Thursday 23 November 2017

'I'm not a good ultimatum guy' - Brian O’Driscoll explains rift with Paul Kimmage

Paul Kimmage in front of a picture of Brian O'Driscoll
Paul Kimmage in front of a picture of Brian O'Driscoll
Brian O'Driscoll
Declan Whooley

Declan Whooley

Brian O’Driscoll has revealed the reason why he parted company with Paul Kimmage over the writing of his autobiography ‘The Test’ in 2014.

After collaborating with Paul Kimmage for three years over his upcoming autobiography, O’Driscoll’s fall-out with his ghost-writer caused a stir, with Alan English stepping in to complete the book when it was released five months after the gifted rugby star brought the curtain down on a decorated career.

Speaking to Jarlath Regan on his An Irishman Abroad podcast, the former Leinster, Ireland and Lions captain has reflected on a number of topics, including the acrimonious split with the Sunday Independent columnist.

O’Driscoll says the pair worked for three years on the project, but only wanted to release the book post-retirement.

“So I didn't know if it was going to be after 2013 or subsequently 2014,” he says.

Read more: Paul Kimmage on BOD's book: What was left out was more interesting than what was left in

The crux of the matter came down to an interview granted prior to a Six Nations campaign.

“An ultimatum was put to me regarding doing an interview. I had promised an interview to a sports journalist - one of my last ones in my final Six Nations - who had been very good to me and pretty understanding and I felt as though I owed it to him,” he said.

“I had gotten a request from Paul to do a piece with him instead for his column. I said that I'd promised it to someone else and I couldn't renege on that.

“Then, pretty much an ultimatum was put to be that 'I don't think that I could continue working if that journalist was chosen ahead of me'.

“That was it. I'm not a good ultimatum guy.”

Kimmage told Sean O’Rourke on RTE Radio One in December 2014 that the disagreement centred on the interview O’Driscoll spoke of.

"It was over a very silly little interview he gave,” he said. “I had asked him to give an interview for the Sunday Independent, I had just got a job back. I had been unemployed for 18 months.

"I asked him could you just hold off on that and give it to me, it would make my life an awful lot easier. He couldn’t do that for his own reasons, which I respect totally.

"We would have had some serious arguments [had they continued], as you do with every project you take on."

The former professional cyclist lamented the fact that O’Driscoll never got the chance to see his work on the rugby star.

"When we had the blow-out, I was just about to deliver the first 20,000 [words] of the product. He never got to see what I made of him which would have been really interesting."

In the same An Irishman Abroad podcast, O'Driscoll questioned the supreme confidence of UFC star Conor McGregor.

O’Driscoll argues that all athletes, regardless of their success, at some stage experience a crisis of confidence, and that ‘The Notorious’ will be no different.

“That’s all sports people. Some people might trick themselves into thinking they’re more confident than they are but it’s impossible to maintain.”

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