Darren Simpson and his team have taken Highveld 94.7’s Breakfast Xpress to television. And no, they haven’t hijacked Expresso Show. Instead, the team are using a channel on YouTube to deliver off-air content, the kind that is more visual than audio. The ‘television’ show reveals behind the scenes clips as well as special made-for-YouTube features.
“Radio is great for connecting with listeners immediately and directly, but there are some ideas that don’t translate well on radio,” said Simpson. “The TV show is a great vehicle for content that has a visual element.”
TheMediaOnline caught up with Simpson to find out more.
Q: Not the Nine O’Clock News: there used to be a very funny television show in the UK, with Angus Deaton, of the same name. Someone a fan at Breakfast Xpress?
A: Six years ago when I started working on a news spoof for radio it was scheduled for just before the 9am news. Although I hadn’t seen the UK show, I was aware of the name, and it was an obvious fit. My Not the Nine O’Clock news is not a parody of that show; we basically just stole the name!
Q: Who is the writer of the TV component? Whackhead? Everyone?
A: I write it, including the news bit. The links are improvised because I have zero acting ability, so it has to be off the cuff otherwise it would sound rubbish!
Q: Describe a brainstorming session for this show.
A: Once a week we sit down as a team for about two hours and discuss what will go into the next episode. The team – me, Sam, Bongani, Paul, Gavin and Megan, our show producer – will look at what we’ll be doing in the upcoming week and see which activities have a strong visual element. We then play around with ideas to ensure that they willl work – and make viewers laugh or feel like they know us better. This is quite important – giving our listeners the feeling that they are getting a peek into our lives, to make us accessible to them as friends.
Q:Who is shooting and editing the material? What size crew do you have out there getting the OB stuff?
A: We have a tiny team of two exceptionally talented editors – whom I refuse to name for fear of poaching – one slick producer and then us (the Breakfast Xpress team), that’s it. The editors film some material but the team also film each other with a new age handycam.
Q: Does it add to costs of the show, or will it increase viewers/listeners and perhaps online ads?
A: There are no extra costs other than tape and time. The editors are full time employees who run our TV department at Primedia Broadcasting, we have just increased their workload. Firstly I just want to put this show out there and gain a bit of momentum with it, thereafter we can look at the commercial aspect.
Q: How are you going to reach viewers outside the province as you don’t have the cross marketing opps provided by the radio show?
A: That is the beauty of viral marketing, if it’s good then the marketing will almost take care of itself. I have seen this with some of my pranks that fans have posted on youtube. The really killer ones get 200 000 to 300 000 views, some have even surpassed the one million mark.
Q: What makes people make prats of themselves online and on television?
A: UGC (User Generated Content) is the way of the future. I saw this with the success of my TV show, Clipz/Prankz. The fact that Justin Bieber can become the biggest star in music because of a few youtube videos shot in his bedroom, gives everybody hope that they could do the same. Most won’t succeed, buy some will, and that’s all it takes to roll the webcam of HOPE!
Q: Is this the future, the merging of radio, tv and online channels? Where to next?
A: This is definitely the future, all these platforms have to merge as the listener is becoming increasingly demanding for content. Not only do they want to hear, they want to see as well, and nowadays it is so easy to do.
A new episode will be posted each Friday morning. In addition, fans can watch Breakfast Xpress TV by following the Breakfast Xpress Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/BreakfastXpress
Watch the first two episodes of Breakfast Xpress TV at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zwVKpid15gw