John Clarke is a witty and intelligent man. His ABC programme “Sporting Nation” on Australia’s relationship to sport was incisive, engaging and entertaining. When working to camera he sometimes tried showing us how casual and relaxed he was. He did this by glancing at the world around him while he spoke to us. His opening statement for his final show on Sunday was so relaxed it felt like it was incredibly unimportant to him. The end result of his performance choice was to plainly signal to us that there were other things in his world that were more important than talking to us. Consequently his well-written opening statement failed to make much impact and it definitely didn’t engage.
John continued this technique throughout the episode. When he was talking to us from a major sporting event and where there was crowd interaction to distract him it was perfectly fine – we knew what he was looking at. But on other occasions it was random and confusing or purposeless. It succeeded in demonstrating his marvelously relaxed state but sometimes diminished the importance of the point he was making. The episode was still witty, incisive and engaging. It was only John’s ‘to camera’ communication with us that wasn’t perfect.
Andrew Denton is witty, spontaneous, intelligent and entertaining yet when he is working to autocue he is little more than a robot. It has always been the same. On his brilliant interview show “Enough Rope” his final piece to camera using the autocue was always very mechanical. That’s the way it is on his current ABC show “Randling”.
When Andrew is working to the autocue he is not perfect but last week “Randling” was pleasantly entertaining and Andrew was a fantastic host. He was very quick witted; always to the point he kept the show moving at a rattling good pace and he was very funny.
John Clarke and Andrew Denton are two well-known highly successful TV personalities. But neither of them is perfect.
If perfection is your goal – maybe you should reconsider!!