The Baywatch star might be used to being ferried about by talking cars but nothing could prepare him for a night out in Blackpool
Hi, David. Are you a fan of (now defunct) Kansas City instrumental prog-rock band, David Hasselhoff on Acid?
Im a big fan. My attorneys said: This is horrible. I had a listen and said: No, its fucking great. I used to host a TV show in Sweden called David Hasselhoff: En Svensk Talk Show. It was a proper talk show with a band and everything. Id sing a lot of Ace of Bass and Roxette songs. We had a competition, looking for bands to cover my song Looking for Freedom (1). One band came back with this heavy metal version; it was awesome. Then I got invited to close this rock festival in Austria, in front of 100,000 people. I had to come out after Iron Maiden. I thought: Theyll probably fucking throw rocks at me, because my stuff is cheesy German pop. But they loved me.
Did you really once turn up to a night in Brixton just because someone gave you a flyer with your picture on it?
Absolutely. Some guy handed me a flyer that said The Hasselhoff Scandal and said: Will you come? So I said: Hey man, this is hysterical, watch out, I might. I took my buddy, who is my hairdresser. I said, Now were going to go to Brixton. Were either going to get our asses fucking kicked or Heres what we do: we dont talk; we wear dark glasses; we wear long coats; and we just walk in. I had no idea what I was walking into. We walked in and I just thought: Holy shit, where am I? Everyone was going: The Hoff! The Hoff! I walked on stage and I said: Hi. Its my party, and sang Jump in My Car (2). The whole place erupted. I hung out with the local guys and said: Be careful what you wish for, cos the Hoff sees everything.
Youre currently fronting a campaign in which youre aiming to record the perfect holiday pop song. What makes you qualified to sing that?
I sing one of the most famous songs in the world The Theme from Baywatch (3). Of course, I didnt originally sing it Jimi Jamison did but when I start singing [sings] Ill be ready and the drums kick in, everybody goes berserk. I was in Nottingham recently and all the guys took off their tops. It was the last day of school (4), so I got the girls to take off their tops too. I got into a lot of trouble with my girlfriend, now fiancee. She said: What did you do? I told her: I just said: Lets get naked. I dont know why it came out. And they did. I think people just like me because Im the Baywatch guy. Was the Baywatch guy. In my heart I still am. I did this advert for Cumberland Farms in America, which is like a 7/11 store in America. Over here it would be like a Tesco or a Sainsbury. They had these life-size cardboard cut outs of me on a surfboard drinking a coffee outside of their stores: 560 of them were stolen. Thats how much people still want a piece of me.I went down to an Essex 80s night. It was just a nutcake. The whole place was David Hasselhoff movies. Every horrible movie Ive ever done. Every horrible Baywatch. Every cool Knight Rider. They just played 80s music and everybody was happy, man.
Why do you say horrible Baywatch but cool Knight Rider? Is that how you see it?
There were some Baywatches that were pretty tacky. I had to shock an eel in one. We called it Eel Nio. Its the warming effect that is taking over the word right now. The reason we have all these weather changes is El Nio. Its a weather phenomenon that starts in Mexico. Usually it just hits California, but now its hitting around the world, which is why the weather you have over here is so bizarre. We did a show called Eel Nio where, to kill this eel, I had to use a defibrillator to shock it. So some of the Baywatches were pretty out there. I thought Knight Rider was very cool. Even though it has a talking car, I never played it as a corny situation. I played it as real. Thirty years on, its all come true. Ive driven in the Google self-driving car. It picked me up at the airport and said, Take your hands off the wheel, and it drove me to my hotel. Self-driving cars, scanners, blueprints, its all coming true. That cars going to be a reality soon. In the next 10 years youre going to have self-driving cabs all over London. Theyre going to bring them to London first.
Dont you own some sort of copyright/patent on self-driving cars?
No. I was just a hired hand. I was the one who brought the humour to the show. It wasnt very funny in the beginning. I said: This is funny. Its like its his horse, its like his dog. Hes got to talk to this thing like its a person. Have some fun. Have him differ with me. Make him a computer but he doesnt understand anger, he doesnt understand emotion.
Were you ever worried KITT was going to revolt and take over the human race, like most robots seem to do (5)?
Oh no. I dont think so. I think people are burned out on that; the world of movies is so full of special effects. Its good to be doing Baywatch again. I just got done doing the Baywatch movie. I was in Savannah with the Rock and with Zac [Efron]. I did a cameo and some surprises.
No problem still squeezing into your speedos then?
I never wore speedos. That was what was so funny. I dont think Id be caught dead in speedos. The only people I know who wear speedos are either in a water polo team, or Germans. They call them marble bags over there. They make them so small so you can swim fast. But we never had speedos on Baywatch. The only time you ever wore speedos was a lifeguard competition because thats what they are for for swimming fast. Im synonymous with the beach. I live 15 minutes from Malibu. I go to the beach almost every day to just chill, man, and get away from the rat race of London.
Do you go to the beach in the UK?
Are there beaches here?
Well, theres Blackpool
Thats not a beach. I dont think I ever saw anybody in the water. If they did, they didnt make it out.
Congratulations on your engagement to Hayley Roberts (6). Are you going to move to Wales?
Well probably get a place in Wales. Or maybe more like Bath. I love Bath. Its frickin awesome. Ill always keep the place in LA. I cant exist over here with this weather. People become complete youve got to go to the bar every day, because theres nothing else to do. So Ill stay away from the booze and get to the sun.
Quick Welsh test! Whats the national flower of Wales?
Its a poppy, isnt it? Or a sunflower or something.
No. Its the daffodil, David.
Thats the same thing. Isnt it?
1 That one Hasselhoff performed on the Berlin Wall that time, helping to reunite East and West Germany.
2 Got to number three in 2006. What were people thinking?
3 Im Always Here. Come on, you know the words
4 By school he means university, before you call the police.
5 See Skynet (Terminator), and HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey.
6 Hasselhoff popped the question to Hayley, 37 years his junior, in May this year.