A Current Affair (Australia) Interview
Mar-2008: Light-hearted segment on the Australian TV program “A Current Affair”, discussing lacing methods, shoelace knots and my recently released book, “Laces”.
- Interviewed for: A Current Affair (Australia)
- Interviewed by: Brady Halls
- Interviewed via: Video (film crew)
- Interviewed on: 20-Feb-2008
Broadcast Segment Details
“The Brady Bunch: Professor Shoelace”
By Brady Halls, intro by Tracy Grimshaw, A Current Affair, 21-Mar-2008
Broadcast Segment Transcript
TRACY: Well many of us do it at least once a day but we don't give much thought to it. Except – this one man does. Sounds like a “Brady Bunch” to me.
BRADY: Oh, yes indeed, Trace, and – here's the best bit, he's the world expert on this subject. And he's a very proud Aussie. But strangely, no-one's ever tried to challenge him on his expertise – shoelaces.
IAN (cut to Ian's home, close-up of Ian pointing at various shoes): “Ladder”, “Starburst”, “Over Under”, “Zipper”, “Lattice”, “Criss Cross”, “Checkerboard”, “Double Helix”, “One Handed”, “Straight European”, “Over Under”, “Display Shoe”.
BRADY (voice-over): Tying your shoelaces.
IAN (holding one decoratively laced shoe): This sort of forms a neat woven “lattice” in the middle of the shoe.
BRADY (voice-over): It's the one thing in life you never give a moment's thought to.
IAN (picks up two bi-color laced shoes): You can use two colors.
BRADY (voice-over): Ian Fieggen has given several years.
IAN (close-up of another two shoes): This one here is what we call “Checkerboard Lacing”, and it's done by weaving two sets of laces through each other.
BRADY (voice-over): Around the world he's known as –
IAN (tying an instant shoelace knot): “Professor Shoelace”
BRADY (voice-over): Well may you dismiss Australia's great honour of having the world's leading expert on shoelaces, but his work has been published in many a fine international journal.
IAN (laying out magazines and newspapers): ...“GQ Magazine” and – gee, it's– there's newspapers, it was in the ... “Wall Street Journal” ... they even had a huge double spread.
NOTE: Although I was showing the double spread from the prestigious German newspaper “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung”, they overdubbed this with me saying “Wall Street Journal” (from me mentioning another smaller article). Ahhh, the magic of television!
BRADY (voice-over): His website with seventeen different knots and fifty different lacing methods receives –
IAN: About six and a half thousand visitors a day.
BRADY (voice-over): And hot on the heels of Kramer's famous coffee table book –
KRAMER (excerpt from an episode of “Seinfeld”): A coffee table book about coffee tables!
BRADY (voice-over): – comes –
IAN (showing my book, “Laces”): This is a book about shoelaces that has shoelaces on the front cover for you to experiment with.
IAN: In the past there was very much a feel about conformity – that you had to actually lace your shoes the same way that your father wore– wore his and that you would– you know– do the right thing. Nowadays it's all about individuality.
BRADY (voice-over): For the Professor, there are moments of great joy, like when he alerted the world of the one-handed shoelace method.
IAN (demonstrating the One Handed Shoelace Knot): The lace can actually be tied one-handed by putting the loop over ... and pulling it through itself. And that will actually sit quite secure.
BRADY (voice-over): And the mother from Florida wrote to him with tears.
IAN (reading the e-mail): “My seven year old son had a stroke at birth and cannot use his left hand for fine motor skills such as tying shoelaces. He was so proud of himself to finally be able to accomplish this task and wear shoes without Velcro.”
BRADY (voice-over): But his greatest achievement came in 1982 when he invented the “Ian Knot”.
IAN (demonstrating the “Ian Knot” using some rope): ... where I create two loops but I pull them through each other.
BRADY (voice-over): Guaranteed that it –
IAN: Won't slip!
IAN (teaching the knot to Brady): See this loose end goes behind that loose end.
BRADY (cut to Brady's house): And so it was a father and son bonded – over a shoelace.
(Attempting to teach the knot to his son): Okay, mate – it's called the “Ian Knot”, and let me show you, it's very easy, it's under, over, under, through...
(Some time later): I nearly had it ... I nearly had it ...
BRADY'S SON: Give me a break, Daddy!
(Later still, night has fallen, Brady is still struggling ...)
BRADY'S SON: I want to go to bed now!
BRADY (voice-over): Clearly, I am not the only one struggling.
(Cut to Ian's desk, where Ian is whiteboarding some shoe lacing patterns ...)
BRADY (voice-over): It's late at night and Professor Shoelace is hard at work on his latest lacing.
(Ian ponders the outcome on some actual shoes ...)
BRADY: Looks rather bunched up!
IAN: Yeah, might have to call that the “Brady Bunch Knot” or something.
BRADY: Can you make a wage out of shoelaces?
IAN: Well, the old story of being on a “shoestring budget” really applies to me.
BRADY (cut back to studio): Yeah, I must admit I'm a Vecro man myself. And Trace, the “Letterman” show in America has booked the Professor to appear on the show later in the year.
TRACY (chuckles): The things that make you famous, Brade. And by the way, DOCS will be around later about the sleep deprivation of your little boy.
BRADY (laughing): Touché.