Johns reveals Footy Show’s fatal error
MATTY Johns has criticised the Nine Network's decision to keep the Footy Show's name after it had sacked longtime host Paul "Fatty" Vautin, before axing the show last week.
"If it's not Fatty Vautin, it's not the Footy Show," the Fox Sports personality said on Triple M's The Grill Team on Monday morning.
"When I heard that Fatty wasn't going to do it any more, firstly I thought they should have renamed it.
"I thought they would have renamed it. They created a very, very difficult situation for Erin (Molan) by keeping it as the Footy Show."
Johns said he wasn't surprised at the show's axing, because "there had been word going around for quite a while that it was going to wind up … rumblings going around".
But he said it was "sad" and he had a lot of great memories about fun times on the show.
"It was my first start in television," he said. "Had a lot of good times there, you just had a ball.
"It used to be so much fun, going out doing the daredevil dudes and mate, yeah, it was terrific fun."
Johns, who created the satirical character Reg "Bring back the Biff' Reagan, became a regular on the show.
Discussing the Footy Show's demise on air with Triple M co-host Gus Worland, Johns agreed that "the Footy Show ended once Fatty wasn't involved in it".
He said that six years ago producers wanted him to be involved in a revamp of the show.
"I said 'yep, okay no problem', but I don't want to go back if it's going back to the Footy Show," Johns said.
"I believed a little time ago, and everyone's entitled to their opinion, it was time to reinvent it completely - new name, new everything, new show.
"We sort of got a fair way down the path and they said 'no, no we still believe the Footy Show is still a big brand and we want to keep it at that'.
"And I said 'look guys, no offence I can understand why you want to do that, 'cause the AFL one is still flying a little bit, but I'm out. I'm not going to go back'."
Johns said he believed that despite its axing, the show would continue in some form.
"They'll do this year what I thought they would have done last year," he said. "And that is … it's full time, boom, let's just go basically on the ground.
"Which they did a few times last year, you know put the set on the field - let's interview, and do it more like a post-game. So, I think that's where they'll go."
Discussing the pressures on temporary Footy Show host Erin Molan, Johns said she had "signed a three-year deal and so she's on the network and good for her".
He said it was a shame that a number of people, on and off air, were now out of work after Nine canned the show.
"There's a lot of people behind the scenes who work really hard on the show, people I'm good friends with," he said.
"People that I have worked at Fox Sports with, that have gone to Channel 9 now.
"It's unfortunate, it's not nice, but it's a show that has had a lot of great history, had a lot of really good times.
"I look back on it very fondly. It was just good fun.
"Chief, Sterlo and Fat and Glenny Pallister running the show there and Lumpy Steele and some of the producers.
"We used to have a ball … God, Reg got a way with a lot."