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Let's go. Miles away from all that now for a minute, right, and my next guest. He's back on our screens. And Kyra, at the moment with Hector Africa airing on Thursdays at half nine. Hector Hocker gone.


Good afternoon to you, Brandon. How's it going? I'm good. Good to hear you.


Let's let's change the tone around here. Hector, it's been relentless validity for the last hour and 20 minutes.


Listen, we talk about the TV in a minute. Yourself and Tommy Tiernan are the number one podcast in Irlam right now, I believe.


Yeah. The only thing, number one to me will be something like Top of the Pops. Top of the Pops was the great number one. When I was growing up. We we couldn't wait every week to see Cojocaru or Terence Trent, RB or Lenny Kravitz or Adam audience or Simple Minds or Big Country or U2, Top of the Pops. So, listen, all I'm doing is going down to the garden shed with Tommy once a week, and I'm trying to take people away from this S.H. it we're in at the moment.


And if I can make people laugh and people are enjoying it, we're very we're very happy that it's going well. We're like a newborn baby. It's only four weeks old. OK, and in Tommy's henhouse, I believe Tommy, it's Tom. It's an old hen house. That's Tommy is all his books and his bits and pieces in there. He goes down there like a hermit supposed to do for tinking. Is it don't to do. He is this little routine where he gets up and lets the dogs out at 6:00 in the morning and nobody else is around and he has six double espressos and then by nine o'clock he's ready to go and he goes off down to the shed then and smoke cigars and does his stuff.


He's got seven thousand books behind him on a bookshelf when he does a zoom interview. So it makes him look very, very, very intelligent with all types of philosophical and comedic comedy books. But we have kids of the whole place out in the studio. We're joined forces with a girl who was on the radio with us years ago, and Larissa blew it from mail. And we have created this show called the Tommy and Hector Show with Larry who blew it.


And it's it's just it's just a diversion. It's like a media agenda. Or do you just chat? No, it's like getting on a raft, say, on a boat like the Mississippi. And we're just going whatever the current takes us, it's like it's like the Shannon. It meanders round the bend. You don't know what topic of conversation has got a common touchwood. It's getting a great reaction. It's making people laugh. And it's it's good fun and we're enjoying it.


And it's something for all of us and especially me and told me to focus on it on a Tuesday morning. I feel real giddy. I feel like a first year going to school in St. Patrick and er going back to school with me best mate.


Yeah. And of course you and Tommy are, you know each other so well, your brothers really aren't going back years.


Yeah. He makes me laugh and I make him laugh and there's a great level of giddiness. I suppose when you laugh and you have tears which are laughter, it's like being in geography class when you're sitting there and you know, when the person beside just giggling so much you can feel their elbow moving and, you know, they're still laughing and you're trying to hold the laughter. And those those types of laughter are very good. When the tears come and there's a lot of outbursts of spontaneous laughter on the show and good stories, people are enjoying the stories and especially now with the podcast Branum.


I mean, the analytics of this is mad because we can almost see to the city globally where people are downloading the podcast. So it's hitting a lot of people in Canada and Australia and America and Siberia and the Congo. We had one person download and the Congo last week. So we want to find that person. And it's amazing to see how podcasts have exploded and the art of capturing somebody's ear has exploded in the last couple of years.


Yeah, yeah. But of course, you'll never be good old fashioned on air FM radio Hektor.


I'm obliged to say that at this point in the game. Brendan, Brendan, good radio.


You know, good radio. I know good radio. Good radio is very, very important.


Hectorol of the last few months, six months been for you. It's been different since we came back from Africa on the 10th of March. I mean, this is the first time in twenty years I haven't gone back to finish the series for TIGHAR on the on the travel show. It was at the boys. My two boys there are 16 and 14 and they adapted quite quickly, pretty quickly to life with the Xbox. They could easily do seven to eight hours on an Xbox.


They say 10000 hours makes you an expert on anything. I've got two experts on Xbox at this stage. They're going for the world championships. But the first couple of months, I suppose you're easy with that. Are you weren't freaking out about too much screen time right now. You can't. You can't really. Yeah.


