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I TALK TO Matt Edmondson

I recently caught up with Matt Edmondson to talk about TV OD, his love for Ex On The Beach, Jamie East, and whether or not he'll be presenting The Xtra Factor.

For his brand new ITV2 show, TV OD, Matt Edmondson will be looking back at the week of telly in a funny, irreverent way, often using Twitter to inform the funny.


Having been a fan of Matt's for a while now, whether that's on TV, on the radio, or online, I couldn't think of a better host for this show.


What is TV OD and how would you best sum it up?


It is like a funny Points Of View - so it's me looking at the best of the week's TV, kind of reviewing what's been on, and using all of the great stuff that people have been talking about online to help me do that.


So it's sort of a mix between TV Burp, in terms of the stuff that I'll be doing - puns and jokes around clips - and I guess Points Of View is the nearest that you could compare it to. In the sense that lots of people tweet about TV, lots of people Facebook about TV and there's a lot of online conversation when TV shows are on.


My job, as well as finding the best and funniest clips from TV, I also find the best observations, weird things that are said, funniest tweets, angriest tweets and use those to help me review what has been on telly in the past week.


How involved are you in the production process for each show? Are you scouring the internet yourself for blogs, tweets and Facebook comments?


Yes, I've got our brilliant team of people who are as obsessed with TV and Twitter as I am and yeah, we are all looking for that stuff.


This is now kind of a full-time job for me, when I'm not doing the radio, so Monday to Friday I'm sat either watching TV or looking at comments other people have made whilst watching TV.


How fast-turnaround will the show be? Do you talking about the week of telly we've just seen? 


Yes, it's a weekly show, it's topical. Every week we will talk about stuff that has been on TV in the previous week. We probably wouldn't stretch any further than about 10 days back. Unless we're doing a review of a series that might be coming to an end that is still on air.


For example, Ex On The Beach will be ending around the time that we start, so because of that we've got the episodes, as they are going out now, as reference points We've got tweets from episodes one and two and comments from episodes one and two, but genuinely speaking as soon as we get into it, it'll be new shows every week and a very tight turnaround.


There's a part in the show where you confront TV personalities with tweets about themselves. Have you any idea what kind of people you'll be targeting?


Well, we're trying to book people at the moment for that. I guess the people we want are going to be people who have been on TV that week - or really recently - and that have a good quality of talk about them. And what I mean about that is that they will have people that love what they do, but they'll also have people who hate what they do. Which basically, is everyone on TV, because you just can't please everyone.


So we will invite them in, and we would have found a range of comments from people who adore them to people who adore them in a way that's a bit weird. So they might find them extremely attractive or they might want to do things really far-fetched with them, and then people who absolutely hate them.


And there'll be people in between which are the funnier stuff really. So odd questions people pose on Twitter to a celebrity, weird observations they've had, people who whilst the rest of us had been focussing on one thing have been focussing on something that no one else has yet considered.


So it's all that stuff that is out there about our celebrity guests, and they'll get the chance to hear it, respond to it and we'll kind of use those comments as a springboard to do what will hopefully be quite a funny interview package.


How did TV OD come about? Did the idea largely come from you? Because it seems like the perfect show for you as I follow you on Twitter and know how much you love telly and love to tweet about it, much like myself...


Yeah, so the show is a co-production between a company that I set up, Accidentally On Purpose, and IMG who I have worked with before on another show for ITV2 called Totally Bonkers Guinness World Records.


And the producer of that, a guy called Alex, and I sat down and had a chat about how we did a TV show about TV shows. Because I love telly and I have done stuff with clips in the past, I've done an online show for The X Factor which was me doing lots of jokes using clips about that week's show. And equally I did a thing for The Apprentice where I did a re-cap of what had happened and found an extra layer of funny that perhaps wouldn't have seen watching the show the first time around.


So I'm obsessed with clips, and my favourite thing really is sitting and watching TV shows and I cannot permanently switch off that part in my brain that looks for funny things. So partly I was looking for an outlet for that, and we were taking about how much we love Twitter, and how I particularly love watching TV shows with Twitter. I follow lots of funny people, and I think it's a bit like that age old question - "If you could invite anyone to a dinner party. Who would you invite?" - Twitter kind of lets you do that with a TV viewing party.


If I want to find out what Alan Carr thinks about a show, or what Lily Allen thinks about a show or even someone who's not famous, but is really funny about telly, then I can follow them and suddenly my experience of watching Britain's Got Talent goes from being good, because it's a great show, to being amazing because it's a great show and now there's an amazing layer of people making jokes, getting outraged,  finding the same things sweet and warming - it's just a really lovely community.


It felt to me like there was a real opportunity to go OK, well I know what I think of TV shows, and I know what I find funny, and I know that I can do a good review of a show in a funny way.

But also there are lots of people out there who are saying such great things about TV, so why don't we as well as looking for great clips, look for great comments and marry the two so you can get a really well rounded view about what people are loving, what people are hating.


Sometimes, if you're not watching a TV show and go to Twitter and everyone is talking about that show, everyone you follow, or it's trending, and you think - "I don't really know what that is" and you haven't got time to watch it, hopefully our show is the show that says - "This was on. Here's all the best bits about it. Here's all the bits that if you saw it didn't realise were funny but were, and also here's what everyone has said about it as we pick the best possible tweets."


When I first heard about the show I was surprised that something like this hasn't already been done. Were you the same?


