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Presenting on Television

What Makes A Good TV Presenter: The Backlash!

So I ran off a short post on the qualities of a good television presenter and frankly it serves me right – how can you quantify a ‘good’ television presenter in a few paragraphs. It’s so much more complicated than that. So thank you to those who responded. They did it on another forum but I’d love anyone to add comments and tell me what YOU think. That’s what this site is for. Don’t hold back. There are no reprisals for disagreeing or adding your own thoughts.

Greg Scott is a television presenter that I have not had the pleasure of working with but I’ve had his showreel come across my desk. My thought on viewing it was – here’s a good presenter. Greg has that ‘warmth’ I mentioned in the original article on this subject (http://wanttoworkintelevision.wordpress.com/2011/05/03/what-makes-a-good-television-presenter/). He is sharp, funny, appealing and experienced. The shows I was involved in at the time didn’t have a spot for him but he’s one of those faces I keep in my mental ‘file’ for the day I do come across the right programme.

My superficial thoughts fired up Greg and he speaks for many presenters in his passionate message to television executives everywhere.  I have not changed a word. Here’s Greg fiery contribution:

GREG SCOTT’S 2,169 WORDS OF FRUSTRATION.

Greg Scott

 ”I am a great television host. Not a presenter – A HOST.

 I know I am. I’ve watched me. Not as me, but as somebody else. That bloke I see on the telly, he’s GREAT! Love him! Would love to see him get a big break. But he’s so unlikely to get one, the unlikeliness is immeasurable.

I have worked in TV for 24 years, as a warm-up man and on-screen cheeky face.

My crowning glory? Quizmania. The late night, live phone-in quiz that somehow stumbled on to ITV1 in late 2005 to much hatred from the purists, but the target audience loved it. Not just the target audience, but beyond it too it seems, as when the letters and emails started cascading into Fremantle soon after launch, badly parented nine year olds who were allowed to watch television at 3am, ninety year old insomniacs AND all those in between ADORED the unscripted controlled chaos of the show.

CONTROLLED chaos. One of the hardest things to get right. Chaos is crap. Controlled chaos makes wonderful telly. Not many people can carry it off. I was convinced at the time that it would be my big break to ITV primetime. Yes, it was on between midnight and 5am, but surely, someone at the top would see the funny, random, cooky guy, who, as was so clearly highlighted by the calls coming in to the show, had the audience in the palm of his hand?

Nope. No way, Pedro.

Talking down the lens without a script or autocue CAN be tremendously difficult. But in the right hands it MAKES WONDERFUL TELLY (Sorry for all the caps, but I really want to hammer home some of my points).

I loved working on Quizmania – As much as it is derided and frowned upon nowadays for being one of “those” shows, ignoring the Call TV aspect of it, it was TREMENDOUS fun. I’ve not come across any form of television that is more connective. Other than, perhaps, shopping television (which I have also fronted for a total of four years). I know that shopping TV is also laughed at and is eye rolling material within the industry – But Price Drop TV was and is THE toughest on-screen gig BAR NONE. If someone can be outstanding on there, they can be SENSATIONAL elsewhere.

When you’re on-screen 3+ hours a day, five days a week, with the right presenter, such an incredible bond can be formed. The sort of bond that many forms of non-fictional programming should aspire to achieve. Because in this business, if you connect – YOU WIN. So hey – Telly! Start being less Auto-Cutey reliant, and get some real talent in who can “wing-it”. It’s out there. You’ll be on to a winner, I guarantee.

It’s not impossible. So why isn’t it happening?

There are so many “drabsters” and incapable bods on TV. I’m not going to name names of course, but I, personally, can probably only give you the names of 3 entertainment hosts that I rate. Two of them are part of a double act. The other one will probably retire in the next year. Actually, the old bugger probably won’t….

There are some household names that have recently written “Television Presenter” on their census form. In a good number of cases, this should be preceded with the word “Average”. There are too many people on TV who have “made it” for one of only a couple of reasons – more of which later. They certainly haven’t got there on ability.

Not in my book, anyway.

As for the reality TV “stars” (Christ, I CRINGE every time I hear them described as “stars”), the argument I’ve had back from one exec is, “…but they deliver audiences”.

Two things to that:

1: Because there’s virtually sod all else to watch;

2: Have they TRIED a professional entertainer or host recently?

3: (I know I said two things, but hear me out) Of course there’s going to be a section of society that watch anything when the great media cogs continuously pump the papers full of this televisual effluent.

I need to start getting to my main points.

