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     Volume 11 |Issue 33| August 17, 2012 |


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Talkative TV

A new television channel in town prepares itself for the launching

Zyma Islam

For Kuber Majhi, his first ever visit to the country's capital D-Town would have been memorable in any case. But the opportunity to participate in a talk show of a new television channel 420TV has multiplied the excitement.

Kuber, along with other participants of the show, are staying at a 10-star hotel, with three free meals and a free spa, all included in the registration fee they had to pay to the People's Robbers (PR) firm. Kuber informs that several weeks ago the PR firm had contacted him over his Bongolink phone about participating in the show. 'They called me and told me that I was selected to appear as a guest on a tok show. I said I don't want to go visit any house to eat tok (sour) food. I am sick and tired of eating the tok panta (stale rice) at my own home. Why should I eat tok food as a guest, you tell me sister?” Kuber blurts out the history of his selection, trying to sound important in front of the voice-recorder.

Upon the PR firm's explanation that as a boatman who depends on the River Padma his livelihood. Kuber has to talk about the Padma Bridge, and he has agreed to participate. “I told them I do not know anything about any bridge but there is not enough Hilsha in the River Padma. They said that would do and I should hurry up and register, if I want to see myself in TV,” says Kuber. “Although, I had to take a quite big sum of micro-loan for the registration fee, I thought, 'well at least Kopila will be able to see me in TV',” he adds.

Executive Director of 420TV, Dr Mofizur Rahman informs, “For the first time in the history of Bangladesh, we are bringing forth a television channel that is entirely dedicated to talk shows. The channel will air talk shows on various subjects--- politics, economics, physics, chemistry, mathematics, geography, history, poultry, fisheries, horticulture, culture and so on. We will be bringing people from all walks, corners, novels of Bongoland to present the voice of the ordinary people on these topics.” He therefore explains why Kuber Majhi, a character from Manik Bandopadhaya's 'Padma Nadir Majhi' has been invited as a guest on one of the political talk shows.

JackOfAllTrade Consultancy, media partner of 420TV, is carrying out the responsibility of training the participants for the talk shows, before the actual recording. Accordingly, during Kuber's week-long stay in the capital, he and the other participants will to go through an extreme makeover. Currently, they are attending a six-day long dawn to dusk training workshop on 'Capacity Building and Skill Development of Talk Show Hosts and Guests'. Azra Zabin, CEO of JackOfAllTrade informs that international trainers from foreign television channels have been invited to conduct the workshop. “Due to flight unavailability, the foreign trainers could not come, so we have asked our local experts to act as substitute trainers,” she says in highly accented English.

The dawn to dusk intensive workshop has been divided into six modules, which covers speed talking, non-stop talking, talking at the top of your voice, talking about past events and other irrelevant things. The fifth module has been specially designed for the host or moderator of talk shows which include how to cut in mid-sentence of the guest's harangue, and take calls from the audience, or go for an advertisement break. The last module is on ethics and etiquette of talk shows. Among other things, this module will teach participants to gracefully sip coffee from empty coffee mugs.

Though Kuber is having difficulty with the last module, he is thoroughly enjoying his stay at the hotel and looking forward to the recording, where he will share his perspective on the “Prospect and Potentials of the Lost Padma Bridge.”

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