It does seem a bit of a no brainer. I think the closest thing to it is Points Of View, which is obviously pretty dry. In terms of the tone and sensibility of it there were things like TV Burp, which is doing jokes with clips, which we'll be doing some of, but in a different way to Harry Hill, and I guess another show near it in a way is Gogglebox, because it's about TV. But really it is its own separate thing.


How is Jamie East involved in the show?


I'm a huge fan of Jamie's, and he used to be my boss so I know just how funny he can be. He hired me when he used to run Holy Moly. He's one of my favourite TV presenters anyway and I think the way that he interacts with people is hilarious. So everything on the show is a recap of TV and what does the general public think about TV. Most of that is done through social media, but I quite wanted to feature real people on the show coming and talking about TV.


So Jamie will be the voice of a water cooler that travels to different locations and invites people to come and talk about the television they've recently watched, as they come and get a drink from it. It sounds INSANE, but when you watch it, it works.


It was an idea that I had when we were making a pilot for this about a year ago - everyone's talking about those 'water cooler moments' so why don't we have a watercooler that is a funny person that talks to people about what they've been watching on TV.


So Jamie came and did it for us and he was so funny at grilling people about their TV viewing habits, so each week we want to use a show and we want people to come and talk about it. You'll never see Jamie's face, you'll only ever hear his voice. The watercooler will talk to about three or four people about the same show and it will give you a real sense about what people are saying about it.


And that will be about a show that is big, mainstream - that people will know about it. People will be talking about it that week. It will be going to a variety of different locations, so people won't be coming to it, it will go to the people. It might be in a supermarket one week, or a swimming pool the next week, or a school playground at a fete the next week or whatever. So it's going to move around and people can come and talk to it.


What are you enjoying watching at the moment?


Well at the moment I'm watching Ex On The Beach, which I watched before I knew we were going to do anything with it on TV OD and thought - "This is amazing!" And so now I'm watching it with a fine tooth comb. When away from this production I love a big entertainment, so I love big Saturday night entertainment shows.


I love The X Factor, I love Britain's Got Talent, I love Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway, The Voice - all those big tweetalong-able shows. And that are live. I get so annoyed if we have to pause the TV during a live show because the Twitter stream goes awry.


Also, I love things like Modern Family and I'm watching Game Of Thrones a lot at the moment and I'm obsessed with The Trip To Italy with Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon so that is what I choose to watch if it was down to me.


But it isn't just down to me on TV OD, I have to kind of be steered by what everyone is watching, and also where I think I can get funny material from. So there will be a diverse range.


Between TV and radio, is there one discipline you enjoy doing the most?


Like a parent, I'm going to say I love them both equally. My obsession is television, and when I was a kid, all I wanted to be was a maker of TV. I wanted to present TV but I also wanted to produce TV, and I was and still am obsessed by every single facet. If someone's doing a job on a TV show and I think - "God, I wonder what they're doing." - I'll annoyingly go up to them and go - "Can you show me how you operate that camera. Or ooh what filter have you put on that Mr... Grader?" The grammar of telly is intrinsically in body. I understand how it works because I watched so much of it as a kid.


And also because I always knew I wanted to be a TV presenter, like some kids sing in front of the mirror and pretend to be Britney Spears by singing into a hairbrush, I used to stand in front of the mirror and do links, put a little alarm clock there and say - "Right, I'm going to go from Blue Peter into Newsround and I've got 30 seconds and I need to say what's on the show tomorrow, and I need to give details of the website." And as a ten-year old kid, that's how I was occupying myself. And when I started doing live TV, when I did kids TV and now doing what I'm doing with clips, it's fun to me. It doesn't feel like I'm having to push myself out of my comfort zone.


Whereas radio, when I started doing radio I had never done radio before. And I wasn't obsessed with it in the same way I was with TV, so coming into it I thought - "Oh how hard can it be?" - the answer is... really hard! (Laughs). It took me ages to get comfortable with it and get used to doing it. It's really different to doing TV.


For starters, you need to learn a new technical side of doing stuff. It's probably harder than learning to drive a car. You've got a studio desk and you are responsible for everything. Every noise you hear on Radio One, be it you, or a guest, music playing in the background, the Newsbeat jingle, a sound effect - everything is controlled by the DJ.


All of that is done live, it's kind of the equivalent of vision mixing in TV. You are directing sound. You've got to learn all that and then you've got to learn to talk on radio, which is really different to TV where you've normally got scripts and a lot of thought put into what exactly you're going to say. Whereas on radio, where you've got a three-hour show it's a lot more relaxed than that.


Nothing's scripted, nothing's written down. You'll have a talk about - "Oh we need to do this here, or a story about this here" - but you never have a script for it, you just have to talk. And that is weird, coming from an environment where everything's scripted.


It's a challenge, but now that I've done it and I'm comfortable with it, I love it. I would say the two things hold sort of an equal footing. The great thing about radio above TV is that you can have an idea and do it that day, or the following day, and also if it doesn't work it's fine, you can let it go and disappear. Whereas if you do it on TV, it sticks around.


Would you ever be interested in presenting The Xtra Factor?


I don't know really. I think what I wanted to with The X Factor I kind of got to do. I wanted to do funny stuff with clips, and I did it, and it was great. I don't think, certainly this year, I wouldn't be able to do it. My whole summer is going to be spent watching a billion episodes of Ex On The Beach, and other TV shows, so there wouldn't be time for me to do it.


But also, I think if they came and said - "We definitely want you to present The Xtra Factor" I think you'd be foolish not to have that conversation, but it's not something that I'm itching to do.


TV OD starts Thursday 5th June at 10pm on ITV2

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