Russ Williams - '
is the kind of place that makes Katowice Burnley
look like ' Las Vegas
RUSS Williams is a constant traveller but his favourite passport stamp is a boring red one which just says:
. Union Island
"I've been there three times and got three stamps," he tells me. "It is a mini mini island in the
Grenadines - the kind of place
where you can see the bottom in 100ft of water. It is so small and intimate
that you can make out what people are doing in their front rooms as you fly
Snorkling and lounging on a catamaran in the
Caribbean is his idea of a
nice Christmas though he does admit that every other year he spends the festive
season in . Finland
"I've been to
about 100 times
because my wife comes from there. Her family have got a great place on an
island with traditional log cabins and saunas; in Finland there's no nonsense
about wearing a towel or swimming costume in the sauna: you're totally naked.
And when you've finished you go out in the snow for a beer, then you go back in
to beat each other with vine leaves. Strangers can't see a thing, because the
island belongs to my wife's family." Finland
Which all sounds pretty decadent, though when not working as a disc jockey Russ has plenty of down-to-earth interests: he is also a football writer.
"I travel a lot to see matches but there are a few stadia I'd still like to see. One is the stadium of Boca Juniors in
. The local derby
between Boca and River Plate is the most hate-filled occasion in football. I'd
love to see that." Buenos Aires
And here's more proof that following international football can be a tough business:
"Last year I went to
in Katowice to see the England
World Cup qualifier. It's the kind of place that makes Poland Burnley look like . And it's lucky
that my doctor is an amoeba specialist! I picked up a parasitic gut infection
there which meant that I had to take the strongest dosage of antibiotics you
can ever have - without going unconscious. Las Vegas
"And then immediately afterwards I went on a round-the-world trip for Virgin Radio, broadcasting from different cities as we went along, doing 29,000 miles in two weeks.
"The adrenaline kept me going for the fortnight but being ill was hellish. We did stuff like arriving in
Hong Kong at , going on air between 6 and , then jumping on
the plane for a
nine-hour flight to . It took me two or
three months to recover from that trip. Australia
"The most amazing show was in
, where I thought I
was going to be shot on air. We were broadcasting from a dodgy bar, where lots
of dubious characters were carrying guns. There were police too, who were
supposed to be protecting our expensive equipment from being stolen, except
that they kept wandering off - unless we kept handing them hundreds of dollars
in bribes to stay. Mexico City
"And all this was going on while we were doing the show! I couldn't exactly tell the listeners in detail because I didn't want to offend some of the nice Mexicans we had met. But that's the beauty of travel."
Russ Williams presents the mid-morning show on Virgin Radio (1215AM or 105.8 FM) from Monday to Friday. His book 'Football Babylon II' (published by Virgin) comes out in August.