Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Why Carte Blanche's Derek Watts is looking at his watch - and why the respected M-Net TV presenter is absolutely allowed to.

If you blinked, you would have missed it, but Carte Blanche's Derek Watts Sunday night at 20:00 on M-Net looked down and looked at his watch to see what time it is live on the air just before the credits rolled.

It was either a ''is this show finally over?'', ''quick-quick, I must get somewhere'' or a ''did we manage to finish this episode at exactly the right time or did we go over?'' moment. And it was wonderful.

While looking at your watch on television is and has always been a super strict no-no in television production protocol, if there is one TV presenter in South Africa who can gladly do it, it's Derek Watts. His affable, real, very natural and completely at ease demeanour on live television in Carte Blanche is as enjoyable to watch as it is earned. After so many years, he gets a free pass and is gracefully allowed.

The majority of TV personalities, especially on live or live to tape TV shows fail to just be unflappably themselves. They are either dreadfully boring like news readers, overly express with too dramatic facials like Top Billing, or they look as if they're going to burst from hyped up fake-friendliness like YO.TV presenters who need some Ritalin.

Derek Watts is and remain just completely normal. He's like your highly trusted friend at the weekend braai who stands and tells you stuff you didn't actually know - and who you absolutely believe when he tells you what's happened the past week.

Who haven't stood around a braai, wondered if you still have time to tell or listen to one more story, and then looked down at your watch? Look at your watch all you want Derek Watts. You've long ago earned the right to do so.

[By the way, Derek Watts on Sunday night in Carte Blanche willingly shared that he's lost 8kg on the ''diet'' - or more aptly called the ''eating plan'' - of prof. Tim Noakes of the Sports Science Institute of South Africa in Cape Town.]