And I suppose the weather was good and they could go out the back and kick a bit of football. We were very lucky to coach in under sixteen Claire, go away and been coaching Gaelic football for a few years. So we managed to play our championship out over seven Fridays during July and August. So the championship was dawn. My boys are very active like that. But Mother Nature was was really good to us back in April and May and it's nice and out this morning and Galway Spectacular.


Look, I don't think I think the country doesn't know what we're coming, go gone, we've painted every house and every room. There's nowhere else to paint every every every guest room, every box room, every attic has been cleaned out. So if we go into another lockdown, I don't know what people are going to do because every job that was on the long finger has been done.


Yeah. And listen, did you miss working and traveling and all that?


Am, I suppose, when I'm home for the last couple of years that the travel has taken up three months of each year. I mean, we did Siberia to Saigon in the wintertime two years ago. We did three months in the states last year through the southern states of Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, New Mexico, Arizona drove across. So I'm home when I'm home. So I like being at home. And I can I can busy myself when I'm at home.


But it's different now when you're looking out the window, because in the world of show business and corporate and television projects and stuff like that, and for me, I know the way Tommy is feeling on the comedy side, live venues and music, it's very, very, very, very strange. And it's it's it's it's it's bleak at the moment there. So I'm not I'm trying not to think about it. I'm just I'm just we're I'm just getting on with it, because if you think about it too much, it is quite mad to think that we're all going and wearing masks.


And when you look at the window, the way the world has just been knocked off kilter, the world is broken at the moment and we need it fixed. Yeah, I do live rurally enough.


Yeah, I live about ten miles outside. Go away. So it's nice.


And what's the feeling out there is a nicer being in a rural area and during a time like this. Ah is it, is it, does it feel a bit grim and recreation. Not and there are advantages of it.


I never walk before in my life and I was starting, my wife said come on, we go for a walk during covid and does nothing better than in. You know, the iPhone can tell you how many steps you've done. I never, never checked that before. Doing 5000 steps or 8000 steps. There's a lot of aunties living in rural areas and then urban areas during during the heavy lockdown of April and May. But look at we're all in I know it sounds corny, but we're all in this together.


Whether whether you're in a small little village in the county got kind of got that the numbers are rising and Galway, their numbers are rising all over the country. And we're coming up with all these fancy terms of circuit breakers and all this sort of stuff. Now, I don't know. I really don't know whether we're coming or going. Yeah, but you're you're keeping your head above water. Would you be the kind of person I could get down about things?


Are you always Hektor like and just keep keep pouring through it once my right on once the ride on lawnmower, it broke there a couple of weeks ago. Brendon and that brought me to that. I get to the edge. Yeah. To ride on lawnmower that bloody sometimes something wrong. The police were gone and another belt on it and that it takes me two days to get over that. It's, it's yeah. When I see it heading off to the Lamore Hospital and it's, it's a difficult time and the joy and elation when it comes back off the truck and when I can sit on that ride on lawnmower up the back, nobody can touch me.


Nobody can touch me. Who was the country singer who took off on the road, on the right, on Normore. I'm picturing you like that. It had nothing to ride on. Really. You can't take it. It's a 15 year old ride on and she go forever. It's a it's a good one. But look at I can see myself when I need to. And I started jogging as well, Brandon. I started jogging and I never I never thought I'd do two kilometres at five.


I did my longest average out the other day. I really do. I did eleven kilometres there on Wednesday morning. So I'm going aggressive.


Yeah. I started Israel just at the beginning of all this. I couldn't run one hundred yards and I go, I've gone up to five and I'm keeping it at five. Do you think I should try and push through the five. Yeah. Right. Couple of fundamental bases there. No I don't check the thing until I come back and I say it's somebody told me Ritchie Donovan, the ultra gold, the guy from Galway's on them ultramarathons all over the world and all over the Antarctic and Arctic.


He says it's a how long you can run for, not the distance. So if you run thirty minutes or thirty six minutes or forty minutes. So if it's a fifty two minute run, it's, it's not about the distance is about how long you can keep moving forward. And then I decided to buy up a really fancy pair of running shoes. Yeah. The good shoes are crucial. Yeah. Yeah. Crucial. Yeah. And a decent pair of socks because you start getting blisters and hot after four or five kilometres.


