A programme on BBC2 on Thursday evening, “Media Revolution; Tomorrow’s TV”, looked at the phenomenal worldwide success of programme ideas originated here. In the States, where superlatives are the norm, American Idol is “the biggest show by far” and has been for five years.
Some 40 countries have their own ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ but leading the field is “Who wants to be a Millionaire”, already in 107 countries. The format is stricly adhered to including casting the right host, someone who can be the Chris Tarrant (of, in this case, Albania) or the compellingly awful show host in Slumdog Millionaire.
The programme followed the all important auditions under the scrutiny of veteran Rod Taylor, (Head of Production for the show owner, 2 way traffic). His is the vital decision in selecting the host, the person around whom the show revolves, the biggest job in television locally.
Rod takes this decision in his stride. “His inabilty to speak Albanian gives him no problem in deciding who will win the audition”!
From body language and tone, he could judge who would make the better presenter, who had the confidence, and how they would respond to the camera and how the camera would respond to them. He could see who was, or was not, comfortable.
For me, this story is the most vivid demonstration of a recurring pitchcoach theme, it’s not what you say, it’s the way you say it. Together with reminder that only 8% of communication effect is purely verbal, the rest is visual and tone.
You might say this is music to my ears, except that from now on at rehearsals, I will wear ear plugs!