• Monday, December 22, 2014

Freedom in the air

Television Of A Lifetime

Where are the hosts?

Faridur Reza Sagor
Magazine show Apon Priyo
Magazine show Apon Priyo

Continued from Vol 01 Issue 30

Afzal Hossain
Afzal Hossain

We all know about clashes at Dhaka stadium for football matches. Many of those matches used to be telecasted live on television. Clash between two groups of fans erupted in an Abahani vs Mohamedan match. Sports commentator Abdul Hamid came to the rescue – he grabbed the microphone delivered a passionate speech to stop the clash. The match ended peacefully. In Baitul Mukarram during Tarabi (prayer during Ramadan) a Hafez delivered a wrong sermon. People in the mosque became agitated. A Moulana (Islamic scholar) named Nuruddin took the microphone and said something that calmed the people immediately.
The three people I mentioned (in my last column): Afzal Hossain, Adbul Hamid and Nuruddin are all TV anchors. They are examples that a host not only a host but is a good judge of situation and their speech can penetrate the hearts of the listeners. These efficient hosts always keep in mind what the audience want. There are many channels in Bangladesh now. There, even in important programmes we can see that the anchor is reading away from the pile of paper on their table. This sort of hosting must be stopped immediately. Or else we will be insulting the legacy of Bangladesh's legendary TV hosts.  Afzal Hossain told the frantic Sharjah audience, “Dear friends…” Then he went on asking the audience to sit towards left and again towards right. At the end of the programme, he said, “Programme has ended, you go home now”. Like hypnotized patients the audience followed each and every order Afzal Hossain made.

Abdul Hamid
Abdul Hamid

A long time ago, Afzal Hossain hosted a programme on BTV called 'Apon Priyo'. During that time, there was no way to copy ideas from foreign programmes. But 'Apon Priyo' had segments that we see being copied today. Afzal Hossain used to appear differently in each episode. The norm of programme was: camera on, cue from floor manager and the host will start speaking looking straight at the camera. Afzal broke this norm. 'Apon Priyo' presented its viewers with amazing items which are still remembered by the ones who watched it.
Now, we have many Bangla channels. But where are magazine programmes? Even foreign channels don't have magazine programmes. It is true though that on special days BTV and other channels do present the viewers with magazine programmes. There is a lack of large auditorium for magazine shows. The auditorium in BTV is not rented to any freelance producer. Therefore, producers are making programmes just using their talent, wit and determination using various shooting locations.

Hanif Sanket
Hanif Sanket

Outside the boundaries of Rampura TV station, good magazine shows can be done – Hanif Sanket proved it with his programme 'Ittadi'. He uses different spots all around the country. But to achieve this feat, Hanif Sanket had to overcome many hurdles, had to gain years of experience. He went from BTV's studio number three, auditorium to the Museum auditorium. There are many other great anchors besides the ones mentioned. They have done great programmes gaining experience working for BTV.
Today, we have not only one channel but many. Through satellite, the whole world is open to us all. But where are the big programmes and great hosts? Whenever there is a new programme we complain saying it is a copy from another show. During Pakistan TV and later BTV period, any large programme used to set their target only to entertain the viewers. Even during programme design, the aim to get closer to what the viewer wants. There was only one channel, therefore all the creativity used to go to make better programmes for a single station.

The writer is Managing Director, Channel i
To be continued
(Translated by Zia Nazmul Islam)

Published: 12:00 am Saturday, March 22, 2014

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