But I, for me I find the headphones, the headphones are vital for me and I put on a good album. I ran to the Joshua Tree the other day. U2 to Joshua Tree. Brendan you don't feel too far down a bit then. No first lawn's no.


But when I got to in God's country, man that I feel that I feel when I feel good for in God's country. Yeah I by the way, we've next in fact checking operation operating there under. George Jones is a country singer who went off on this road trip, often on road. I'll do a podcast with Tommy on the ride on right around Ireland.


Yeah, yeah, yeah. You know, that kind of thing. Bono for a pack of cigarettes and he never came back and started situations. I think it's great for for to keep up the road and because it's in your head, isn't it? Yeah, so, you know, he's holding up there. They're fine. I do feel a little bit in the knees now and again. No, no, no, no. I'm Lashinda glucosamine in me.


Porridge in the meteorite is dangerous. But I suppose the first the first kilometer is always the worst. Like when I go out for a run and it's always the first column and I'm going, oh my God, I feel this is terrible. I can't do this. And once your breathing gets into it, once you just slow down to your own pace. And again, it's something completely new. I've never ran in my life and now I'm running.


Yeah, yeah. And same here. And I think the thing to say to people would be that it is great for the head. And if you think you can't do it, you actually can.


If you were certain you can do it, can you just slow it down, get the breathing going and just just just toddle along at your own pace? I mean, it's nothing to nobody and go out at the right time where there's not 400 other people around the to do it on your own time. And, you know, there's some beautiful evenings there at seven, eight, nine o'clock at night on August, even September evenings where it's quiet there.


There are quiet places to go for a run and just get into your own space. Some people don't like the headphones, but I. I do.


OK, now we should talk about the television show. So you as you alluded to there, you were doing this Hektor Africa show going back to Africa and then pandemic's. Yeah.


And it was very strange when we flew we left Ireland on the in the first week of February 26th to do this series, the Eighties. And we were starting in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, and we were going all the way through Ethiopia, Sudan, into Kenya, into Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania and Finland, finishing on the Z, which would be Zimbabwe. This was another adventure, another epic adventure that took six months to a year to plan visas, passport, everything, to get the documentation to get into certain countries.


We were ready. Roskill was ready. Everyone was ready, having traveled with the same two guys for twenty years. So we flew into we flew into Ethiopia on the first week in February. And we it was funny, even in February in the port in Sudan, in Khartoum and in Addis Ababa and in Nairobi, they were checking our temperatures as we got off the plane before the baggage reclaim. There were you were standing on their infrared television machines and they could you see your body temperature?


We were stopped on numerous occasions to ask us when will we ever in China, where were we coming on? And then there was a gun checking your temperature to the forehead as you left each of the airports in February in Africa. Yeah. So, you know, we we kept waiting for this. This was going to be catastrophic completely for Africa. But Africa, as far as I know, I haven't checked in the last few days, is still doing reasonably OK here compared to what we feared, isn't it?




And I suppose on this series as well, Brandon, we wanted to show you the changing face of Africa. It was six years since I've been in Addis Ababa, six years since we were on the continent of Africa. This is a modern, bustling, changing society, an extraordinary place not not expected at all.


My stereotype of Ethiopia. It's the New York of Africa. It's one of the most amazing, ancient, modern, brilliant, spiritual, magical, mystical places the Ethiopians have. They are they're the softest, richest, most friendliest tribe alive. They're just it's an incredible place, probably the most populated, landlocked country in the world. Over a hundred million people, tribes from all areas. It's just amazing. The lush down south in Ethiopia. Would you I could only describe it like Pocahontas movie with lush rivers and waterfalls and and green forest and tropical birds and animals and meandering roads.


You could have been in the mountains of Switzerland and then you'd look again and you're you can see the smoke rising from villages and in the mountains in the distance, incredible people. I cannot speak highly of it. And we're very, very proud that on Teagarden on this show that I've been doing for such a long time that I can get to give you a window into this amazing planet that we're living in, these amazing places. I mean, it's not all I know.


It's not sending these places as victims and not presenting them as as just kind of places. Absolutely.


