Full Chat podcast: Kriss Akabusi gives the inside track on athletics, Record Breakers and his love of motorbikes

Motivational speaker, Olympian and TV personality Kriss Akabusi brings plenty of energy and smiles to Full Chat as our new podcast gathers pace.

The sprinter, who won a silver medal in the 4x400m relay at the 1984 Olympics, became a household name for his exploits on the track before stealing the nation’s hearts as a lovable broadcaster.

He fronted several shows, including Record Breakers, and revealed to Full Chat co-hosts Iwan Thomas and David Prutton that he was temporarily asked to change his style of presenting by TV execs.

TV bosses sent me for elocution lessons, admits Kriss Akabusi

The former soldier’s excitable demeanour made him the perfect fit for Record Breakers – a children’s TV show themed around trying to break world records. It ran from 1972 to 2001 with the sprinter taking centre stage between 1993 and 1997.

“I’m energetic, I’m enthusiastic, I speak at 100mph,” the motivational speaker smiled.

“One of my stories is that when I did Record Breakers, I did it for a year, and I was enthusiastic and bubbly. And they said to me after the year: ‘Akabusi, it’s great, we love you and your energy, but nobody can understand you.’ I was speaking in hieroglyphics.

“So I had to go away and get elocution lessons. I went away, got them, and came back the next year: ‘Good morning boys and girls, ladies….’ ‘Ooooooohhhh no, Kriss go back, we want that crazy dude again – shake it up, pump it up, new world record!”

Akabusi discussed a wide range of other topics during the show’s second outing, which was launched last week with Michelin star chef Paul Ainsworth as the first guest. His passion for athletics and motorcycling shone through as he explained how it makes him feel when he’s on two wheels.

The Team GB hero added: “You just sense you’re part of this wonderful universe. Things are going past at speed, but you’re almost indelibly inked inside of the whole atmosphere.

“You catch a few flies obviously, especially back then when you had your little visors, but it’s just beautiful to be part and parcel of the world when you’re on your bike.”

Plenty more episodes of Full Chat to come

Series one is off and running, but there’s plenty more to come from our brand new motorcycling podcast about everything on two wheels. Each week a celebrity guest will detail their history of bikes, along with some funny anecdotes.  

You can listen to Full Chat on Spotify, Apple, YouTube or various other platforms if you want to see what all the fuss is about.

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August 8, 2023