Australia, 27 September 2023 | Leigh Rogers

Darren McMullen is a Scottish-Australian media personality.

He has hosted several prime-time Australian television shows, including The Voice, The Voice Kids, Minute to Win It and The Big Music Quiz. McMullen has also appeared on The Masked Singer, Celebrity Apprentice and will soon feature on The Amazing Race: Celebrity Edition.

His acting work includes roles on House Husbands, SeaChange and Doctor Doctor. He also stars in Heat, which premieres on Channel 10 next week.

In our Celebrity Match series, McMullen reveals he enjoys spending any spare time on the tennis court …

Tell us about your tennis experience. How often do you play?

I took tennis up during COVID and became completely obsessed, rain, hail or shine. It wasn’t unusual to see me out there on the court for hours on end with a ball machine battering balls until I perfected a shot. I’m still the same now, only difference is I split my time between tennis and Padel.

What is your best shot and why?

When my serve is on, it’s pretty hard to return. The key word there is “when”. I never know when the tennis Gods will be shining down on me!

What is your earliest tennis memory?

Watching Wimbledon on the television as a kid with the whole family gathered around. It was the one sport everyone in the household would enjoy watching.

Do you have a favourite tennis memory?

I’d have to say the five-set thriller between Rafael Nadal and Daniil Medvedev in the Australian Open 2022 final. I didn’t leave my seat once, for fear I’d miss a point. It was great to see one of the best players in the world still taking it to the youngsters. As an old bastard myself, I kind of love that!

You got to hit with Ash Barty and Casey Dellacqua at Australian Open 2023. What was the highlight of that experience?

That was a dream come true. I was so nervous stepping out on to Margaret Court Arena. It’s a really humbling experience. My game went to mush and there were no spectators. I can’t imagine how these pros do it with thousands of onlookers screaming and shouting.

Darren McMullen with Ash Barty and Casey Dellacqua at Australian Open 2023.

Do you remember the first professional match you saw live? Who played?

I don’t remember exactly who was playing, but my first ever live match was at the Australian Open when I first moved to Melbourne as a kid. Back in those days Courier, Sampras, Agassi, Becker, Seles, Graff and Sabatini were all the main drawcards.

Who is your favourite tennis player to watch and why?

Growing up it was definitely Andre Agassi. He was the man. I like anyone that likes to shake things up and turns their nose up at the status quo. For the same reasons, I love Nick Kyrgios nowadays.

If you could meet any tennis player, who would it be and why?

I would love to face off against one of those Kyrgios serves. Even on the television you can see what a rocket that is. I can’t imagine what it would be like in real life. I would love to find out.

Finally, can you please finish these sentences for us …

The best part of the Australian Open is … the whole city of Melbourne is absolutely buzzing. It’s a great time to be in the city, everybody for those two weeks becomes almost as tennis mad as I am!

Tennis is fun because … it tricks you into getting fit and healthy. Gyms are definitely not for me, but if someone can get me exercising without me realising it, I’m all for it.

> Read more interviews from our Celebrity Match series

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