assignment - "Did anyone thank you?" The answer was inevitably a "No" but then I don't expect it in the business I am in. I never really gave it a second thought until now, but she was right - a "thank you" costs nothing.
Superstition? No? Fear? Heights and the prospect of losing my 'marbles' in old age, but then I shall be past caring anyway!
Apart from our two sons, surviving in a cut-throat business and seeking out other broadcasting opportunities, because when one door closes in 'TV land', invariably another gets slammed in your face!
The Welsh language.
I may be selfish, but it is the singular satisfaction of reflecting on a job well done. It's that "Yes" moment!
The places I've been to, the people that I have met, the friends that I have made, I am in a good place.
There are two: 'Fail to prepare, prepare to fail', and 'Don't let the 'buggers' get you down'. I learnt during the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand that the use of the word 'bugger' is completely acceptable. Memo to self: New Zealand might be an alternative to South America!
Stern criticism of the 'elite' International Rugby Board was offered by USA Rugby Chairman Bob Watkins at the Asian Pacific Rugby Congress in Hong Kong, leading to the eventual expansion of the IRB from only eight countries to the over 130 nations today.
The famous New Zealand radio commentator who revolutionised the way rugby commentary was done all over the world.
The Wellington born McCarthy had essentially an outward personality; he loved talking, and he had had time on stage as a lad in the early 1930s in New Zealand. It followed then that he was not phased by nerves when he became a rugby commentator. He broadcast his games with a style so different from the conservative way callers had been first commentated the game in Britain. McCarthy was loud and brazen not afraid to raise his voice and ‘let go’ on the air.
When he was sent by the New Zealand Government to broadcast the 1945-46 Kiwi Army rugby of Britain back to New Zealand his style fascinated the conformist BBC. They took his broadcasts and put them on their stations. They were amazed that he could engender so much excitement. The BBC wanted him to stay on. Instead McCarthy came back to New Zealand, but his style lingered in Britain. Gone were the stuffy, some might say plum-in-the-mouth callers and encouraged was the McCarthy style. The great Scottish TV commentator, Bill McLaren, recalls how, as a young fledgling radio man, he was sent by the BBC to Cardiff in 1954 to stand behind McCarthy and watch ‘how’ he broadcast a game.
Because of the high peaks of emotion surrounding the 1956 Springbok tour of New Zealand Winston’s words of description and catchphrases became the catchphrases of the New Zealand nation. His most famous call was ‘listen….it’s a goal!’ when a shot at goal was taken. He would allow the cheering of the crowd to tell the radio audience first whether a kick was on target or not.
In his time, in the 1940s and ‘50s Winston McCarthy became one of the best-known New Zealanders. He became the eyes and ears of New Zealand’s voracious appetite for listening to their All Black team on tour. It was commonly said around the country that if the All Black selectors of the time could not see every game being played each week they were influenced in their selection of test teams by what McCarthy had said on the air. His words weighed that heavily.
In which New Zealand Rugby Province was the Ranfurly Shield resident for the longest duration of time?