Beau Ryan's new TV role a cultural crash course
HE RETIRED from footy five years ago, but you can't take the athlete out of Beau Ryan.
The former rugby league Footy Show funny man returns to TV screens as the host of Ten's Amazing Race reboot, and he admits he cast a sportsman's eye over the reality adventure show's 22 contestants.
"When I first saw the cast, I started picking teams on their physical attributes and I couldn't have been more wrong in tipping who would do well," he tells The Guide.
"You need to be measured and calm - things I'm not - and you need to be able to take a knock, get back up and roll with it.
"There were teams who were just down and out where I saw them on the satellite navigation so far off the grid, but they'd turn up on the mat before other teams. I have nothing but respect for them."
As host, Ryan will lead 11 teams as they ping-pong across three continents in pursuit of the show's $250,000 cash prize.
The race is split into legs, with teams eliminated for being the last to arrive at a designated pit stop. Along the way they have to decipher clues, complete challenges and interact with the locals.
Ryan, 34, admits he's still recovering from the round-the-world adventure, which took him to Asia and Africa.
"I wake up every morning and I don't know where I am for the first 20 seconds. We were in a new country every few days," he says.
"I'm pretty resilient and I've travelled quite a bit but the race in itself was brutal. I remember the last day when we travelled back into Australia from a place in Asia and we landed and then got on a flight and flew to the top end of Australia. Then we got off the plane and filmed all day and night. I said 'Have we slept?'. My producer said 'No'. For two days we hadn't slept; we were running on adrenaline. I can't imagine what the racers were going through.
"You're away for so long, you learn so much about yourself and what you need and don't need. You're seeing cultures and how people live. Some of the stuff I saw I can't un-see and what I learnt was just priceless. I want to take my family back to some of the countries we went to."
This year's teams include two adventurous nuns from Missionaries of God's Love Sisters, a pair of Bondi Beach-based social media influencers and mischievous sisters Hayley and Mikayla from Queensland.
"You've got to pick the right person to do it with. If you've got a rocky relationship this will either make or break it," Ryan says.
"Either it will bring you really close, or it will nearly split you up."
The Amazing Race premieres Monday at 7.30pm on Ten/WIN.