Robert Earnshaw: Ask A Silly Question
Hi Robert. We’re enduring terrible luck with our football bets and are about to stick a tenner on the 2.20pm Novice Hurdle at Catterick. Can you pick us a winner?
Hi mate. Stick it all on number two.
That’s 80-1 shot Andy Vic. We’ll go halves on the winnings: £400 each.
Great. Now, the world’s gone mad for reggae puppet Rastamouse. What would be your ideal music genre-animal combo?
That’s tricky. I’m a big fan of Pharrell, so it’d be rap. I’m not sure about an animal, though.
You must have a favourite…
Probably the cheetah. No, scrap that – the lion. You can’t beat a lion. So ‘Rap Lion’.
Rap Lion would look pretty good nodding along in a Snoop vid.
Yeah. He’s the king of the jungle so he’d have a lot to rap about.
He’d mess up Rastamouse, too. Now, according to your Twitter page, you have a few nicknames. What’s with ‘Magic Man’?
It comes from playing poker with the boys – I do tricks. I like magic.
Who’s your favourite trickster? The Great Soprendo?
David Blaine, Derren Brown, all that sort of crazy stuff really.
Can you do tricks for your kids?
Not much, to be honest. Maybe the sliding thumb trick!
Nice. You’re also known as ‘the Zambian Prince’...
Because I grew up in Zambia, although that name kicked in more when I moved to Wales. I haven’t got any real royal blood though, unfortunately.
What kind of ruler would you be if you were royal?
I’d be a kindly king rather than a dictator. My aim is to leave the world a better place than I found it. It’s easy to be hated, and hard to be liked. I’d try to be good!
Would you wear your crown around the house?
Yeah, why not? Perhaps, on a special occasion, when the kids have gone to bed... you know…
Er, let’s move swiftly on, shall we? So your last nickname was ‘El Matador’...
That’s from my matador celebration. The Forest lads created the name.
Are you a fan of bullfighting?
Oh no. Though it’s quite funny when the matador gets hit by the bull.
Are you into any bloodsports?
No, I like most animals. The only animal I’d wipe off the Earth is the snake – I’ve got a weird phobia. It’s very strange because there were snakes in Zambia when I was a kid and I didn’t mind them. It was only when I moved to Wales, where there aren’t any, that they started to scare me!
How odd. Your name is an anagram of ‘Abhorrent Swears’. Do you like a good cuss?
Off the pitch I hardly ever use bad language. But when I get on it, I go for it. I guess the word I use most is the traditional favourite: f***. It’s like I store up all my swearing and then let it out over 90 minutes.
Who has got the foulest mouth in football?
James Collins. He even admits it himself. Every other word is a disgrace.
Terrible. Now, imagine you’re on a plane with all the TV chefs in the world. The plane goes down over the Andes. Which chef are you putting on the spit first?
I think Jamie Oliver. He’d be the natural choice because he’s a bit mellow and wouldn’t be able to defend himself. The angry TV chefs like Ramsay would overpower and kill him. He’d be done for.
How would you season Oliver’s corpse?
Some meat seasoning, a bit of soy sauce, some ketchup and maybe a bit of sweet chilli sauce at the end.
That sounds delicious.
It could be OK!
You speak English and two African languages, Bemba and Chichewa. Can you say something to us?
I still speak Bemba in the house when I go to see my mum. So I can say, “Muli shani, FourFourTwo.” That’s, “Hello, FourFourTwo” in Bemba.
Cheers – although it’s time to say goodbye. Bad news, I’m afraid: our nag has just trailed in last out of 16 runners.
The curse continues! Ta for chatting, anyway.
Interview: Nick Moore. From the April 2011 issue of FourFourTwo. Subscribe!