Shooting from the hip… How does one “make it”?

a)      It’s who you know. Self explanatory. But how do you get to know people when everything’s so “closed shop”?

b)      Looks. I have a big gap in my teeth, and I’m not an ambassador for Slimming World. That seems to matter to telly bosses, but not to the viewers. Be beautiful, that’s 30% of the battle. Adrian Chiles? Dunno. But in the main.

c)      Management. There are two management companies (perhaps three at a push), who seem to be able to give their clients a passport to all the prime gigs. How do you get in with these managers / agents? I ain’t the foggiest. Perhaps something to do with (a)?

d)      “BUT YOU’RE NOT A NAME”. Lord, I hate this one. One top cheese once said he’d LOVE to do something with me. But the shareholders would completely refute the idea of using anyone but a “name”. How do you become a “name”? Go back to (a).

e)      Nobody LOOKS for talent anymore. It’s simply a case of, “They’ve been filmed cleaning wheelie bins – let’s give them a show”, or, “They are with X or Y management – Let’s give them a show”, or, “We HAVE to give them a show, because it’s part of the deal we struck with their management in securing so-and-so to front our next big project, Celebrity Plums”…

Little story for you.

Two years ago, because of someone I know (SEE?!), I ended up hosting an English version of a hit French gameshow. The production company wanted an English version to tout to the UK, USA, Australia etc. So I went over to Paris, and without a rehearsal, without a walk-through (time restraints), I knocked out a complicated quizfest.

The team had put aside seven hours to allow for stops / starts / deaths – We wrapped in two. The CEO of the company, a man called Francis Vacher (http://www.frenchtv.tv/en/company.php) ran on to the studio floor and was so full of compliments and praise, it was almost embarrassing. But I bloody loved it. Francis asked me what series I was best known for in the UK. When I told him that (at the time) I was the host of an online bingo show for 100 players, he was genuinely taken aback. And whilst it was magnificent to be hearing this from a respected industry figure, it was, at the same time, incredibly frustrating.

It was unlike anything I’d ever experienced before. But overall, I felt wonderful. I’d hosted a couple of smaller pilots before, but nothing of this magnitude. I’d not only proven to them that I was more than capable of delivering exactly what was asked, but I’d proven it to MYSELF. I’d always believed I could host a big gameshow – But actually – COULD I? Or was I like one of those delusional X Factor loons, whose abilities stop and end with the voices in their head?

I’ve been asked back to host all their English shows since, with another one due soon.

Going back 18 months, one of the English / French shows I hosted was picked up by ITV Studios.

In January this year, ITVS recorded two of their own pilots in one day. One of them with a well-known presenter (who frankly, knowing the format as I do, will have been completely unsuited to it – BUT HE’S A NAME)… the other with someone who is not primarily known for his television work, has never hosted a quiz before – BUT HE’S A NAME.

Both pilots have since gone to ITV commissioners, who have rejected it.

Would it have hurt to have recorded a third pilot with me? It’s a VERY strong format. The show is the star. It didn’t NEED a “name”.

Sorry – I must be wrong – Apparently it did.

Though I say so myself, I am convinced that I could have blown everyone away if I’d been given a stab. I am perfectly aware how big-headed this must sound, but I guarantee, I’d have worked a blinder.

So why wasn’t I given a shot?

NOT ONCE HAVE I BEEN SO MUCH AS SCREEN-TESTED FOR A SERIES IN THE UK. NOT ONCE. WHY?

 I’m not a “name”. End of.

Why CAN’T the people in the (don’t) know lose the blinkers, and open their eyes to ALL the talent that IS out there?

This isn’t just about me. In the years I’ve worked in what might be deemed “The Lower End” of the industry, I have worked with some tremendous people. Indeed, if I was an exec, there are at least five people I would put on primetime terrestrial in a heartbeat. Or at least screen-test them.

I believe that there are so few entertainment shows, PRESENTED by the same old few, because there’s no training ground for hosts anymore. Well there is (The shoppers / quizzers etc), but these talented individuals are looked on in the business as soiled. Corny. Cheesey.

So as these talent pools aren’t tapped into, so we get the same faces. But they can only present so many shows each. So rather than take a so-called “risk” with a new face on a structured show that requires a skilled, likeable, capable, welcoming and warm host, we’re being fed more and more, “Jedward Tie Their Laces And Make Tea For An Hour” type cack.

My plea?

Execs: You don’t even have to travel the country looking. Look at the showreels with an open mind. Look at the “shitty” channels on the EPGs – Because the diamonds in the shite will shine out brightly.

