Clint on One: a touch of MTV

Clint Bajada’s weekly music show brings a touch of showbiz glitz to local television sets every Saturday. I met up with the host for a chat.

If you’re into the latest chart hits and part of the pop Youtube generation, chances are that you tune in to Clint on One for your dose of house, r’n’b, hip-hop or whatever it is that passes for a music hit these days… Clint on One, hosted by (of course) Cling Bajada, brings you all this and throws in an element of local showbiz for good measure. As Clint himself puts it, it’s not just music and it’s not just talk, but a mixture of both that on a Saturday late morning slot turns out to be the right mixture for many.

“I kicked off this show pretty much as a three-month experiment in summer of 2010. The closer we got to the three-month deadline, the more moment we picked, with more and more viewers tuning in. The decision was taken to take it a step further and to propel the show to the Autumn/Winter schedules. Since then, I haven’t looked back.”

Clint on One has now made it as one of the most popular music-oriented local television offerings. And it certainly keep Clint busy as I was to discover.

 

How was the concept for the show born?

I already ran a weekly radio show every Saturday morning when I decided to venture into television. The radio audience was growing systematically so it was the right time to expand. My first experience working on television was thanks to a one-off reality style show called Iżolati, which took place on Comino. We had very good feedback for that show and I started brainstorming for something more long-term. Eventually, Clint on One was born. Today I take care of the whole production aspect of the show, aided by six technical people who every week do their best to ensure a top-notch experience for the viewers.

To what do you attribute the secret of the show’s success?

I’m a firm believer in the fact that it’s the guests who determine whether a show will be a success or not. My priority is to make my guests feel comfortable enough that they can take part in the interview in a frank and natural manner. If the guest is uncomfortable or stiff, it affects the whole tone of the show. This also reflects on the guest’s performance then. We usually aim to have fun and we manage.

How long does it take you to produce one show?

There isn’t a hard and fast rule for timing frames! To give you an example, if I am acquainted with my guest on a personal level everything flows a bit smoother. I don’t really have to think much to produce the questions! If I am not that familiar with the guest’s personality, on the other hand, things can take longer until I find the right wavelength. The chore that takes up the most time is the selection of the music videos. Obviously it is imperative for me to keep up to date with whatever is happening in showbiz. For a show like mine, I need to make sure that I’m always airing the latest hits, the ones everyone is talking about. However, so far this is the show that takes up the least of my time in terms of preparation!

Who are the typical followers?

Perhaps surprisingly given the subject matter, I receive feedback from a wide diversity of people. Some are even as old as sixty…our Facebook page also give me a good indication of the show’s fans. At present we count over eleven thousand members, with the majority of the audience being women between the ages of fifteen and thirty-five. But that’s just from Facebook!

What makes it different from other music shows?

I really think that the show is different precisely because it has no fixed formula, so the viewers are never exactly sure what to expect on a Saturday. Shows that follow a formula become boring fast. People get used to the structure, there is nothing to look forward to. Given a theme to some of the shows also helps: we’ve had the ‘80s, the ‘90s, rock classics, Italian music… this sort of thing always goes down well with the audience.

How do you keep it fresh?

Obviously the fact that every weekly show includes the very latest music videos, most of which the viewers haven’t yet seen, helps keep us at the forefront of things. People also love it when we run footage of live performances from foreign stars. As of last October, Clint on One underwent a hefty change of set and I’m very happy with this new look.  A different image, aided by the top technology… for example, I was the first TV presenter in Malta to introduce the idea of using an iPad to facilitate on-set communication, even with the viewers in real-time. I had managed to import a model from the States just a few days after it was released on the market. As soon as I read about it I knew that this would be the next big thing, even on TV shows. I think time proved me right on this.

What’s the most memorable experience you’ve ever had on the  show?

Amongst the many, the time when Norwegian singer Alexander Rybak (who won the 2009 edition of the Eurovision) gave a live performance on the show with his full complement of backing vocals. It was a great moment and it helped raise the profile of the show no end, even with foreign viewers. I’ve kept in touch with some of these newly acquired viewers to this day.

What’s your favourite part of the show?

I enjoy it all – although to be honest when the last twenty minutes of the show hit I’m all eager for it to be over. Mainly because by then I’ll be starving!

And which is the most challenging part and why?

The first part of the show when we kick off with a live performance by one of the guests. At that point I’m just keeping my fingers crossed that all goes well.

Have you ever had any last-minute glitches?

Well we do rely a heck of a lot on technology and gadgets so yes, we expect things to go wrong and more often than not some glitch will crop up. To quote the most common hassles we face… slow internet connections, the computer system refuses to load on air… well, you cope! Usually by sorting it all with the first commercial break.

Can you give us a funny incident that happened on air and how you solved it?

One time, literally a couple of seconds before the show kicks off, I managed to overturn a cup of coffee on my sweater. I didn’t have a spare sweater with me so you should have seen everyone scrambling to find me an appropriate jacket with which to hide the disaster.

If you could change one thing about Maltese TV, what would it be?

Less tele-shopping and cookery shows.

How big a part does TV play in your free time – do you actually watch any television when you’re “off duty”?

I follow MTV a lot so as to know who’s doing what in the music industry. I also try to snap up the newest videos before anyone else. I do believe that those who work in the television industry need to follow what’s happening on other shows, both in Malta and abroad, in order to keep abreast of developments and trends.

If yes, which are your own favourite foreign TV shows and why?

Apart from MTV I’ll usually watch quite a bit of Discovery Channel. I love Mythbusters, Man vs Wild, Destroyed in Seconds… these are all shows that are extremely entertaining but that will also teach you something.

Where do you see your career in five years’ time?

I want to continue being involved in the media and television industry, but would prefer to keep it on a part-time level. Well hopefully in five years’ time I’ll still be ok with being in front of the camera!

This interview was published on The TV Guide (The Times of Malta).

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