If you asked a still the stereotypical image of Ethiopia would be the Bob Geldof 1984 and the starving children. But they've coming off a long way for that. Yes, there still is poverty. Yes, there still is. And I don't like the word Third World and first world because we have problems in our in our country here where people are homeless. And, you know, we we throw these comments are the last third world and we live in the first world.


East Africa has changed so much. Yes, there's places with unstable governments and poverty and regimes and and stuff like that. But it has come on leaps and bounds. It's an amazing place, amazing, amazing, diverse place. And I think in the future it's onwards and upwards for Africa. And you visited Rastafarian reservation because I did. Rastafari kind of has its roots in Ethiopia, doesn't it? In that in that the. It's believed highly Selassie, the emperor of Ethiopia, was the second coming of Jesus Christ, isn't it?


Yes. So I suppose we associate is instantly Rastafari with Jamaica and Bob Marley, which has obviously Bob Marley was a big thing about that. But the Rastafari and their beliefs are that, yes, as you said, that he walked there was the second coming of Jesus Christ. There was a highly Selassie, the black emperor of Ethiopia, who ruled in the 60s in Ethiopia and into the early 70s. He they believe that he was their God walking amongst man on Earth.


And in 1960, something I think he liked, Cavaleiro gave the God that God land of county made to the Economia of people and offered it to them in the forties for the land exodus where hundreds of they were being persecuted in Jamaica.


Yes, yes.


And he offered this to all a global offer to any Rastafari or any to come. And about 150 miles south of Addis Ababa, he gave three or four hundred acres to the Rastafari community. So Rastafari from all over the world to come and live there in peace in Zion, in the promised land. And and they created a community college in Shishmanian. And I was in Shishani six years ago. There was one hundred and fifty foot statue of Bob Marley as we walked in.


It was an incredible place. When we arrived there, it was just oozing Rastafari, reggae music and good vibes. Six years ago, there were Rastafari from Tokyo, from Manchester, from Argentina, from Jamaica. There were the older Rastafari that almost looked through it like when you see them and they were all congregated, it was heaven, it was Zion. And then I came back only two or three months ago to find out that tribal the tribal unrest, there's an awful lot of Rastafari who have left.


It is diminishing because even in Ethiopia, you have political wings of tribes that don't agree. They're all angry with each other. This is our land. That's not your land. So it was a it was a stark contrast to six years ago when I thought I was in Rastafari.


Utopia, by the way, did you ever hear the story of highly Selassie was allowed come to Jamaica and the Jamaican authorities said to me, you can come on one condition you need to tell these people. I think at that stage that Rastafari will live up in the hills and so forth. They they had said, yes, you need to tell these people that you are not Jesus Christ. Right. And Sahili Selassie came and the Jamaican government had no idea of the power of the Rastafarian movement and how many of them were.


And they came down from the hills. Right. Tens of thousands of them came down to greet him. And highly Selassie came and and was driven among them and everything. And and it really instead of killing off the Rastafarian movement, it actually galvanized it in Jamaica. And the Jamaican authorities said to Harley Selassie afterwards, you were supposed to tell them that you're not Jesus Christ. And he said, oh, yeah, I forgot to say that.




OK, listen, we have an official clip here from Episode one, which I need you to explain this. You're visiting a market in the Omo Valley. Yeah, this will be in Yangon.


This will be way south, about seven or eight hours deep into the southern part of Ethiopia where the this will be the Spaniel Hill are the Ballinasloe Halfaya. This will be a massive market town that we stumbled across where the tribes of southern Ethiopia, the hammer tribe, the banana tribe and the Mausi Tribe will congregate once a month with all their agricultural produce. Some will walk for a few days and a few nights, but it will be thronged of tens of thousands of people, of all colors and cultures and of the tribes of southern Ethiopia who get together to sell their produce, socialize and meet at a crossroads in southern Ethiopia.


OK, here's a clip.


This is a miniskirt, really, really short and showing your legs strength show off their legs. Yeah, this is the little secret of this dress that the men sit on the small chair. So when the man sits, you can go to the nice angle where a woman can see your balls and be attractive it so you can give a chance for the woman to see your balls and then she may come to him and talk to him.