Shareholders – If your execs are “brave” enough to go down this route, have trust in them. The viewers would love to see some new faces. And it’s great news from YOUR perspective, as you can get great hosts for a lower premium.

To finish, back to my personal plight.

I’m 42. I have a family to support. I’ve stuck in the business for as long as I can. At the time of writing, I am preparing to take on my first ever job outside broadcasting. It doesn’t pay that well, but it’s permanent, and as secure as secure can be. Having just spent the last ten months TIRELESSLY searching for work, I’ve now waved the white flag, as circumstances have forced my hand.

The trouble is, I always have believed, and STILL believe that I could walk into Studio 1 at the London Studios next week, and bang out a successful run of a new ITV or BBC entertainment / game show. But ultra-reluctantly, I have to wave the white flag on chasing the dream.

Of course, I live in hope that somehow, someday, a top producer, will see some of my work online, or remember that I WAS really good on that show they used to watch when they came in rat-arsed from the nightclub, and plop an invite to audition for them into my inbox.

Sadly, I think there’s more chance of Joan Bakewell filling the O2 Arena with her Tribute To Lady Gaga.

I so wish that I could agree with all that Siubhan said. Actually, I do – But there was a lot left out. It’s right that by being able to connect, be polished, likeable, warm, friendly, professional were the keys to success. I know there’s not enough room even for all the capable ones, but if what we’re seeing on screen are all meant to be the supposed cream of the crop, then I’m Marie Osmond.

Nearly finished.

This bit’s for me, and me alone.

I started by saying I’m a great television host. I am. The (vast majority of) people (you can’t please EVERYONE!) who watched Quizmania know I am. The people who watched Price Drop TV know I am. And French TV nobs know I am.

In conclusion – If you’re an exec, TRY ME. Have a look at www.gregscott.tv

I’m not in it for the glory and adoration. I’m in it so I can earn the best possible living to support my family.  So come on – Just give me 10 minutes of your time by having a look at my website.

And if you DO like what you see, don’t just think that I’m not worth a stab because the top corridor bods won’t look at me… Bloody fight for me! Fight for what YOU believe! Fight for what TV needs! Fight for your right to party.

If I’ve come across as bitter in any of this, I promise that wasn’t my intention. But I hope that was HAS come across is my frustration.

If it can’t be me on primetime terrestrial telly over the next few years, I’d love to see some of my past colleagues being given a chance. Because by crikey, they deserve it. And so do the viewers”.

Thank you, Greg. That’s telling it how it REALLY is. Anyone want to add their thoughts? Please add your comments to this post. We’d love to hear them.

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Discussion

32 Responses to “What Makes A Good TV Presenter: The Backlash!”

  1. I will immediately grasp your rss as I can’t in finding your email subscription hyperlink or e-newsletter service. Do you’ve any? Please let me know so that I could subscribe. Thanks.

    Posted by dich vu phat to roi | June 9, 2012, 1:52 pm
    • Hello
      If you look top right of the web site landing page, just under the top menu you will see “subscribe by RSS”. Just click that link. Hope that works for you!
      Shu

      Posted by Shu | June 9, 2012, 4:24 pm
  2. I am going to have to be the bearer of tough love on this one. On Quizmania Greg was amazing and I would go as far to say it was the best, most funny presenting I have ever seen. The show deserved a longer run and Greg deserved a big mainstreem presenting job off the back of that.

    The problem though is how Greg responded to not getting that. I saw Greg on a show called PlayMonday a few months later and whilst he was still so funny it did almost seem like he thought he was too big for the show and that translated on screen. Fellow Quizmania presenter Debbie King had so many knock backs but took on smaller projects like studentcooking and now she is back on an ITV2 show. Kirsty Duffy really went for the much smaller online Quizmania and maybe that helped get her onto the Wright Stuff. Greg got chances to do online Quizmania too and The Sun Quiz Live from Screenpop but just wasn’t in it with both feet.

    You have to be prepared to show your talent on smaller shows to get the big gigs and not just expect the big one to fall in your lap based on past work. If he could just let go of this sense of entitlement and start working his way up again from below then his talent would shine through again the way it did on Quizmania. I am not saying this to be harsh to Greg, I think he is so fantastic and really want to see him succeed again in TV.

    Posted by Gemma | March 24, 2012, 6:03 am
  3. COMPLETELY AGREE WITH GREGS COMMENTS. It’s utterly frustrating and ridic that someone who cant present but happens to have appeared on a reality show would get presenting work over someone that CAN actually read an autotcue, interview, ad-lib and host well. I was told “YOU’RE NOT A NAME” quite a few times too (despite having a rather famous relative) and I’m sorry but I’m not prepared to do something like sleep with a footballer or appear on BB (for example) just to be a ‘name’so that I could be ‘lucky’ enough to get a screen-test. No thanks, not my style!

