HUNT THE SHUNT

Mike Tyson breeds pigeons. Always has. Always will. What a nutter.

But he wasn’t the first closet bird brain. Believe it or not James “Sex – Breakfast of Champions” Hunt was an avid budgerigar breeder. This is so hilarious I cannot even compute it.

The champagne swilling, bird shagging, cocaine snorting, weed smoking, life and soul of the party who was quite possibly the most riotous party animal of the 1970s bred budgies in his spare time.

Words by: DUNCAN QUINN

We love celebrating characters here at duncan quinn, so frankly it only added fuel to the fire of our passion for the man when we found this out. Next thing you know someone will be telling us Georgie Best secretly raised parakeets.

He’s a guy you’d want to come to your party. Although you’d never be quite sure if he was sneaking off to shag your Mrs in the bathroom in between courses, you could be pretty certain there wouldn’t be a dull moment.

Famous for winning the 1976 Formula One World Championship while racing for McLaren, he was probably more famous for his legendary partying and womanizing off the track than on. When he wasn’t showing up for formal functions barefoot and in jeans, he was having lunch with his pet Alsatian, “Oscar”, at the finest restaurants in Mayfair. Try to imagine Michael Schumacher deflowering a young lady, smoking a joint, and then skooching his one piece race suit up before hopping into his car to blast around the track at break neck speed competing for glory.  Yeah.  Didn’t think so.  James Hunt was in a class of his own when it came to irreverent shenanigans.

“Hunt the Shunt” apparently spent more time chasing women and throwing parties when he raced on Lord Hesketh’s Formula One team from 1973-75 than he did winning races. So no one really took him, or the team, seriously at all.  They were just the party boys having fun and blowing the family fortune in spectacular style at the same time. It was only when Lord Hesketh ran out of money Hunt had to move on, and his move to McLaren laid the groundwork that hard partying, even harder racing, and a sad twist of fate for his friend Nikky Lauda would lead to the 1976 World Championship.

Sadly, he passed away of a massive heart attack aged only 45. A Celebration of the Life of James Hunt was held on 29 September 1993 at St. James Church, Piccadilly which was attended by over 600 people.  It goes without saying that the eulogy was strong and long on his love of life, ability to take risks, and happy go lucky nature. He won a lot.  He lost a lot. He made a lot. He spent a lot. But he sure as shit had the best time doing it anyone could possibly imagine.

And that is the stuff that legends are made of.

James Hunt:  *****  A legend in his own lunchtime.

Words by DUNCAN QUINN