OK, now, now, what about that? This was about the social element of our dating, isn't this? What? Yeah, they don't need Tinder in southern Ethiopia. This is this is bad. You know, this was a way of socializing these young tribal women from the different tribes, that banner tribe, that whammer tribe and the Mausi they can marry into the different tribes. And this was that was a bannermen. He was about six foot four.


They come in all their glory with all their jewelry. They look magnificent. They have these miniskirts on wood, beaded miniskirts and all adorned by jewelry. The women as well, the women go round with a little further on the back of their skirts to show that they're single. But the way that they entice a woman at the crossroads would be sitting there on their little seat that they've made from wood and that they can see the leader orgy.


OK, OK. It's not incredible. It's incredible. The woman there's no party boys there, is there? No, no. But she concedes she's well-endowed. Yeah.


OK, let's let's move on from Ethiopia now. So that window last Thursday. Yeah. And Ethiopia, Sudan and Kenya are next. How is Sudan?


Sudan, Brendan? I suppose it's not on TripAdvisor. You know, I troubled is the word that comes to mind there again. And it's the images that I would ask you, Brandon, are one hundred people on the street? Would you go to Sudan in the morning? And what would your answer be?


Not right now. OK, there you go.


So these are the type of things that I believe that we're sort of the media in general will feed us after a while. We're perception's and we spoke about it about Africa, a place oh, don't go there. Or it's all poverty. It's all it's all famine again. Sudan. Yes. Sudan spikes things in your mind of civil unrest of of Omar al-Bashir, the evil dictator of a Muslim country, of civil unrest, of South Sudan, of Darfur, of genocide.


And, you know, all these images were in my mind when we got to to the airport in Khartoum, the capital, six hours after getting out to a military customs at four o'clock in the morning, we were there asking ourselves, where are we going? Why are we here? This is really difficult. It took us six hours to get through customs in another world, in a Muslim world. And where the only tourists there, there are no other white lads there.


There are no other TV companies going around. This is not, you know, this very few people travel in and out of Sudan unless you're from the area, you're Muslim and you live down there. So finally, we got to our hotel called the Acropolis, which is a rundown two star hotel in the center of of of of Khartoum. It's to describe it would be a bustling capital city. It's a it's a Muslim city, you know, but I walk to the call of prayer and open the shutters.


And then we knew we were in another world so far away from where anywhere we've been that we knew that this was going to be different. Yes, I had in trepidation and not not so much fear, but your sort of you know, you will go and wonder what will happen here. We had nine days in Sudan and by the end of our trip to Sudan, we were we were absolutely bowled over and blown away by the brilliant people of Khartoum and of that country, by their amazing tenacity, by their softness and richness of their in their Muslim worlds are mostly Sunnis, Sunni Muslims in Sudan.


And it's a world that has changed so much since eight million people camped outside the palace last year and overthrew one of the biggest monsters in the political world and evil dictator called Omar al-Bashir 52 days of peaceful protest with eight million people. And they finally have opened a new chapter. And it's a new beginning for Sudan. And I was so, so honored. This is going to be a great show on next Thursday night to show people a Muslim world and a man a from Navan walking through a Muslim world.


And it's just it's an incredible place.


The only ginger man in Sudan I'm imagining.


Well, yeah. What factor? Fifty on an amazing people or, you know, they were very inquisitive, very curious. And it was an amazing time for us to see a land where women couldn't play any sport. And then I went to meet a soccer team there. They just started their own soccer team where women couldn't wear a pair of jeans. They couldn't do so many, so many things. It's so and we spoke to journalists who were there on the ground during that peaceful protest.


It's an amazing place. Sudan, probably the third largest Arabic country in the world. And I delved right into it. Head first, made amazing friends there. We had an amazing time. And I think television wise, I think people won't have seen something like this in a long, long time from a country like Sudan.


Hector, have gone miles over time. But I really enjoyed that. And I can see from the text that everybody really enjoyed you transporting us off there for a while. So thanks for that. And Hector Africa A to Z continues on TIGHAR this Thursday at nine thirty PM Hectorol, Hulk Hogan, Garmin, Ann-Margaret.


Shukran AF1 email.


Brandon Ottati Desai.