Thursday, February 13, 2014

Prof. Richard Calland, call your agent! YOU belong on television. Your insightful, clever commentary in a perfect voice makes you a telenality.

Prof. Richard Calland, call your agent. You belong on television.

I don't know Prof. Richard Calland from a bar of soap, but the author and law professor at the University of Cape Town (UCT) was roped in by eNCA (DStv 403) as television commentator and analyst on Thursday afternoon and evening for the opening of parliament and the 2014 State of the Nation Address.

It turned out that Prof. Richard Calland was simply miles ahead and above any of the other pundits, analysts and commentators on eNCA, SABC News (DStv 404) and ANN7 (DStv 405).

With a crisp and melodious baritone voice perfectly suited for radio, well-dressed for television, and with incredibly insightful commentary delivered in perfect sentences and yet not scared to pepper it with personal observances such as "I like band music", the well-spoken and clear Prof. Richard Calland's students (if he even has any) don't know what value for money they're actually getting.

Out of all three of South Africa's 24-hour TV news channels, Prof. Richard Calland was the most animated commentator and to just the right degree - hand movements, but not too much; fascinating answers not rehashing what viewers already knew; slightly leaning in every so often so as to create the illusion of genuine (or perhaps it was genuine) interest, and amazing elocution and enunciation.

It begs one question: Why is this person not on television?

Prof. Richard Calland and his whole demeanour (he's clearly comfortable with public speaking - and with speaking his mind) was not just a political commentator on Thursday on television, he was television.

Television viewers - especially on TV news channels and magazine shows such as Carte Blanche where he would be perfect - might tune in for the news, but they often stay for the personality, the anchor; the person who holds their attention and commands their time, someone who speaks and makes you want to listen to them - and who speaks and imbues a feeling of authority in what they say.

Prof. Richard Calland is one of those people - extremely hard to manufacture, a treasure to find, and a person who simply pops on television by simply being who they inherently are.

He emotes - and to just the right level - as he conveys real, high-concept issues, in easy to understand language. He comes across as interested, and that makes the viewer be interested.

He would easily be able to anchor a news or news magazine show. His whole telenality (television personality) on Thursday was spot-on perfect. What he said, how he said it, how he behaved, and his entire on-screen persona was compelling and completely news anchor worthy.

Call you agent if you have one, Prof. Richard Calland. Or get one. You'd easily hold your own in television news.