Amazing Race keeps host Phil Keoghan on the hop
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October 14, 2008 11:00pm
JUMPING on a plane isn't as simple as packing your bag and heading to the nearest airport anymore. Since the World Trade Centre terrorist attacks in New York in 2001, tight-knit security is at its peak at airports around the globe with customers doing all but stripping down to their underwear before getting on a plane.
So, for Phil Keoghan, who hops on and off planes for a living as host of popular reality travel program The Amazing Race, the frustration of airport security is amplified.
Keoghan has devised some light-hearted games to keep himself amused as madness erupts among passengers at the airport.
"You certainly have to keep a sense of humour," says Keoghan who has worked in more than 100 countries around the world through various projects.
"So I do ridiculous things, maybe it's because of my simple mind, but one game I play is 'spot the most ridiculous check-in passenger'.
"I have a rule that I only ever have one piece of luggage as carry-on in order to keep a tab on things and I have added up one person who had 12 individual items.
"Twelve, can you believe it? They were carrying everything Ц their purse, camera, video camera and pillow was separate."
After the show won its sixth consecutive Emmy for outstanding reality competition, Keoghan, also a producer of The Amazing Race, admits hosting the show never gets easier.
"It's the most difficult thing I have ever been involved in logistically and it's different every single time," he says. "I love it but certainly it's a very tough gig. It's probably not what people imagine. I think it's only now that people are starting to understand what it's like to make it as a production. It's very intense."
Just like the 11 teams in series 13, all racing more than 48,300km (30,000 miles) around the globe, spanning five continents in 23 days to win the ultimate $US1 million prize pool, Keoghan must ensure he's one step ahead of them.
But, there are no shortcuts and one delay or wrong move could prove detrimental to the program's tight filming schedule.
"When people watch the show, I guess they make the assumption we have shot it over a period of time, but if it's 23 days that's what we shoot it in," says the father-of-one and husband of Sydneysider Louise.
"I am going everywhere they go. I am still on delayed flights and have to travel the bumpy roads to get to where they need to get to. I have a map, but it's still hard work. At the beginning people would ask me what I would be doing while the teams run around, was I drinking pina coladas or something? That might be the perception but I assure you that isn't the reality."
Keoghan, from New Zealand, had no idea what he was getting into when he signed up as host in 2001.
"I certainly didn't see it (The Amazing Race) going on this long because when we did the first series I thought 'man, if we even finish the first one it's going to be incredible'."