Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Culture
  2. TV & Radio
31 October 2018updated 03 Aug 2021 6:16am

Russell Crowe makes a surprisingly lovable radio host

Not exactly renowned as an amiable interviewee, Crowe gives a great performance as a BBC 6 Music host.   

By Antonia Quirke

Not exactly renowned as an amiable interviewee (his name is accompanied with gestures of dread among film journalists scheduled to meet him), Russell Crowe makes a lovable radio host (1pm, 28 October). Well, for an hour – but he gave it welly. We heard Patsy Cline, Marianne Faithfull, Leonard Cohen and Rickie Lee Jones, and a version of “Waltzing Matilda” sung by an Australian folkie, Eric Bogle, that Crowe felt bested The Pogues’s (Shane MacGowan’s voice, he implied, was too rambunctious and preening for the sensitive lyrics – how often do you hear a known party animal admit that?).

In between, Crowe rambled about the good times (a dawn drive through Death Valley) and introed choices in a nice, relaxed way (“A great little relationship song here… but with a few twists and turns.”) He chuckled to himself in a staggeringly basso wheeze that clearly came from a heavy man. Crowe has never struggled against his DNA much, and can be near-spherical, with a beard like Gimli. One time, he said, he attended a screening of Gladiator at the actual Coliseum and had prepared some phrases in Italian to impress the crowd. “Last night I drank like a sponge” went down well. “I remain a servant of Rome” broke hearts.

Only one name drop. “I was in LA for an audition once… and instead of just sitting in some crappy hotel, with the help of George Lazenby I hired a Ford Mustang…” But then he confessed that the car turned out to not have a boot, so he worried about his stuff being nicked the entire time from the back seat. He laughed, then, at how foolish he must have looked, clutching two guitars and a suitcase with no workable plan. It reminded me of his best performance – as Bud White in the noir LA Confidential, the 1950s cop who’s always in a rage because he’s not smart, and knows the only way to stop being in a rage is to be smart. But he can’t be smart, because he’s in a rage. A perfect description of what it is to be human, no? 

Russell Crowe’s Slow Sunday
BBC Radio 6 Music

Select and enter your email address Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. A weekly newsletter helping you fit together the pieces of the global economic slowdown. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.

Content from our partners
Building the business case for growth
“On supporting farmers, McDonald’s sets a high standard”
City of London Corporation brings stakeholders together to drive climate action
Topics in this article :

This article appears in the 31 Oct 2018 issue of the New Statesman, The Great War’s long shadow