    Yes one can get regular presenting work on shopping channels, quiz channels etc & make a fairly decent living from it and there’s nothing wrong with that. However, personally I wanted to move onwards and upwards so badly that once I (finally) realised that wasn’t gonna happen I’ve since stopped trying and you know what? I can honestly say, hand on heart, I’ve never been happier because I’m no longer:
    a)begging for a response/meeting
    b)chasing & never hearing back
    c)spending money I don’t have on yet more photos or updated reels…

    I do understand the need to ‘pull in viewers’ as I have also worked in TV production but in a way it’s sad that this is all tv execs focus on rather than trying our new talent.

    Kisses.

    Posted by Claire Reid | January 20, 2012, 2:59 pm
  4. I’ve worked on a lot of TV, for BBC, Sky and Price Drop TV, and produced many excellent presenters. Greg, I have seen some of your work on Youtube and you have a lot going for you. I’m sure in many viewer’s eyes you’re brilliant. However, some may find you cheesy. It’s not for me to say whether I would ever hire you because it would entirely depend on the show. Moreover, you’re right that while some presenters on the big channels such as ITV are perhaps not as good as they should be, there are many presenters on ‘lesser’ channels such as Price Drop that excel.

    But let’s be grown-up about this. TV is a business. It’s show business. We’re talking about not just the art of creating television, but the business of putting on programmes that viewers want. It would be wonderful if we could all stamp our feet, proclaim our own brilliance and popularity, and be showered with money to do whatever we want. But in this freelance-dominated world, how can executives on temporary contracts be expected to put their own careers on the line to risk – and it is a huge risk – an unknown or a presenter with no clear level of popularity? You mention above that “It’s infuriating, and it’s wrong.” No, it’s not. Sometimes you just don’t fit the mould simply because you work in an industry where just being able to present (or host, as you put it) is not, and never has been, the only skill required to front a massive television series that a hell of a lot of people’s careers are riding on.

    It’s like a model saying: “but I’m good looking, I know I am, so I should be doing the work Kate Moss gets.” No, you shouldn’t, you can’t, she’s unique, there’s something magical and untouchable about her that works. It doesn’t matter whether you think she’s a ugly cow or the best thing since sliced bread, the job she does makes the company the money it makes. Presenters are part of that world, and so are actors, and as much as you complain about it, nothing will change because it’s fundamental to the DNA of the industry we work in.

    I’m always very disturbed when people in this business make negative criticisms of others in it in order to proclaim their own brilliance. Sorry, I find the following extremely offensive: “There are some household names that have recently written “Television Presenter” on their census form. In a good number of cases, this should be preceded with the word “Average”. Well that’s your opinion, and you’re entitled to it, but if these are the people going out there and getting the work then shouldn’t you be wondering what they’re doing in order to get it?

    An Olympic athlete doesn’t watch the Gold Medallist and complain that “I should be up there, they’ve no talent!” No, they watch what they are doing and copy them to guarantee their own success. If you think you should be doing Bradley Walsh’s job then go find out what he’s got that you haven’t. You might say “but Guy, I can present just as well as he can”. Oh really? Well what does he do behind the scenes? What’s he like as a person, as an employee? Maybe he does hang out with the ‘right people’, but there’s no reason why you couldn’t too is there?

    If the attitude you have to the industry is that it is full of “Jedward Tie Their Laces And Make Tea For An Hour” type cack”, then have you ever wondered that this feeling of yours is written all over your face when you meet executives? Do you say this to them when you meet them? Do write to companies and ask if they have “TRIED a professional entertainer or host”? If so, then I think you may have your answer to why you are finding it so difficult to get their attention.

    I have had the toughest year of my professional life in 2011. I’ve moaned about it and stamped my feet with rage. But only when with my mum. To people in the business I’ve kept my mouth shut and tried every way I can to find work. Some of it has been successful, some has been met with silence. All of it has been because I’ve accepted the challenge of trying to make television, and I’m having to deal with the consequences. I once foolishly complained to a Head of Entertainment that I hadn’t got the chance to produce a show, and he not only told me that I hadn’t shown enough interest in doing so, but also chastised me for my immature attitude. He was dead right.

