Q: “Tough as Nails” ties into current times in that its contestants are essential workers. What is the message that you hope the show conveys?
A: The world could do with a little more respect, an acknowledgment of others that we are really tied together. What I hope happens is that we really do focus on the things that really matter … family, health, lifestyle. I hope we don’t lose sight of that as we come out of all of this.
Q: What do you think about “Tough as Nails” being scheduled at this point in time, before your next season of ‘“The Amazing Race” that had been slated to start in May, then was held for a later date?
A: If I were a scheduler, I’d want to put it on straight away, only because it’s part of the zeitgeist right now. I’m very proud of the show, and the network is very happy with it, which is great.
Q: You’ve also been involved in podcasting with your digital show “BUCKiT With Phil Keoghan,” which covers a wide range of topics. Have you found having that outlet more valuable lately?
A: That’s more of a philanthropic venture at this point in time. I haven’t even pushed to get it on any particular platform. It’s just (a showcase for) people that I find really inspiring.
You look at the collection of people I’ve sat down and talked to — I think there’s close to 75 or 80 now — and they’re from all walks of life. It really is a celebration of amazing people, and it’s hugely rewarding. I produce it with my wife (who’s also one of Keoghan’s fellow producers on ‘Tough as Nails”).
Jay Bobbin has decades of experience covering the television and movie businesses, winning Tribune Media Services’ Crown Jewel Award in 2008 for his performance in the company. Over those many years of interviewing and writing, he has spoken with everyone from Robert De Niro and John Travolta to Paul McCartney and Tony Bennett … from Meryl Streep and Julie Andrews to Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood.