Friday, June 20, 2014

WORKHORSE. Gareth Edwards quickly steps in to anchor NewsNight in primetime; when will eNCA's most valuable player get the respect he deserves?

He's not a farm animal. But eNCA's Gareth Edwards is a stud of sorts: Look closely on any farm and you'll find the farmer's one, real, true, most dependable workhorse - there to do the real hard slogging and to do what has to be done, come rain or shine.

Doing the hard work and the menial. Doing the big and the small. Doing what must be done. Doing it without complaining. And doing it day in and day out.

Jeremy Maggs is in France; Iman Rapetti is not well - suddenly leaving NewsNight on eNCA (DStv 403) from this Friday evening without either of its regular co-anchors.

Who steps in? Gareth Edwards.

eNCA says "Gareth Edwards will be standing in for them until Jeremy Maggs is back next week Tuesday" and that Gareth Edwards filling in on eNCA's flagship news programme of the day is "a temporary measure".

eNCA's workhorse anchor is without a shadow of a doubt Gareth Edwards.

Time and time again it is Gareth Edwards who steps into the breach - the mid-morning, early morning, late afternoon, afternoon, night owl TV news anchor for whom no timeslot, no anchorless void on the eNCA schedule is too demeaning, too unworthy, too unprestigious to help out with and fill.

It also makes Gareth Edwards the unsung hero, the most valuable player (MVP) as far as eNCA's phalanx of on-air anchors are concerned - the guy who makes little fuzz, but is willing to step in and help out whether its doldrum or primetime.

Where on the eNCA schedule has Gareth Edwards not been moved to, not been seen, and not been willing to serve?

He's been in more different timeslots (and holding fort successfully in all of them) than any other anchor at eNCA currently there or in the past.

He's not left, he hardly ever makes mistakes, and he always seems as if he really wants to be present and as if the news of the moment matters- irrespective of the time of the day.

With umpteenth chops and changes Gareth Edwards has become the most valuable, least recognised on-screen talent at eNCA, never really fully getting his due, yet always willing to go where needed.

Whether its as sports anchor, waking up super early, staying up until late at night, working with a co-anchor, flying solo, anchoring constantly with lesser people who all eventually leave (to other timeslots and to other media places) Gareth Edwards is the one who keeps going.

And don't think the control room can throw him something he can't handle. Can Gareth Edwards please be called what he really is? An unlauded, dependable, hardworking South African television star news anchor.

Gareth Edwards has filled in on NewsNight and on's terrestrial news before tonight and he will most probably do so again in future. He's no stranger to 6 o' clock in the evening as he's no stranger to 6 o' clock in the morning. Not a lot of TV people can say that.

Your most valuable player in any sport, any profession, is called that for a reason. It's because they don't sit on the bench. They're out on the field doing what needs to be done in order to win. They don't complain. They just get on with it.

As does Gareth Edwards. eNCA's under-appreciated, yet most valuable, workhorse.