Dr. Phil booking
Phil McGraw was the straight-talking Texan whose advice won Oprah her lawsuit against angry beef
farmers. He is the former college linebacker who became a hit TV psychologist.
It seems everybody knows who Dr Phil is. The plain-spoken Texan became an instant celebrity,
seemingly out of nowhere, when Oprah Winfrey nicknamed him “Tell It Like It Is Phil” and made him a
regular on her show. Since 1998, his brutal honesty has shaken up hundreds of lives, and it regularly
spikes the show’s ratings. From that platform, he wrote three self-help books that topped the bestseller
lists. Fans will get a daily dose of Dr Phil’s tough medicine this fall, when his syndicated show debuts.
But who is the man behind the TV persona? What did he do before he became a national
phenomenon? What landed McGraw in psychology was the example set by his father Joe, who
returned to school to study psychology at 40. He inherited his father’s fierce independence and
restless nature. As a 6-foot-4 inch, 174-pound high school linebacker in Kansas City, KS, he won a
football scholarship to the University of Tulsa. But his playing days ended in his sophomore year, after
he injured his head and neck on the field. Later, he returned to school to study psychology at the
University of North Texas, picking up his master’s and Ph.D. in just four years. When he wasn’t hitting
the books, he courted and married Robin, now his wife of 25 years. After he graduated, McGraw went
into practice with his father in Wichita Falls, Texas. Very soon, he realised that his heart wasn’t in oneon-one therapy, and he began to search for non-traditional ways to use his psychological training. The
result was a series of successful businesses; one of them, a popular self-motivation seminar called
Pathways, revealed Phil’s charisma and ability to work with large groups.
Later, he built a successful legal strategy business. That company, called Courtroom Sciences, Inc.,
helped high-profile trial lawyers to build airtight cases using psychology. Phil discovered he preferred
the orderliness and instant results of courtroom work, while the adversarial nature of trial work got his
competitive juices flowing. By the time he met Oprah Winfrey, he was already a financially successful
and happily married father of two boys. But that encounter changed his life. It happened during the talk
show host’s big beef trial. A group of Texas cattlemen claimed that when Winfrey swore off
hamburgers during an April 1996 show on mad cow disease, she cost them a large chunk of their
livelihoods. And they wanted millions in damages. Oprah’s attorneys contacted McGraw to help plot a
way for Winfrey to beat the cattlemen on their own turf. Phil found Oprah in an uncharacteristic state of
despair, but his coaching helped her win what looked like an impossible case, and she made him a
star. His weekly appearances on Oprah, ‘Tuesdays with Dr Phil’, allowed him to do what he couldn’t do
in private practice. He won fans telling crybabies and wallowers to “get real.” Tearful guests received
common sense advice, delivered in a down-home Texan drawl, not self-help jargon. And with his
tough demeanor, he became a relationship guru that men felt comfortable listening to. It all translated
into instant popularity and a new self-help empire, as Dr Phil generated three New York Times
bestsellers in as many years. First came ‘Life Strategies’ in 1999, then ‘Relationship Rescue’ in 2000,
and finally ‘Self Matters’ in 2001. But perhaps the truest measure of his success is that he was
spoofed on ‘Saturday Night Live’.
Phil has recently moved from Dallas to Los Angeles to launch his new syndicated show, ‘Dr Phil’, the
most eagerly anticipated new show of the season.
Price hire Dr. Phil
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