Before I say anything else, Sunday Night were also airing a piece on "Saving Amy Winehouse" tonight. Coincidence? I think not. They knew I'd be watching.
The interview is a bit on the annoying side. There's a whole lot of Phillip montages accompanied by completely inappropriate dramatic music as they go through his life story. And there's even cheesy jokes about his BANANA! background, including:
"What does it take to make a champion? Answer: bananas. Lots of them. Twelve hectares of them."That's alongside the opening shot of Phil on the farm with his dad, chopping down some bananas and laughing happily as he celebrates the finer aspects of life. But wait, it's time for another banana joke.
"Phil collects bananas like he collects runs."
So as we go through the epic story of his life, Phil tells us that throughout his life, it was playing older guys consistently that gave him the confidence he has. And he speaks of the moment he was presented with his baggy green:
"I was actually shaking when I received it. I was speechless."
Don't let the interview get too serious yet because it's time to show Phil being paraded around his local ground on a green ute, wearing a suit, D&G sunnies, and holding a microphone in his hand. There's also Phil in V-necks, which don't quite gel with his Macksville country boy image. The only consistent portrayal of him is the one of him being a "smiling assassin" - as first stated by Justin Langer. Says Phil of his tendency to smile at the opposition on the pitch:
"There's nothing else to do, so I just smile at them."You do. And if viewers don't believe him, Channel 7 throw in a dozen shots of Phil smiling.
There's an interesting shot of newspaper clippings probably from the town paper during Phil's early years. At age 11, he was being compared to Don Bradman, but then again, it is a town paper, and he was their only star. To help bring out more country superstars, Phil has set up a scholarship for country boys to help them gain greater access to the cricketing world and assist them in their passage to stardom. That's a pretty nice thing to do, especially so soon after bursting onto the international stage. It's almost better than Run Ricky Run.
And then comes the inane stuff again. Suddenly, the suits are off, the sunglasses are put away, and Phil is on horseback, cantering steadily through the countryside with a cowboy hat, complete with soft guitar music to enhance the setting.
Mike Munro takes the opportunity to hit on Phil's mum (who, by the way, never calls him Phil, only Phillip) when he mentions Phil's smile yet again: "Well, we know where he gets that from, don't we?" Phil's mum giggles a little, Mike flexes his muscles. Phil attacks Munro with his machete.
To end it all, there's the obligatory question of whether he dreams of captaining Australia. Definitely, says Phil. He hopes to some day, when he's older. For now, he's just living the dream.
It's Phil the banana farmer.