"Be Caring For Each Other!" Clash Meets Mr. Motivator
For those of a certain generation Mr. Motivator is a bit of a legend.
Bringing positivity and keep-fit instructions to British TV screens during the 90s, his pre-Power Rangers slot - and colourful outfits - meant he played a key part in many people's childhoods.
Enjoying a curious second life as a festival hero, Mr. Motivator has appeared everywhere from Camp Bestival to Reading and Leeds, while he is most readily associated with his annual Truck Festival slot.
Splitting his time between Jamaica and the UK, he's returned to Britain in its hour of need - with a nation on lockdown, he's set to banish negative energy once more with his workouts.
As part of our new Clash Cares strand, we dialed Mr. Motivator to find out more...
- - -
- - -
If ever the people of Britain needed motivation it’s right now, don’t you think?
Well, you know what? It’s always been necessary! But you’re right, especially now we have all this time on our hands, and people are sitting at home thinking what to do with the kids, and getting stressed out because you’re spending more time around the family than you normally do.
You did a special Facebook broadcast for Truck Festival, how did you feel it went?
It was great. It was so nice to be back in front of the cameras in this way – it’s actually an unusual way, because I’ve never done it before. And then having people being able to WhatsApp me at the same time… it was great! And hopefully we’ll be doing more of it, because I think – to be honest – we need cheering up a little bit because it’s all doom and gloom.
The front page of every newspaper says the same story, so I think a bit of good news is always going to make you feel a lot better. Especially because stress is one of the main things that people are going to have to try and cope with!
Do you think physical exercise is a good way of alleviating stress?
Yeah, it is. You ask any athlete, anyone who tries to achieve, they’ll tell you if on a particular day they’re not really focussed on what they’re doing they don’t perform as well. And it’s the same thing here.
Can you imagine: you’re in your room, the kids are jumping all over the bed… it’s a nice feeling, but for a lot of people that can be a lot. And time and space for you to get away from it sometimes, you need to do it – and exercise can give you that space! To do as long as you can, it doesn’t have to be intense, just make it fun.
So the message I’ve been spreading all over is that we all need to set our alarm clock, get up, and do some movement – whether it’s running on the spot or going up and down the stairs – because it’s good for you. It doesn’t have to be well-structured, it just has to be something with a lot of fun attached to it.
You can just push the couch back and bit and get on with it, can’t you?
Absolutely right. As I’ve always said, if it’s not funny don’t do it. There’s a place for all the complex stuff – and I teach it sometimes – but when I go to Truck Festival I do something where everyone can feel as though they’re taking part, and that’s the most important thing.
It doesn’t have to be complicated, it can be nice and simple, with a nice attitude and a lot of music, and people are going to want to do it.
How do you find festival crowds? They must be tired from celebrating the night before…
You know what? I don’t really notice it! The thing is, if there’s five or ten thousand people in front of the main stage, movement and laughter becomes infectious. When people start moving I don’t even notice if they’re drunk.
There was only one occasion when one young man pleaded to come onstage – I think it was his stag do – but when we let him onstage he was… a bit obnoxious, really. So I realised he was drunk! We ushered him offstage. But in general, people are there to have a good time, festivals are a great thing for a whole family, and they’re very safe.
In all the years I’ve been doing this I’ve never come across any problems. They’re a great thing to be involved in, and if they don’t people should enjoy the extra time they have to spend with their family and do something. Hopefully we’ll be allowed out to do stuff with each other.
- - -
- - -
It’s all about having that positive attitude, isn’t it? To be able to turn this time together into something beneficial for our lives.
I think so. My take on this is…
I really honestly feel that mother nature is saying: look, you’ve been extracting from my Earth, my soil so much stuff for decades, you burn all my trees, you pollute the air, you mess up our waters, you don’t have time for your family or your friends, so I want to take a break. And that seems to be what’s happening.
In all the major cities now, where pollution used to be a by-word… they don’t have it now. Rivers are getting clearer. Animals are returning. And we in the home now are having to learn a new way of behaving. When we come out the other side of this I get the feeling a lot of companies will say: you know what, we were able to keep things going, so let people spend more time working from home! I think it will change our whole attitude.
