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As the Euros kick off this week, the nation is going football crazy. And Peter Crouch is at the centre of it all. His new show Crouchy’s Year Late Euros: Live, which he hosts with comedian Alex Horne and presenter Maya Jama, will be bringing us all the best post-match footie fun.
But it’s not just football that the former England striker is sinking his teeth into these days. The 40-year-old’s new podcast That Peter Crouch Podcast has seen him interviewing Prince William, plus he’s also written two best-selling novels.
We caught up with Crouchy, who’s married to model Abbey Clancy, 35, and dad to Sophia, 10, Liberty, six, Johnny, three, and two-year-old Jack, to talk family life, football and the future.
Hi, Peter! How’s life been since you retired from football?
I’ve been enjoying my time and I’ve ended up in the entertainment world, which has been so much fun.
You’re hosting a Euro-themed show, but would you prefer to be playing?
I wish I was still on the pitch. Football is my first love and always will be, but hosting Crouchy’s Year Late Euros: Live is the next best thing. We’ve got a studio on Wembley Way, so we’ll feel the buzz of all the matches, we’ve got a bar, we’ve got great people there. It’s not working for a living, let’s be honest! [Laughs.]
You’ve spoken about feeling pushed out of football towards the end of your career. Do you feel more at home in the entertainment industry?
My football career was what I dreamt about as a kid. Now that’s gone, I’m just doing stuff that I enjoy. I feel privileged to be able to do that and it seems to be going well. I’m not trying to be the next Michael Parkinson or anything, but I’ll just
keep being myself.
Do you think you’ve always had the knack for showbiz?
Not really! Footballers usually either go into coaching or take the entertainment route. I did my coaching badges at the same time as my book and my podcast. I had no idea which way I wanted to go but the book and podcast took off, so I’m still riding that wave.
Can you see a clear career path?
When I was playing football I knew exactly what my goals were. At the moment I’m just doing what’s fun and I’ll continue to do that until someone tells me to stop.
It sounds like you’re enjoying it…
The fact that I’m still doing a job where I don’t really have to grow up, I’m blessed. I’m hoping to go through as much of
life as possible without having to grow up. I’ve got to 40, so we’ll see how I get on. [Laughs]
Have you received any advice from those in the business?
I’m a footballer by trade – not a presenter – so I watch Gary Lineker, who’s done it fantastically well, and Gabby Logan, who’s one of the best in the biz. Whenever I work with people like that I ask questions because I want to learn as much as I can.
It looks like you have a fantastic relationship with your wife, Abbey. Does she watch you?
[Laughs] Well, she’s highly critical, so she’ll pick holes in whatever I do. But she’ll 100% be coming down to the studio at Wembley, especially if there’s a bar as well!
Are any of your kids into football?
The girls don’t seem that interested. The eldest boy doesn’t either. I’ve got faith in the youngest one, though. He’s kicking the ball already and seems to love it.
Will you keep going until you’ve got a team or is four enough?
God no! [Laughs] Don’t ever have four. It was a ridiculous decision – one that I love and wouldn’t change for the world – but it’s tough.
Lockdown must have been…
…Absolute carnage. They’re great kids, there’s just too many of them!
Do you still play?
I just play five-a-side with my mates like the old days. I’d like to think that I’m slightly better than them.
You had Prince William on your podcast – what was he like?
He’s really genuine. I remember meeting him in 2006 before the World Cup. There were no cameras, no press and he was just amazing. I can’t speak highly enough of him.
How did you book him?
The palace got in touch with us. They asked if he could come on. We couldn’t turn them down, could we?!
Have you ever been starstruck?
Meeting Brazilian Ronaldo was a big one because he was one of my heroes. I also sat next to Madonna in a restaurant once, which was a bit of a moment.
What’s next for you?
I’d love to stay around football. It’s the next best thing to playing. There’s no massive dream, though. The show we have coming
up is all my favourite things rolled into one. Don’t tell anyone but I don’t know how I’m getting away with it!
Watch Crouchy’s Year Late Euros: Live on Friday at 10.55pm on BBC One
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