"Who in their right mind wouldn't want to read a book by Mark Barry!" (Mary Quallo, St Louis)

"Who in their right mind wouldn't want to read a book by Mark Barry!"  (Mary Quallo, St Louis)
Coming next week - Carla Eatherington

Saturday, 22 December 2012

A Christmas Interview With Phil Naessens

The choir at York Minster.

You know what? Christmas gets earlier each year doesn't it. 

My Christmas guest on this Christmassy Christmas Yuletide Edition of the Wizard's Cauldron is Phil Naessens. Tennis Pro, Vegas resident...

Another famous Vegas resident: 
"Dominic and the Desperados"

...ex-professional handicapper, baseball freak and sport radio DJ, Phil Naessens. 

Now an ex pat living in pendulous, crystalline, opulent Corfu, Phil interviews writers and discusses sports on his radio show. The gamekeeper turns poacher as he joins me round the Cauldron to discuss his new project, The Writer's Showcase. Phil has interviewed the Wizard recently twice and I was more than pleased to return the favour. 

Merry Christmas, Phil.

And a happy Christmas to you, Wiz.

Thanks! Tell us a bit about yourself?

Well, I'm 47 years old American and currently the resident tennis professional at the Corfu Holiday Palace in Corfu Greece. 

The resort is also home of The Phil Naessens Tennis Academy.

The Phil Naessens Show is becoming increasingly popular. Tell us about it and where can Wizard Watchers hear it?

The show is daily Monday through to Friday and focuses on the world of sports, entertainment and popular culture. 

You can catch the show at various places around the interwebs but the best place to listen to it would be at 

British DJ's - much less professional than Phil

You have a strong sporting history. Tell us about that...

"I don't know how strong it is but when I was a kid we had one thing.......it was called outside and we played ball all day long. "

I played the major American sports like baseball, basketball, football and hockey and the country club sports tennis and golf. I seemed to be better at tennis; stuck with it and the rest shall we say is history.

Do you play the ponies?

I use to......religiously. Still remember being at the Showboat Hotel Sports Book, sitting in their bar when I noticed this racing form, spotted a horse named "No Commitment" walked up to the window and bet 20 bucks on it to win. The broker gave me a funny look and lo and behold that nag won and I won 2,000 bucks.....I was hooked and quit about 5 years later as it had become a 24 hour a day obsession.


Zenyatta - 2009 Breeders Cup Classic.

Wiz Notes: Honestly, if you don't like horse racing, it's very unlikely you 
and I have much to talk about...look at the wonderful Zenyatta here...it makes me cry...if you're 
not crying now, then you have zero soul...

Love the ponies, Phil.

I know you do.

I'm glad that Betfair saved Hollywood Park. They were going to sell that to developers. I mean, Hollywood Park. Bukowski. The Marx Brothers. Bing Crosby. Walther Matthau. George Segal. Shutting Hollywood is like burning the Declaration of Independence. That's a running theme through my book Hollywood Shakedown.

I'm glad they saved it too, Wiz. I noticed that too when I read it.

So switching coasts: You're originally from New York. What the hell has happened to the Jets this year? Is Ryan toast? Is Sanchez a dead man walking?

The Jets decided to become the next Ringling Brothers & Barnum and Bailey Circus to cover up the fact they didn't replace star running back Ladanian Tomlinson, fix the holes in the offensive line as well as sign receivers that could actually catch the ball. Instead they traded for Tim Tebow.

Ryan? He's probably built up enough good will with the fan base to maybe last 1 more season but you never know with the Jets.

Mark Sanchez is done as the starting QB of the New York Jets. He had a terrible season this year. Walking dead man fits Dude.

 A nicer memory of New York.
My favourite bridge   - from the Woody Allen
classic movie..."Manhattan"

Three of your tennis protégés, Mary, Mungo and Midge, go on a year-long losing streak. They blame you for it. In a spirit of vengeance, they kidnap you and imprison you in in vast cave, like the one off Greek island Bond adventure, "For Your Eyes Only". Mungo, nicer than the other two, and who only loses by the odd game or so, offers you three CD's, two books and one DVD. What would you choose?

Funny you mentioned For Your Eyes Only. Part of that movie was filmed at the resort where I live and my good friend owns the villa where the pool scene was filmed.