I also believe it will make us re-evaluate what is really important from our lives, and appreciate that half the world has been managing on nothing. And yet we’re here, often having a massive choice of breakfast and lunch and dinner, and yet we take it all for granted. Now we’re having to tighten our belts a little bit. Because what’s important? Food on my table, and medication being in place for our families. Those are great lessons to be learned. And that’s where I’m at!
You could have a point…
Well, do you need to be out there buying clothes every single day? No, you don’t! What do you need every day? You need milk and some food to eat. That’s what you need. No one is going to critique you if you’re wearing the same trousers tomorrow.
I think it’s going to make us change, and really look at things. And I think Mother Nature is enjoying the break… because she needed it! This is the one time where on the front pages it’s not about war, shootings, killing each other… it’s not there! That’s the break we’re having.
Well, you mention clothes… where do you get those spandex outfits from?
What I do is I go to Miami, and in downtown Miami there’s a wonderful store that has about 15,000 different garments there, and I grab the garments I like and send them to Jamaica. Then in Jamaica there’s a young man there who makes up all my unitards, and then they appear!
I have to have a fresh lot every year. Good job I went last year and had about 30 outfits made up, so I’ve got about 10 or 15 which are brand new, which I haven’t worn before, and I can start wearing now.
Do you have a huge wardrobe full of unitards? And what do you do with them afterwards?
What happens is, I get a lot of requests from charities for things for them to auction, which I do. Then underneath the bed I have all these plastic trays, and then I’ve got the unitards rolled up – with the bum bag to match – all in these trays, underneath the bed. I pull them out when I need them.
People will be able to get my unitards soon, because there’s a company called TikiBoo who is going to be selling all my designs, so people will be able to wear them with pride!
When we were checking out what you’d been up to of late we uncovered a shocking revelation: you’re 67! And yet you look younger than our team?!
Stop it! I’m very blessed. As I say to everybody, laughter, and emotional happiness, is critical. If you’re emotionally unhappy then you can’t sleep, you can’t eat, you can’t do anything, but when you’re emotionally happy you can work up until 2am, go to bed for two hour’s sleep, and then get out of bed the next morning because you’ve got a purpose, a spring in your step!
And I’m very blessed when it comes to my health. It could be genealogy, it could be what I do everyday. It’s a focal part of my life. If you leave home one day without brushing your teeth then you don’t feel right all day. With me, it’s like that with exercise. Every day I’ve got to do something! And I’m reaping the benefits of it.
The other thing is… I’ve never stopped being a big kid! I’m actually only 12 years of age.
There is occasionally going to be a mental block for people, particularly when their normal routines are removed. How can they overcome this?
The first thing is, just because you’ve got this extra time now, don’t sleep in. Keep your routine going, and get up.
Get dressed up as though you’re going to work. Then sit at your desk, and begin doing your work. Set your alarm to go off every half an hour, put on music throughout the whole house and it’ll make you want to dance. Every single time the alarm goes off get up and do something active, whether it’s running on the spot, or dancing like there’s no tomorrow – no matter what it is, make sure you’re celebrating life! That’s what you need to do.
There’s an old saying which goes: he who has health, has hope, and he who has hope, has everything. And that’s true! What we need to do is increase our health, and that ensures we’ll come out the other end as better people.
We’re all going through this together.
And this is the first thing in a long time, you know, that we are all together. Yes, we’ve seen the stupidity of people in hoarding, but we’re all sharing the same DNA. We’re all subject to the same rules, and the same outcome if you don’t abide by those rules.
Today, you should call up everybody who means something to you, and remind them that they’re important to you. Don’t take it for granted they’re going to be around tomorrow.
Be caring for each other. Show some concern for people.
- - -
- - -
Mr. Motivator kindly invites Clash readers to follow him on Instagram - find his page HERE.
You can see Mr Motivator at Y Not Festival (July 24th - 26th) and Truck Festival (July 31st - August 2nd). To donate towards The Trussell Trust, head HERE.
Join us on the ad-free creative social network Vero, as we get under the skin of global cultural happenings. Follow Clash Magazine as we skip merrily between clubs, concerts, interviews and photo shoots. Get backstage sneak peeks, exclusive content and access to Clash Live events and a true view into our world as the fun and games unfold.