    “NOT ONCE HAVE I BEEN SO MUCH AS SCREEN-TESTED FOR A SERIES IN THE UK. NOT ONCE. WHY?” I don’t know Greg, but acting like a child who can’t afford a new bike while slagging off those who are riding around on the latest BMX isn’t going to be the answer.

    Posted by Guy Lambert | October 31, 2011, 7:51 pm
    • Thanks for such a comprehensive comment, Guy. Would be interesting to hear what others think….

      Posted by Shu | October 31, 2011, 10:55 pm
    • Well! Is this a trainee Cowell I see before me?!

      SOME of what you say, I don’t disagree with (Not a lot though). But is it simply the fact that I’m speaking out when it’s not “the done thing” that has got your goat? Yeah, let’s just all roll over and be shat on.

      No, of course I don’t give all that off to TV execs when I meet them – I play “the game”, you play the game, we ALL play the game – Well – Those who know what they’re doing do.

      But…

      What actually IS wrong in me believing I’m better than X, Y or Z? What IS wrong in believing that talent scouts should be out there looking for THE BEST PEOPLE – NOT simply going to the books of two or three agents and lazily picking a host from them? Like I’ve said – I don’t just say all this for MY benefit, but for ALL prospective stars and the wonderful people I’ve seen and worked with over the years who should, at the very least, be given just a fleeting glance. It’s no good saying “that’s the way it is”. Imagine if THAT outlook was adopted the world over?

      I know it’ll never happen, but it’s my opinion of how things should BE.

      Most of what I say comes from pure frustration. A lot of it comes from simply wanting to earn a better living than I’m struggling to do at present. The frustration stems from the fact that I don’t even get looked at. YOU think I’m cheesy (And more besides, I’ve discovered). I accept that. I know I can’t be all things to all people. No one can.

      I’ve tried dressing my “rant” up with humour – I’ve tried not to come across as bitter. Bitter, I’m not. But frustrated to the hilt, I am.

      You say that I should follow the example of those who have made it by “going out there and getting the work”? That’s all one has to do? Gah. Silly me.

      I Googled you to see who you were (I don’t remember you from Price Drop – Sorry) – I see you have a guide on how to succeed as a TV presenter available – Good luck with that – Though I didn’t know it was as straight-forward as following instructions in a book, or just going out there and getting it. I mean, REALLY.

      To conclude, Guy – You accuse me of acting like a child.
      I also, as a result of the Google search, stumbled upon your Twitter feed.

      If what I’ve said is acting like a child, I’d much rather be childish than to do something like you’ve done. Eager to put your response to my piece on the net asap, you’ve written to a follower on there: “I wanted to add ‘I’ve seen your work and frankly you’re beyond cheesy and awful’ but thought I’d kicked him enough!”

      Oof! You kick away, fella. Being kicked by a TV lightweight who tries to make out he’s a heavyweight (Pretty much what you think about me, it seems), will bother me not one jot.

      There is no right. There is no wrong. You do things & think things your way – I’ll do them mine.

      You appear to think that what YOU think is FACT, and that’s that. Something that you seem to think I do.

      EVERYONE is entitled to an opinion, Guy. Because you don’t agree with mine, doesn’t mean that you’re right, and that’s that. (QUOTE: “You mention above that “It’s infuriating, and it’s wrong.” No, it’s not.”) Well to me, it is. That, sir, is extreme arrogance and very patronising.

      Let’s agree to differ. You rant to your mum – That’s what you choose. I’ll do things my way. If you think it’s wrong, you’re entitled to think so. But I would care if the opinion came from someone I rated or respected.

      G.

      PS: If you’ve had a tough 2011, follow your own advice – Just go out there and find work.

      Posted by Greg Scott | November 1, 2011, 12:24 am
      • Well.

        I felt that it would be rude to say what I thought of your performance stytle in my response as it is not for me to be critical about anyone in a public forum. I can, however, say what I like on my Twitter feed and so as you’re reading that I might as well say here what I think.

        I do actually personally find you cheesy. I think your style of presenting is very 1970′s and it’s not my taste. I also think there is very little room for that style in modern television, and I do think that’s your main problem. It’s old-fashioned. You can’t compete with those you slate because they’re of a different era and your style harks back to the past. Sorry, but I’m being as blunt as you have been calling me a “lightweight producer”.

        I work extremely hard at what I do but I’m also realistic about what this industry is like. It’s tough. Bloody tough. But you don’t get anywhere moaning and complaining and being arrogant.

        “I would care if the opinion came from someone I rated or respected” you say. Well, you know NOTHING about me at all. You don’t know ANY of my work or have even bothered to ask.

