Wednesday, February 26, 2014

GOTTA LOVE 'EM: Totally redundant to say it - but yes - Jeremy Maggs and Iman Rappetti of NewsNight are TV news' dream team.

The sheer amazingness when you're an immaculate professional and at the pinnacle of what you do, must surely be a blessing.

Just ask eNCA's (DStv 403) NewsNight co-anchors Jeremy Maggs and Iman Rappetti.

Together these two work (on a seemingly co-joined stratospheric Q score level as TV newsers) on a playing field where nobody else in South African television news even comes close to touching them when they move in behind the reflective desk in the Hyde Park studio.

To do the news on television, to deliver it right, and to also make it flow with just the right touch of imbued personality and empathy is an incredibly hard thing to achieve. To make it look deceptively easy - almost impossible.

Yet its what Jeremy Maggs and Iman Rappetti achieve, every time they're co-anchor the news on eNCA together. Ipso facto: ease, flow - and TV news perfection.

There's really not much more I can say, comment on, or contextualise that I've not yet said before regarding this terrific primetime NewsNight co-anchor duo.

As a TV critic I'm not obsessed with them; I'm not trying to favour eNCA or NewsNight or Jeremy Maggs or Iman Rappetti. But I have to keep watching it (and them!) and what I keep seeing, without fail, remains astounding.

What they do and how they do it - their smooth, faultless delivery, their in tandem teamwork throwing to and backing each other up all the way, the casual yet formal professionalism and warmth they exude jointly - is really television and TV news that viewers in South Africa (or wherever they're watching it) shouldn't take for granted.

What Jeremy Maggs and Iman Rappetti - together with quite clearly a lot of dedicated and talented people behind the cameras - are doing night after night on NewsNight on eNCA is great, high quality television news.

The on-air pairing is unique and incredibly synergistic and remains amazing to watch (second would be Jason Kennedy and Giuliana Rancic on E! News on E! Entertainment - and that's with the easier and softer entertainment news as genre).

Doing hard news, especially on live television, and staying focused but yet also making it personal without making it frivolous, keeping the viewer tuned in without gimmicks and tabloid coverage, establishing a personal connection and keeping that connection, is an incredibly hard, difficult and elusive thing to do.

Together Jeremy Maggs and Iman Rappetti simply excel at it.

Yes. I've said it before, I will try not to say it again.

Yet, in fairness - and since NewsNight is an ongoing television programme - I feel that I have to reiterate that there's simply no better nightly newscast for the South African TV viewer than NewsNight with Jeremy Maggs and Iman Rappetti on eNCA.

Take just the very final closer moment of Wednesday night's NewsNight edition. Laugh it off, maybe don't even realise what you're really seeing, or what they're really doing so subtly - but if you really dissect it, its a potent drop of their consummate television news delivery skill at large.

Look at the pauses, the eye contact with each other (but also with you as the viewer as the third person in this implicit triad), the hand movements, and the seamless ongoing switch and transition between talking to each other and talking directly to the viewer as if you're really physically present.

Observe the small personal, ongoing revelations night after night - like tonight that Jeremy Maggs is "grumpy", is on a no-carbs diet, and needs his supper.

Their light and often humorous to-and-fro style when the news content allows it is always pitch-perfect. Their quick and contained banter create the illusion that they bringing the news but that they're really open about everything about themselves. It fosters trust and likability.

Whether deliberately done or a natural outflow of their on-screen working relationship Jeremy Maggs and Iman Rappetti also strengthen this over time.

They've created, and keep creating the illusory feeling that you know them - personally - that when you have to make a choice that they are the clever, warm yet professional "friends", the ones that you know the best, the ones that you want to tune to when it comes to the television space you want to get your news from.

What you see and what you get from Jeremy Maggs and Iman Rappetti together - is a truly exceptional, and very rare, high quality television news anchoring symbiosis.

Something which neither viewer, nor eNCA, should ever take for granted.

ALSO READ: eNCA's Jeremy Maggs asks his co-anchor Iman Rappetti for her ring finger - but it's not what you're thinking.