Coventry Conversation: Nick Owen

Today I attended my first of the New season of Coventry Conversations. For those of you unaware of Coventry Conversations they are a series of guest lectures given at Coventry University, many exciting people come in to talk and pass on thier experiences and knowledge.

This week Nick Owen, the number 1 presenter on Midlands Today came in to talk mainly about his career but also to comment and reflect on the changes that have happened and are going to happen in the television industry.

It was fascinating listening to Mr Owen talk about the peaks of his career. As it was before my time I was unaware before I heard from the man himself that he had hosted the 1988 Olympics for ITV and Italia ’90 for the same channel. It was particularly interesting listening to him talking about the skills needed to perform such a job. During last academic year I was part of a group of students who produced an ‘as live’ television show and have since been fascinated by the adaptability and speed of thought required by presenters of live shows especially. Mr Owen spoke about the need to be affable and relaxed on the outside whilst listening to the endless stream of information from the gallery being fed to him via his earpiece.

On the subject of coming across in the right way to his viewers he talked about the techniques he uses to detach himself from the fact he is talking to millions and millions of people. The one that sticks in the mind is his trick of always imagining he is talking to his friend. A personable and approachable persona is so important to a presenter, people become so familiar with your face, your mannerisms and your on screen personality that you have a responsibility to be consistent. As a presenter you can’t have a grumpy day or appear different to usual, this must be hard.

I really enjoyed Nick Owen’s talk. Later this week Paul Abbot, the writer of Shameless, will be talking about the success of Shameless and about it’s future American debut.


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