        And with respect, that I feel is your real problem Greg. You don’t listen to anyone. You stamp your feet and demand that everyone see the world your way. And your way is not how the industry is.

        For fear of attracting further abuse about my work, my website and what I do, I simply wish to say this: if the childish attitude you have displayed both in the above article and in my response to it, then I am not surprised you find yourself in the situation you complain about.

        Grow up.

        Posted by Guy Lambert | November 1, 2011, 1:05 am
        • OK, I feel I must interject here, gentlemen – I’m worried you are going to start calling each other out to a duel!

          TV is tough, getting consistent work as a TV presenter is tougher still. It is great to get people expressing their views on these subjects but don’t think we should be getting personal. A presenter one person loves is a presenter another person hates. Thankfully we all have differing tastes and interests. What matters is whether that presenter can do the job they are employed to do (and that is a muti-faceted role and an article all of its own!).

          Greg has succeeded in TV presentation. Guy has succeeded in becoming a TV producer. You are both to be commended. Both roles are hard to get and hard to keep as no doubt both of you have learnt, especially in the midst of a recession.

          This is a site for telling it how is REALLY is – you are both doing a grand job of that and I thank you for your contributions. Now shall we all kiss and make up?!

          Posted by Shu | November 1, 2011, 1:35 am
          • Bless you Shu! I’ll kiss anyone…

            Greg, I’ve nothing against you, honest. I just totally disagree with you. I apologise if I came across as patronising or rude in any way (not that I believe I have done). I’ve been where you’ve been: frustrated, angry, overlooked, ignored and unemployed.

            But there’s a huge problem in this industry when people see others they consider less talented than them doing better than they are, and all they do is slag them off. It IS bitterness. And it’s not healthy. I know Caroline Flack and she’s worked unbelievably hard to get where she is, so it’s very unfair to claim it’s all down to her agent.

            I do wish you all the best Greg. I have avoided (until provoked) personal comments, and really wanted a proper discussion about this. But I feel all you wanted was for people to agree with you and being sympathetic. That’s no use. You clearly need help to get where you want.

            So go and ask someone what they think you should be doing to get those jobs you want. Have some humility and ask them if it’s something you’re doing or whether there’s something you should be trying. I’m not saying that’s me, far from it, I’m not experienced enough.

            As I wrote that I realised you will consider it patronising. But I don’t care. It’s the truth from where I see it.

            Let the discussion continue…

            Posted by Guy Lambert | November 1, 2011, 1:48 am
          • My conclusion (I’m not going to respond any further after this, as it could go on forever)…

            As Shu said, we all have different opinions. The opinions can be disagreed with. The opinions of the opinions can be etc…

            I’m not going to further defend myself against anything else Guy’s said, as that, too, could go on infinitely. But in general, he is showing some of the very traits that he is accusing ME of.

            So someone doesn’t like me – Of course somebody doesn’t. A lot of people don’t. Just as the best paid stars aren’t universally liked. It goes with the territory. The more “personality” one shows, the more open they leave themselves to “like or dislike” (Ooh! Gameshow format in the making???)

            I have never once said “… this is how it should be and if it isn’t I ain’t playing”… All the original article is my opinion on how I believe things should be.

            Guy’s in a similar position to me – Clearly has self belief, but is struggling. Is he going to do anything to try to make things better for him? Is he going to offer an opinion on what he’d do differently? Or will he not for fear of somebody trying to shoot him down in the way he’s tried to do with me?

            Let’s, ALL of us, crack on, and do things our own way. Because in the idealistic world, where we all have the same thoughts, ways, means and methods, there wouldn’t be enough telly for all those doing things the “right way” to appear on.

            Knives away – No duel. Best of luck, Guy.

            G.

            Posted by Greg Scott | November 1, 2011, 8:21 am
  5. I echo everything Greg says regarding the “faces” There is so much Pap trundled out on Tv lately,especially on ITV..oh sorry I do like The Chase.I would back a call for Greg to get the Countdown job and would urge everyone to make their feelings known to the powers that be, as he would be perfect.
    Lets re-invent some of the old classics like Double your money, 321 ,Golden Shot and even The Generation Game.Come on you lot take a punt on Greg..it will be the best choice you will ever make.
    Three things I wish for ..Doddy to be knighted,Lester Piggott to have his honours reinstated and Scotty to get his own show.

