'Tough as Nails' Host Phil Keoghan on Why He and His Wife Louise Work So Well Together (Exclusive)

The new season of 'Tough as Nails' kicks off Wednesday on CBS.

As Phil Keoghan gears up for a new season of Tough as Nails, which returns Wednesday for season 4, he's taking a moment to give credit to his wife, Louise, who has served as his longtime producing partner, for being an integral part of his success.

"As you know, nothing is made without a team. You got to have a good team, you can have a really good player on the team. But unless you've got good players around you, you can get frustrated... We are just compatible," the 55-year-old television host told ET's Nischelle Turner over Zoom from New Zealand. "The things that she's really good at, I'm not good at and vice versa. And so we leave each other alone to deal with certain aspects of the production where we know and trust each other for the judgment that we have in those areas."

"And thankfully, after all the years of working together, we do see things the same way. We have the same sensibilities," Keoghan shared. "Louise is really in charge of story department and she runs that story department and we put a lot of emphasis on story and character. She loves that aspect of it. And I'm really into the visual part of it, obviously the scripting part of it. So yeah, we come together."

The couple has been married since the 1990s and share a daughter, Elle. Louise is also credited as a co-creator on Tough as Nails alongside Keoghan, who is the longtime host of CBS' The Amazing Race. Keoghan spoke about the way in which the competition series, which puts the spotlight on everyday heroes, has resonated with viewers since its debut in July 2020.

"The fact that the show has resonated with people going into season 4, [we] shot season 5 or season 6 and as the show continues, more and more people are hearing about the show. More and more people are applying and I think it's a show that represents the audience because everybody in the audience, for me, that's what I do for a living. That's my uncle, my mother, my brother, my sister. And so there's a real relevance," Keoghan said. 

Cliff Lipson/CBS

"As my wife and producing partner says, it's real people in our real life... and have literally allowed us to carry on living in a somewhat normal way through it all. The nurses and the people who make... the heartbeat of America. They're the ones that we're honoring. So it's a privilege to get to share their stories," he added.

Keoghan acknowledged the importance of continuing Tough as Nails as a platform to recognize those who normally don't receive attention. 

"There are some people that sometimes get left in the shadows or maybe they get forgotten or their work is really valuable but doesn't necessarily get put in the spotlight. So the real motivation to Tough as Nails, which is to say, what about the unsung heroes of America who keep the country running every day?" he said. "The motivation was really to honor -- to put them in the spotlight for a change."

But how would Keoghan fare as a contestant on the show?

"I love competition. You may have seen I played recently in the pickleball [tournament] on CBS," he quipped, referring to the celebrity pickleball tournament, Pickled, hosted by Stephen Colbert that aired in November. "I do like to be physical and I've grown up learning skills from my family and particularly my grandfather, my father. But these people that we have chosen for Tough as Nails, they are really the elite of the elite. They're like pro athletes in their field. They are the best of the best in their chosen trade. They are at a different level."

Tough as Nails premieres Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.