1981 For Your Eyes Only - sung by one of the original 
reality show victors - and therefore, forerunner of The Apprentice and Masterchef - 
Sheena Easton. 

Wiz Notes: 1981. Recession hit Britain. Mass unemployment. The new Jarrow march. H Blocks. Bobby Sands. Monster Thatcher and her satanic brood of evil Tories. Race Riots in Toxteth and St Pauls. Monetarism. The slow destruction of the Labour Party. The threat of nuclear devastation. Near universal working class poverty and starvation. Gravediggers striking in Liverpool. the last episode of The Sweeney. A freezing winter unparalleled since 1962-63.  New Romantic music. A shortage of baked potatoes. 

Luckily Roger Moore, the ultimate Bond, came to rescue the British population from nihilistic mass suicide with this Greek island based spy drama, complete with magnificent theme song and summer holiday locations that hardly anyone could afford.

Let’s see. One DVD? I guess the complete series of Sanford and Son. 

US equivalent of British rag and bone man sitcom
"Steptoe and Son

Three CD's? 

Bon Jovi Greatest Hits.

Scotland's favourite band, Bon Jovi - on the run
from the Polis...

Journey's Greatest Hits.

Journey:  Break up music for  sensitive men with perms. Please. If you never look at the vids on this
channel - just for once, check the barnets on these mofos...sublime hair and
long teacher's coats too. It can only be the eighties...

Chicago's Greatest Hits. 

Dumped by the missus this weekend? 
Have a dekko at this.
Number Six in the Wiz Green Top One Hundred Wrist Slashers of All Time. 
Chicago - If You Leave Me Now. 
I'm not sure I can continue with the interview, Phil...I'm..I'm...

The most current Sports Almanac and On The Road by Jack Kerouac.

Tell us about your latest project. The Writers Showcase with Phil Naessens. How can writers get involved?

I've conducted quite a few interviews with authors this past year and one thing they all shared with me was how difficult it is to market their books and how thrilled they were that someone was actually willing to do that by bringing them on my show. 

Knowing how powerful podcasting can be I started looking around to see what if anything anyone was doing to promote authors and what I discovered was that if you weren't already well known you had a better chance being a snowball in hell than getting on a writers only program. So, I decided to do something about it and after talking with someone who knows the business I decided to launch this project.

Getting involved is easy. All a writer needs to do is contact me. 

The Writers Showcase 

I'll put together a professional sounding 30-45 minute podcast, write a review of the book and publish the program on my website, on iTunes and various other podcatchers on the interwebs. Authors of books that I think my listeners of the Phil Naessens Show would be interested in will also be invited to appear on that program as well.

"Opening show: Avid anglophile and noted historical fictionalist MARY ANN "she's just like Philllipa Gregory" BERNAL natters to an enraptured Phil about her upcoming, highly anticipated, Vikings and Virgins epic, Concordia....coming soon..."

How do you cope with lukewarm Greek food? Do you carry round a portable microwave?

Haha! That defiantly takes some getting used to and no I don't but I do have a microwave in my bungalow!

I can't be doing with Greek food. I lost nearly a stone when I visited Halkidiki. Nothing but warm squid.


Yes! And I found out The Fowlers off East Enders were there the week before us!  Bloody common...

...anyroad, if you hadn't chosen a life as a tennis coach and radio DJ, what else could you have done? Do you have regrets?

No regrets just lessons learned and I really don't know what I would've or could've done. Everything I have is due to tennis and I never thought of doing anything else.

What does 2013 hold for Phil Naessens?

Hopefully a full time radio gig and a return to the states otherwise I'll keep chugging along doing what I'm doing!

Phil, its been a pleasure as always and I wish you well with your new venture!! 

Thanks Wiz...I appreciate this! You're welcome on the show anytime...



Listen to The Phil Naessens Show on:


 Merry Christmas from The Green 

Wizard, everyone. xxxx

Do YOU know it's Christmas...


  1. What a refreshing and delightful interview. Merry Christmas to two of my favorite people, and thanks for the plug.

  2. Smashing interview with Phil Naessens ... especially loved the Zenyatta footage. Merry Christmas, Wiz x x x x


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.