    Posted by Bernard Dowdall | October 29, 2011, 2:31 am
  6. I only just came across this. Got to say I totally agree with everything greg says. I mean this week a new prime time game show with Jeremy Kyle and non celebrities on celebrity coach trip. Greg gives added value to everything he does can’t think of too many who do that .. Noel edmonds? Tony blackburn? Steve Allen Bruce Forsyth ? Brian Conley ? People who prepare people who think. Bradley Walsh used to be good but now he is a bland host. Like Greg on countdown is was hard to watch. Greg should present countdown he would make it a more natural watch rather than the rather awkward watch it is now.

    Posted by Andrew morris | October 16, 2011, 1:46 pm
  7. Hello again… Further proving my point, as if it needed proving, today, Caroline Flack became host of The Xtra Factor. Same manager as Mr O’ Leary.
    On a personal note, very happy plodding along in my new day job in advertising, and my weekend job on the wireless. Life’s good for the first time in yonkages. Much love to all! X

    Posted by Greg Scott | June 1, 2011, 10:34 pm
  8. This might be a bit OT, but i miss you on Twitter, Greg! I loved hearing your perspective on shows etc. And you followed me, which helped ;) I’ve got so many good memories of you being on my telly…not to mention when you sent me a signed photo for my birthday…but i already thanked you for that :)
    I always thought Greg should be on primetime telly…but maybe i’m biased :)

    Posted by Aimee | May 8, 2011, 2:08 am
  9. What an interesting blog.

    I see ITV are launching a new gameshow soon attempting to make ‘seven millionaires in one week’ e.g it’s all been done before / same old hosts which means they are going to be pretty much everywhere in the next few weeks with a certain talent show also taking place!

    Not to say I hate Ant & Dec, they’re very good at what they do but they’re exhausted! That’s the impression I get…as a viewer.

    I echo Fenella.. it’s a bloody scandal Greg isn’t ANYWHERE!

    Posted by Jon (nok32uk) | May 8, 2011, 12:13 am
  10. WELL. What do you know…

    I took a call yesterday – I’m going to appear on NETWORK TERRESTRIAL TV in the next FEW MONTHS!

    I’m going to be a contestant on COUNTDOWN!

    Well, you never know… Might lead to something :-)

    Recording in June, TX: TBC.

    This is it!!! I’m on my way!

    (Let me have my dream…)

    Posted by Greg Scott | May 7, 2011, 1:45 pm
  11. Greg is absolutely right in what he says. I work in the media as a radio presenter, it’s what I want to do and I enjoy it, but it does take some skill. I am not saying I am a talented man but I do know how to handle listeners and live broadcasting. Many of these names don’t. Greg mentioned Quizmania, it was legendary. I know so many people who commented on how great that show was. Why ? Because of the prizes ? No. Because of the chance to win cash ? Partly. Because it was funny, irreverent and you didn’t know what was coming next ? Most definitely. The hosts made that show. None of them were “names” but all of them were blooming good. Why ? Because they knew their craft and they knew their audience. It isn’t rocket science is it ? You wouldn’t ask a brain surgeon to look at your shock absorbers would you ? So why ask the latest magazine idol to do a broadcasters job ? The newspaper column inches of a shows host doesnt make a show a success, but his/her talent does.

    Posted by Darren Lethem | May 6, 2011, 2:15 pm
  12. With a zillion years in the industry, I can certainly vouch for Greg’s sentiments. Even the puff stuff about himself – he’s not deluded or over-exaggerating, he IS an extraordinary host, properly brilliant … his handling on the fly of callers to Quizmania is legendary, and he’s simply the best shopping channel host in the known universe (sorry Paul Lavers). Hosting unscripted, live, low-budget TV is undeniably the most demanding presenting job in the industry – Greg makes it look dead easy, a real testament to his immense talent, worthy of a wider audience. I’d love to see some of our best-known presenters bunged in the bear-pit of poorly-resourced live telly … I think we’d very quickly see ‘mettle fatigue’!

    That Greg isn’t on prime time is shocking, but that he isn’t on ANYWHERE except youtube and Minster FM on a Saturday morning is a bloody scandal.

    Posted by Fenella Fudge | May 5, 2011, 4:46 pm
  13. Greg – You speak nothing but the truth! I’ve been working behind the scenes with a certain big production company who brought a live show into Canada recently, and I applied to be a part of it. Now, I’m not a stranger to them; you could even say that I was part of their “family” – they know my work ethic and that I KNOW the game show genre.. but the fact that “You aren’t a celebrity” seemed to be their cliche of why I wasn’t a fit. Never mind that I’ve worked on countless other formats with them, they know I’ve done private hosting, but they weren’t willing to let me ‘cut my teeth’ on this 2-week live edition, simply cause my name wouldn’t put asses in the seats. I entirely applaud your Jedward comment, but it’s their ineptitude that makes them the train wreck you can’t turn your eyes away from. Too bad “real talent” like ours has to go to waste.

