Saturday, April 15, 2017

How he did it...

Extracted from a Facebook post by comedian and renaissance man Jason Manford, analysing his performance over the last five days as host of ITV's The Nightly Show...

I always thought a show like that needed to feel intimate, as if you were part of the conversation as a viewer. So managed to get them to bring camera in closer to a solid two shot for the most part and limit the shots of the audience. 

Kept the band to give it some consistency from the week before & give it that live element (as well as having Ellie Taylor to bounce off-altho a lot of that didn't make edit due to time constraints) and any games or VTs had to have a reason to be there.

That was my biggest point all week and they must've been getting annoyed with my constant questioning of every minute detail "but why would we do that? Being funny isn't enough. How does it help the narrative of the show?" Also any VTs I did went either at end of monologue or into break so not to interrupt the guest.

The chats were so much fun too cos I'm naturally nosey (in fact it's not dissimilar from talking to front row at a gig, listening to their answer while your brain works quietly in the background). I noticed from watching Parkinson and Wogan that it's about listening rather than talking. 

The crux of a show like that is in the writing and whilst as a comic you have to write 75% of it yourself, you need great writers and so I brought in the brilliant people like Robert Rouse, Mick Ferry, Geoff Norcott, Garry Delany & Dave Longley who are used to performing and deliver great gags that they'd say themselves. I even had my dad do a few days writing since he's funniest person I know! You also need an ally and sounding board so having the queen of comedy writing Christine Rose helped too. 

I think after the comedy monologue (which is your time to shine) it's hosts job to allow the guests to shine, while you bask in their reflective glory ! I for one read everything, reviews and online comments from viewers, and although a lot of it is people being nasty for no reason but after a while you have to listen, if a lot of people are saying the same things then you maybe they're on to something. 

Definitely needs to be longer or with less guests. Obviously for some people it was never gonna recover once it replaced the News at Ten but I think a lot of people have seen that it's good to try new things and hopefully ITV will learn from it and maybe create something off the back of it-it's always good to try new things. It's also not perfect and I'd love another go on it someday but I've enjoyed myself a lot and I hope you have too.

Jason's overnight ratings for the week:

Mon  1.62m (9.7%)
Tue    906k (5.7%) 
Wed  1.42m (9.3%) 
Thu   1.16m (7.3%) 
Fri    - 978k (6.2%) 

Average - 1.22m (7.6%) 

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