Thursday, January 19, 2006

Head talk

I've never enjoyed talking head style TV. I don't mean as a viewer, every now and then a list is interesting enough for me but as a participant it isn't really my thing. I've never done one of those I love 1970-something programmes because I don't remember all that much about any given year and the things I do remember aren't the things they want their talking heads to be talking about.

Unfortunately these shows aren't constructed around the things the contributors recall... instead they've already compiled their clips and written their script and they know what they want you to remember. If you haven't remembered it that's okay so long as you can pretend to remember it in a pithy fashion. Which I can't.

I did take part in one about favourite comedians as I thought that was something I knew about but was a little dismayed when it turned out they didn't want me to talk about my favourite comedians at all and instead had a list of names they wanted comments on... including many people that I really can't raise an opinion about.

Yesterday I recorded something for The Culture Show about my favourite piece of British Design. This seemed like a different proposition because... well, because it was The Culture Show for a start but also because they went about it in a different way. I chose to talk about the world wide web (yes it is design and yes it is British!) but while I was there I also recorded a small bit about cat's eyes (the road safety things not the eyes of cats which were nobody's invention... unless you believe in God but even then, I don't think he's exactly British) and the classic Penguin book cover.

I'm not very good at being concise which is a problem for these kind of shows. It's all about the soundbite. I won't be surprised if when the show comes on I'm not on screen and they've quickly managed to find someone to espouse the virtues of the web in under 10 seconds in my stead.

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