    Posted by Christopher | May 4, 2011, 5:57 pm
    • … But Christopher! Who SAYS a show won’t work with an “unknown”. Of COURSE it can.

      If the format-free shows that feature these TALENTLESS unknowns can(barely)work once the huge press machine gets behind them (I’m talking an Essex based show here), imagine what could happen if the same happened for a show hosted by an unknown with ABILITY.

      You must have felt betrayed, let-down, and angry, Christopher. I don’t blame you one little bit. It’s infuriating, and it’s wrong.

      Posted by Greg Scott | May 4, 2011, 7:13 pm
  14. Babestation would suit you just fine, Greg! And you shouldn’t be nervous about the reaction – anyone who can’t cope with a frank exchange of views shouldn’t be in telly!

    Posted by wanttoworkintelevision | May 4, 2011, 1:39 pm
  15. Gosh – I had a shuddering fear that my words would be misinterpreted. That I would be looked on as a second-hand-food stirring fool. Thank you to those that have backed me up.

    I’ve not written this piece to fish for compliments – Nor am I wanting to ruffle feathers. But something had to be said.

    I have such a yellow streak running through me, however I just HAD to take this opportunity to speak out. And I’m now very nervous about the reaction.

    But what have I got to lose? If it does some good, I’ll be delighted. If it doesn’t, nothing will change for me anyway.

    Good luck to ALL in a similar position. I’d like to finish by saying “don’t give up”.

    Conversely, unless things change, I’ll say, “Don’t waste your blooming time”. I mean it.

    Just ONE gig I haven’t put myself forward for yet… BABESTATION. Anyone got their contact details?

    Posted by Greg Scott | May 4, 2011, 1:09 pm
  16. And this from Trish Bertram – the UK’s best voice artist, left on my Facebook page. See Greg – you are not alone.

    I can vouch for Greg – he was great on the telly doing Quizmania and I don’t know why he wasn’t ‘spotted’- not yoof enough for our yoof obsessed media perhaps ?

    Posted by wanttoworkintelevision | May 4, 2011, 12:55 pm
  17. A non-TV person made this comment to yesterday’s article which I found interesting:

    BB – this is interesting stuff. An a viewer (sporadic) with absolutely no industry involvement, one thing I’ve noticed is that more and more TV and radio is becoming presenter-centric rather than subject-centric. I’m thinking of the difference between Parky and Graham Norton/Jonathan Woss, or even between Attenborough and Brian Cox.

    It’s not always a wholly bad thing – presenter-centricity can be a useful and reliable guide to content (sorry, but for me Ant’n'Dec are a cast-iron guarantee of inanity and drivel!). I’m sure you’re right about the lack of creative confidence as a cause, but I do feel more and more short-changed by it as a viewer. Any thoughts?

    Posted by wanttoworkintelevision | May 4, 2011, 12:30 pm
  18. I feel for this man, TV does tend to rely on a small pool of trendy (at the time) personalities to front shows rather than take a chance on less well known talent, but I guess they might argue that it’s a highly competitive and expensive business (making new shows) and they can’t afford to take too many risks on more obscure faces – seeing as the host can easily float or sink a show. It does happen sometimes though and lets hope lots of brave execs will look outside the box of the usual suspects!

    I know and have met so many hosts/presenters that would say exactly the same thing as above and I’ll bet there are a thousand musicians and actors that would have similar complaints – talent not getting to the top .. it’s not always fair and I hope Greg catches a break soon .. best of luck!

    It’s a tough business and can be very disappointing – that’s why this blog is bloody helpful – to hear these thoughts and contributions!!

    Posted by emma Shore | May 4, 2011, 12:04 pm

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. [...] Rejection in any job is difficult to take but rejection when your job is being you in public must be ten times worse. Obviously no TV presenter should it take it personally when rejected for a job – sometimes there’s no rhyme or reason to a producer’s or executive’s decision, sometimes the face just ‘doesn’t fit’ and no-one can’t quite explain why. Nino Firetto – 80's style! [...]

  2. [...] (And you can find his original piece here: http://wanttoworkintelevision.wordpress.com/2011/05/04/what-makes-a-good-tv-presenter-the-backlash) [...]

  3. [...] [...]

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© Siubhan Richmond and So You Want to Work in Television, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s authors and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and So You Want To Work in Television with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
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