Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Last Friday, I accidentally walked into a reality TV show.

As usual I was just dropping into Alt TV to hand-over that night’s edition of That Faithful Feeling for Patrick to broadcast on Hope City Radio, when I had to negotiate my way through a large crowd of punters at the entrance on K’Road.

“We heard we could audition to be TV presenter here” one told me.

Yeah, yeah that sounded like Auckland’s voluntary community TV station to me.

They were short-staffed, so had taken their need and turned it to their advantage – by transforming the search into a reality TV show. Probably to be called Alt TV Idol or something.

So I ducked back out of shot as the 20-odd contestants were all filmed walking en masse up the stairs and towards the TV studio.

Once the shot was in the can, I followed them in, found Patrick, gave him tonight’s radio show, and then stopped to take-in what was going on around me.

Forms were being handed-out. Contestants had to fill in their NAT details along with answers to other, more creative questions.

Well, you know what I was thinking.

I whizzed through the form.

If you were putting on a music show in Auckland, and you could book anyone, which 3 bands would you choose?

My answer included The Beatles and Elvis on the basis that dead people couldn’t fail to draw crowds of legendary hugeness.

I gathered from the form that TV2 might be culling some of the footage to use somewhere too.

Looking at my phone, time was against me though. It was about 10 to 7, and in ten minutes’ time I had to be around the corner teaching English to Korean migrants at the Salvation Army on Queen Street.

10 minutes. 10 minutes. 9 minutes.

I watched them all taking turns to sit in front of a camera, hold a 1970s in-vision microphone, and introduce themselves for 10 seconds. Hanging back until last, I sized up the opposition, and was pleased at the quietness the camera was inducing. This lot were going to be a pushover.

My turn. Sitting-down, I leant forward, fixed the camera with eye-contact, and bellowed:

Steve Goble on Alt TV
“Hi – my name’s Steve Goble, and I present a show called That Faithful Feeling on Hope City Radio every Friday night, playing the very best in contemporary and classic Christian music, and I’d love to be able to bring some of that to Alt TV.

That was my 10 seconds, and, whatever they might think of the words I’d chosen, my delivery had been definitive. I raised my eyebrows at the cameraman to check if he’d got it okay.

“Yeah…” he replied thoughtfully, “…yeah. You really need to be using…the microphone.

Oh yeah. That’s right. Everyone else had been holding that 1970s in-vision microphone. Where had the 1970s in-vision microphone gone?

With every single frame of this going down on tape, I looked all over for it.

I had been sitting on it.

After a second take, I made my excuses and fled for the welcoming arms of my Korean English students. Reaching the corner of K’Road and Queen Street however, I stopped. I could sense that I was at one of those pesky life-changing decisions.

On the one hand I could go back and do the interview stage. I was pumping with adrenaline, and ready to spew verbal diarrhoea all over any question they could possibly throw at me.

But then, I don’t much believe in TV any more. I couldn’t take on any job that required me to constantly encourage people to stay in and spend more and more time watching a box instead of living their lives.

And yet, making TV shows is what I’ve spent most of my life wishing I could do. That’s how I got into radio. That’s why I started making movies. That’s how I started writing, and ultimately led to this blog. Because I had wanted to make TV shows.

Maybe I would be rubbish.

I looked down Queen Street. Almost 7 o’clock. The Koreans would be waiting for me. They’re a punctual lot, these Asians, and I’d promised them I’d be there.

Deep in my heart though, I knew I should go back. God would fix it so that the Koreans arrived late or something. I was 100% certain of it.

But I just couldn’t break my promise. Or maybe I didn't believe in myself. And then again, I really did have no intention whatsoever of being recruited by any company in such a condescending manner. If they wanted to phone me to arrange a proper interview (like a real station would for a real presenter), they had my number.

So I went to the lesson.

And the first Korean arrived 20 minutes late.

A week later, (tonight) I was teaching the following English lesson to the same people, when suddenly my mobile warbled that I had a text message, from… Karen? Fellow Brit Karen from Hamiltron, who I haven’t seen since Parachute? What on Earth could she be texting me about?

Curiously I pressed READ.


Nice on Close Up mate!


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