UPROXX 20: Nick Watt Went All Out When He Saw The Cure Live In Scotland

Nick Watt is a journalist probably best known for his stint as foreign correspondent for ABC News. The Scotland-born Watt was dispatched by ABC to Afghanistan in 2001 immediately after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and spent much of the next four years there, at one point bunkering down in a cow shed during the hunt for Osama bin Laden in the Tora Bora Mountains. He traveled in disguise throughout the tribal areas of Pakistan, before going off to Iraq where he won an Emmy for his reporting on the conflict in Fallujah while embedded with the Marines.

Currently, Watt is the host of the Travel Channel’s new original series, Watt’s World. As the network describes it in a press release, Watt will be “going rogue, going deep and asking questions he’s always wanted to ask” on the show. Further, he’ll be “doing what he’s always wanted to do and going where he’s always wanted to go. Full immersion. Through his own inquisitive lens, Watt is on a mission to uncover all that is strange, wild and wondrous across our remarkable planet.”

Nick was nice enough to take a few minutes out of his busy schedule recently to answer a few questions from us.

1. You walk into a bar. What do you order from the bartender?

That’s a vague question. Where am I? What time of day is it? Am I alone? I like beer, vodka martinis and sometimes a glass of rosé. I wouldn’t order anything other than the beer in Scotland. I used to be a bartender when I was at college in St Andrews. My favorite customer was a tough little golf caddie who would always order, “Voddie and Coke, nae ice, nae fruit.” He didn’t want a slice of lemon in his warm vodka and Coke. Probably the best job I’ve ever had. In those days, bars in Scotland all closed at 11 p.m. We’d lock up, tidy up, then sit drinking, singing, and leaning over the bar to pour pints of ‘Heavy’ into the early morning.

2. Who’s your favorite person to follow on Twitter and/or Instagram?

Rob Delaney, a filthy-mouthed, but very smart comedian. Also an English radio cricket announcer called Aggers. Radio cricket commentary is possibly the only thing I really miss from my time living in London. These guys can keep you rapt in a five-day game, which can sometimes move a little slowly, by talking about cake, pigeons, mustaches, underpants… anything.

3. What’s currently waiting for you on your DVR/TiVO?

Nothing. I haven’t figured out how to work my DVR yet. I tend to watch and re-watch a cult British comedy called Peep Show. I must have seen each episode five or 10 times and never tire of it. My wife will walk in, say, “We’ve seen this one,” and walk out. I like the familiarity.

4. It’s your last meal — what are you going out with?

Nic Cage. Grilled.

5. What websites do you visit on a regular basis?

The Guardian newspaper, the Scotsman newspaper, ABC News, Cricinfo, the New York Times, Wikipedia (I’m a journalist), the New Yorker and the Daily Mail. I’m highbrow and lowbrow. Mainly lowbrow.

6. What’s the most frequently played song on your mobile device?

“Breezeblocks” by alt-J. There are also a few constants in there: The Carpenters, Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan, Belle & Sebastian.

7. The first face that comes to mind when you think “punchable?”

I can’t say. He might read this. He knows who he is. I haven’t punched him yet. But I might.

8. What’s the last thing you googled?

“Are TSA scanners safe.” “Yellow roof gravel.” “Clear furniture urethane.” “The Revolutionary Suicide Mechanised Regiment.” “Cape Air Terminal Logan Airport.” “Best vacuum cleaner.” “Active volcanoes.”

9. Dogs or cats?

Neither. I have children (boys), who act a bit like dogs.

10. Best concert of your life was…?

The Cure in Dundee, Scotland. I wore make-up, I drank hard cider, I pretended to be a lot cooler than I am. I got a butterfly tattoo the next day.

11. What book are you most likely to give as a gift?

Anything I‘ve read and loved. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote is an all-time favorite.

12. What’s the nicest thing anyone has ever done for you?

Thrown me a surprise birthday party. And I hated it. I’m not particularly sociable at the best of times. The party was thrown by a relatively new girlfriend. She’d mined my phone contacts and invited a random selection. So, we ended up with some vague work acquaintances milling about awkwardly in her apartment.

13. South Park or Family Guy?

South Park.

14. You have an entire day to do whatever you want. What would you do?

I would wake up at 6 a.m. to watch rugby on TV. With the time difference between L.A. and Europe, the games come on silly early here. I sometimes go to a pub in Santa Monica, The King’s Head, which opens early for the games. You can always tell who the Scotland fans are because they’ve brought their own thermos flasks of coffee from home, so they don’t have to buy it in the bar. On this perfect day, Scotland would beat England 60-0. One of the only times my dad has ever called me was when I was in New York once, and he called to tell me that the much-hated England team captain had broken his leg. Didn’t mention the score. Just the break. Then I would play tennis with my friend Harry on my way home. We spend a long time chatting at the net. I’d pick up my kids and eat pancakes on our way out to Temescal Canyon beach. In the winter, we usually have the beach to ourselves because Angelinos think its cold, and we think it’s hot. Then, a fishy lunch in Malibu, probably at the Reel Inn. Back home, I’d put a couple of tritips on the grill and invite a bunch of friends and their kids over.

15. What movie can you not resist watching if it’s on?

Office Space, Withnail & I. Goodfellas. Planes, Trains and Automobiles.

16. The sports team or teams you’re most passionate about?

The Scotland rugby team, and they nearly always lose. But when they win, it’s heavenly. My friends and I still talk about the rare victories back as far as 1984. Recently, I bumped into one of my childhood rugby heroes, a guy called Roy Laidlaw, who played when rugby was amateur. He remember one year when he was invited to a dinner in London for the best players in the world. But he couldn’t go because he was rewiring the public toilets in Jedburgh, our local town. One of the best rugby players in the world on weekends, electrician Monday through Friday. Imagine if LeBron was a plumber during the week.

17. Where did you eat the best meal of your life?

I have no idea. I eat a lot of good food. My wife is a chef and I get to travel to great places. But I have a terrible memory. I absolutely adore food. And actually there is one more thing I miss from London: Gastropub food. I love lamb shanks, crusty bread and dark beer. There’s a place called The Havelock in West London around the corner from where I used to live that served all of that, and with a scowl. I love it.

18. The last movie you saw in a theater?

Cinderella. I took my older son and his friend Belle to the premier in L.A. They couldn’t have cared less about the stars sitting around them. They just loved the free popcorn.

19. Who was your first celebrity crush?

Madonna. Those early single sleeves were the closest thing to pornography we were allowed in our boarding school. And a Belarusian tennis player called Natasha Zvereva. She’s not a classic beauty. My friends mocked me. And I still can’t explain it.

20. What would you cook if Nic Cage was coming to your house for dinner?

I wouldn’t let Nic Cage in my house. Would you?

Here’s a clip from Watt’s World

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