Harry and Jamie Redknapp on Life After Football, Comedy and Growing TV Demand

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It was father and son football superstars who proved there is life after football.

And now Harry and Jamie Redknapp show that they also know how to laugh.

Harry’s new ITV series, in which he takes an unfit retired English football team on a hilarious journey across Europe, started on Monday evening.

The legendary manager also partnered with his son Jamie for the sports-themed entertainment show Redknapp’s Home Fixture, which debuted last week on Sky One.

With comedian Tom Davis, they do their best to cheer us up and fill the sports void in our lives.

Both programs are in the “comedy” category – and this irony is not lost on Harry, 73, who says he was a “wretch” before he retired from football three years ago.



Jamie and Harry Redknapp in Dorset, with sons of Jamie Charles (r) and Beau.

He says, “I never imagined having a new career that would make people laugh on television in my 70s.

“When you’re a football coach, it’s hard to be a bundle of fun.

“As a player, if there was fun, I was still in the middle, but then I went into management and I got serious and pretty miserable.



Harry Redknapp during his playing days in Bournemouth

“I have been a miserable miserable for the past 40 years after becoming a manager, not laughing at all.

“But since I left football, I think I went back to my youth a bit and started laughing and having more fun. “

Jamie, meanwhile, knows all about the fun as a member of the Sky A League of Their Own sports comedy quiz team, as well as becoming a football expert and presenter since his retirement from the game – 12 years old before his father – in 2005.

And it is fitting that his father has gotten lighter and has shown more of his eye-catching side since his retirement from football was announced.



Redknapp’s last executive role was in Birmingham City

He says: “I remember coming home from school and if he had lost a game he would be pretty miserable which was understandable.

“It’s a very stressful job to be a manager, I’m not surprised that he is a bit depressed and stressed.

“But I always knew that my father was funny, and the best part is that he is not trying to be funny. When people are around him, they laugh, it’s a gift.

“He has an incredible ability to tell stories and strike punchlines for which the actors would give anything.

“That’s why I thought he would be great on the show. I said to the producers, “Dad is so funny, let’s use it.” Each show should have a good couple of Harry Redknapp stories to make people laugh. “

But who is the funniest Redknapp?

“Oh, I’m definitely funnier than Jamie,” says Harry.

“Yes, it’s him no doubt, I’ll give it to him,” said Jamie, 46.

“But I was the best footballer. “



Redknapp celebrates 1995 League Cup victory

Harry played for clubs such as Bournemouth and West Ham before managing the likes of the Hammers, Portsmouth and Spurs, whom he guided to the Champions League in 2010.

Son Jamie spent 11 years in Liverpool before joining Spurs and Southampton, and has been selected 17 times for England.

The family includes Chelsea manager Frank Lampard, son of the late twin sister of Harry Sandra’s wife, making him Harry’s nephew.

Harry, who had almost become the boss of England, finally announced his retirement after leaving Birmingham City in 2017.



The two worked together in Southampton

Then, a year later, Harry took part in IV I’m A Celebrity … Get me out of ITV and ended up captivating viewers – and was crowned king of the jungle.

He’s been in demand ever since, with several TV shows and his own tour stand-up, where he tells fun stories from his life.

Jamie said he was delighted that so many people could see the real Harry in a minute.

He says: “I remember finding out that he was going into the jungle on the front page of the Daily Mirror! I said, “Dad, you can’t do this,” and he said, “No, I’m doing it, I think it will be a laugh.” I asked him if he knew what to do and he said, “No, but whatever, I’m fine.”

“It was all very moving. I’m not overwhelmingly on reality shows, but it was really cool for me and the kids to watch it.

“The key to these shows is being yourself and not trying to be funny.



The king of the jungle, Harry, with his wife Sandra

“There were times when he clearly struggled but he really appeared like my father, the person I know.”

But Harry insisted that he had no plans to start a new career on television and thought he would retire when he returned.

He said, “I really thought,” This is it, I’m going to retire now, I love my races, I have 10 horses and I’m going to spend my days going down to the yard to watch them work.

“Being on TV was the last thing I thought about. Then I agreed to do only this one program, and after that, he went crazier than ever. ”

His latest ITV show, Harry’s Heroes: Euro having a laugh, sees him trying to train English stars of the 1990s such as Paul Merson, Matt Le Tissier and Neil “Razor” Ruddock ready to face their former German rivals in a final grudge .

He says, “I loved everything, it was absolutely great to be with these footballers, they are great guys. “

He remembers the “strangest moment” when David Seaman stormed the field when he discovered he was going to have to play against a team of French nudists.

Harry chuckles, “David had a bump with that. The guys gave him a little stick, as you can imagine, his name was Seaman and he was playing against a team of nudists. They were actually very good footballers.

“Then we brought Vinnie Jones and played with us in San Marino.

“He walked very well, but ended up giving his forearm a boost with five minutes to go, and put the guy cold.

“He had been very docile so far, but it wasn’t Vinnie’s nature to be nice for the whole game. “

The show was filmed last year and life is now very different. Harry and his wife Sandra, 72, are locked up in their home in Poole, Dorset, while Jamie is at home in Surrey, sharing the care of his sons Beau, 11, and Charley, 15, with his ex-wife pop star.

Jamie says, “I share the kids with Louise, which has worked very well.

“Home schooling has not been easy, however, and my level of respect for teachers has gone through the roof.”

While Harry, who has another son, Mark, a model, couldn’t see his five
grandchildren, he says the lockout was not too bad – and certainly nothing like being stuck in the jungle for three weeks.

He says, “It is not a difficulty in relation to the jungle. There they make you live without food, without anything. Here we have TV and food, that’s all we need. We look forward to our 1.5 hour walk a day. We don’t walk very far, people always stop and talk to me – from a distance, of course.

“We are both over 70 and we are in the vulnerable group, so we didn’t take any chances.”



Harry has since found himself at the behest of television executives

It helps, he adds, that he and Sandra, married for 53 years, get along so well. The couple “never had an argument” and the lock did not change that.

He says, “We just don’t argue, I can honestly say that. Of course, it’s not like we’re stuck in an apartment all day, we’re not on top of each other.

“Most of the time, Sandra is sitting in a room watching all the soaps, Corrie, EastEnders, Emmerdale, and I’m in the other room watching all the sports news on TV. I spend most of the day doing this.

“Sandra is a fitness fanatic and would normally have a dozen friends more than twice a week for pilates and boxing. I had to help her by holding the boxing mats as she hit them. However, I am very afraid that she will give me a good hook.

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“I know it is much more difficult for many people.

“If I lived where I was raised, in a building in East London, it would be much more difficult. We are very lucky and I appreciate it.

“My friends still live in the East End. One of them was infected with the virus and entered and left the hospital. “

Harry also did what he could to support NHS staff. He says, “We go out and cheer every Thursday. I discovered that there is a group of nurses around the corner who rent a house together while they work at the hospital.

“The other day, when they went out to applaud, I sent them all with bottles of wine.”

  • Redknapp’s Home Fixture, Friday, 10 p.m. on Sky One and NOW TV.
  • Harry’s Heroes: Euro Have A Laugh, 9 p.m. ITV tonight.

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