Falling in to the industry as teenager while being interviewed at the local radio station Stephen McIvor utilises his 27 years of live presenting (including commentating at the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2012 London Olympics) to engage with any audience as one of New Zealand’s most professional MC’s.
You have been on the air for 27 years having fallen in to it after being interviewed on the radio as a teenager. If it wasn’t commentating and MC’ing, what do you think you would be doing now?
If I wasn’t doing what I’m currently doing, I’d probably still be in radio. The intimacy of radio and the immediacy has always drawn me to it and now doing a bit of talkback radio, it highlights just how intimate it really is, particularly when you are discussing a sensitive subject.
You have commentated on some of the world’s biggest sporting events including the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2012 London Olympics, what preparation goes in to an event like that?
Preparation is paramount to any major event.
Research is key – reading, reading and lots of reading. And then when you’re on the ground at the venue it’s about asking questions, watching things unfold and most importantly soaking up the feeling of the event you’re about to commentate on.
Do the nerves ever get you?
Nerves are a positive. They’ve lessened over the years as confidence grows, but if it’s a totally new event that you’ve never done before, they kick back in pretty quickly. For example, doing the Indian Sport Kabaddi in 2016.
What has been for you so far, the absolute highlight within your career?
There’s a number of highlights. Commentating on the opening and closing ceremonies at the 2012 London Olympics, commentating the Warriors 2011 NRL Final and that same year getting to call a league game at Wembley and the final of the Kabaddi World cup in Ahmedabad (India) 2016. In many ways the true highlight has been able to be going to sports events and working on them for almost 30 years and seeing the sporting landscape change.
You also give your time back as the ambassador of the Prostate Cancer Foundation of New Zealand with Blue September. What made you want to do this and what have you learned about Prostate health since your support began at the PCFNZ?
My role as a Blue September ambassador came around a few years ago when my brother found out he had it and it really knocked me for a six, so when the Blue September appeal came around I approached the Prostate Cancer Foundation and asked if I could help and I’ve been involved ever since each year and will help out at event again in 2019.
The one thing you learn about Prostate Cancer very quickly when you hit 50 (although you should be checking from 40) is if you don’t check each year, you are rolling dice in potentially missing you might have it. Get it early and your chances of being ok are way higher.
Head injuries are frightening. You had your own health scare (a head injury from boxing). How do you stay fit and healthy these days?
Fit and healthy? Mmmm… walking and intermittent fasting is my go these days, although I’ve promised myself to get back into the boxing gym. Best fitness ever, whatever the age.
Stephen McIvor can be booked as an MC or speaker via johnsonlaird.com