Outside the box

PHUKET: The Box of Neutrals claim to have drawn their inspiration from British commentary legend Murray Walker, who once said that “those who can, do. Those who can’t, talk about it”.

Friday 2 March 2012, 05:11PM

Australian F1 ‘experts’ Michael Lamonato, Peter McGinley and Rob James are Informative, when they’re all sober.

Australian F1 ‘experts’ Michael Lamonato, Peter McGinley and Rob James are Informative, when they’re all sober.

Consisting of Australians Rob James, Michael Lamonato and Peter McGinley, the trio behind Live 89.5’s dedicated weekly Formula One (F1) radio show met by pure coincidence, joining forces after realising their mutual dislike for lectures on Australian cinema, and their mutual passion for cars going around in circles.

The format of the show often changes, mixing in news with some good old fashioned shenanigans.

“It’s mostly just us mucking around, pointing out how many times Mark Webber licks his chin in press conferences,” Lamonato says.

“Motorsport is, and can be, a bit wooden to the casual fan... But there’s a human side to the sport. Formula One underestimates its ability to tell a story – or at least executive producers [of most other broadcast outlets] underestimate it.”

And if Box of Neutrals is anything, it is definitely not wooden. The show removes the serious side from a sport that is often obsessed about fractions of a second, tyre degredation and fuel loads, and makes it entertaining for the casual enthusiast all the way up to the most hard-core petrol head.

“Good fun. That’s what we’re about, we’re not out to be serious journalists and finding the hard stories. Because that’s not what we’re about, and frankly there are enough proper journalists to do that for us,” says James.

Laguna Golf Phuket

“Plus I’ve spent A$140 of my own money hiring a male stripper for [fellow host] Peter McGinley during one
of our episodes. I need to make my money back.”

And while this is their first foray into the glamourous world of international radio, “We do have small numbers of followers all over the place – including a very confusing pocket of fans in The Netherlands. They seem to like us over there, for some reason,” Lamonato says.

Although James points out: “In terms of legally broadcasting, then yes [this is my first international gig].
“I have dabbled in pirate radio, which mostly consists of me playing Box Of Neutrals very loudly out of my car in a busy city strip.”

So what exactly should you expect from Box of Neutrals? “It is probably the most cliche term in promotion, but they should expect the unexpected.

“Not because we’re particularly clever or anything like that – it’s mostly just because we’re not very good at planning. Also because Peter has, on occasion, had a drink or two before getting into the studio - which makes things... interesting.”

Box of Neutrals broadcast their ‘interesting’ formula for Formula 1 madness every Saturday morning from 9am-10am on Live 89.5FM. Tune in over the coming weeks as the guys give away free tickets to the Malaysia Grand Prix.



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