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English Spoken Language Essay

In television and radio the interview techniques are very different. Graham Norton does both, in both situations we do see Norton adapting himself. He interviews Jedward in the television interview and Benedict Cumberbatch in the radio interview. They are many differences the obvious one is that one is in a television studio and the other in a radio set; another difference is the audiences that would watch them. The television situation is broadcasted on a Friday night at 10.30pm so the audience would be teenagers and young adults, which is a contrast to the audience that would listen to the radio interview, (which is broadcasted on Saturday morning around 10am) who would be middle aged and certainly older than the people watching the Jedward interview. Also as well as the audience watching on television in the Jedward interview, there is also a live audience in the studio which would give Norton a direct response and gives him people to address.

In the radio interview Norton doesn’t have a live audience so he doesn’t get a direct response so that’s why I think he’s calmer and more relaxed. In both interviews I think that Norton doesn’t allow time for the interviewees to talk and this may come across that he’s rushing and is not thinking. In the television situation Norton interrupts Jedward so that the audiences laugh which I guess is what he is meant to do but after a while Jedward give up and just let him interrupt him. An example of when he interrupts in the radio interview when: ‘Cumberbatch: Danny was very….’ ‘Norton: is this Danny Boyle?’ Also Norton continues that part of the interview to talk about himself, which I don’t think is keeping a very good rapport with Cumberbacth. After a while Cumberbatch in my opinion gives up and starts to ask Norton questions about his career; ‘Why did you give up?’ this is another example of Norton not really keeping a rapport with the interviewee.

The television interview with Jedward in my opinion is much less formal and Norton behaves in a more spontaneous and lively way where as in the radio interview it’s formal and much more serious. I think that Norton in away talks down to Jeward and makes fun of them and has a patronising attitude towards them. In the radio interview Norton has much more respect for Cumberbatch and talk to him on a more level basis. The way Norton began his interview with Jedward ‘Now, anyway’ this I would say is less formal than the way Norton began his interview with Cumberbatch. In a way this is effective as this makes the interviewee feel more relaxed, this also shows how Norton is adapting himself in both situations. In the interviews I think that Norton adapts himself, in terms of his tone and pitch of his voice. In the Jedward interview his tone, is relaxed, funny and his pitch is much higher than in the Cumberbatch interview.

I personally think that Norton has to change himself to fit in with Cumberbatch, as his voice is much more formal. When addressing the audience in the Jedward interview, Norton’s pitch of voice changes depending on whether he is asking a question or stating something, this shows that Norton keeps a rapport with the audience and the interviewee. An example of this is when Norton says ‘it’s not often that gets a laugh’ this is aimed at the audience and is in away make fun of Jedward. In the television interview we see that Norton has cards but at some point he puts them down, this makes us think that he is making some of it up and makes he seem more spontaneous. Obviously we can’t see what is going on in the radio interview but, I think that Norton’s speech is more fluent compared to the television interview.

I think that Norton doesn’t really follow the cards in the television interview as he keeps interrupting Jedward which I assume is not on the cards. I do think that both interviews are set out correctly and follow a logical sequence of points. I also think that in the radio interview Norton speaks more articulately than in the television interview where he seems to talk in a more rushed lively way. Norton’s sentences in the radio interview are more coherent and there are fewer hesitations than in the television interview, but a reason for this could be that there can’t really be any silences in a radio interview. The layout of the two interviews are virtual the same, Norton introduces them, he asks the a few questions, Norton comments and they end the interview.

I do think that Norton is too focused on getting laughs from the audience that it brings the attention away from the interviewee, which is a bad technique from Norton. Unlike the television interview Norton doesn’t have a live audience so his much more focused on the interview and sustains a better rapport with Cumberbatch than with Jedward. With both audiences to build a rapport with the audience, Norton makes jokes and he’s very sarcastic especially towards Jedward, ‘Can you go to a cashpoint and get money out?’ this is making a joke and when he says this he looks to the audience to get a laugh. Also we see that in the television interview that Norton in a way is encouraged by the audience to keep making funny comments so that the audience is more concentrated on him rather than the interviewee, this is a bad technique from Norton has its more feeding his ego and sustain a better rapport with the audience rather than the interviewee.

Obviously we can’t see Norton’s body language in the radio interview but in the television one we see that his body language does co-ordinate with the situation he is in. After Norton says ‘it’s not often that gets a big cheer’ the audience immediately laugh which in a way jeers Norton on and so he continues to look at the audience instead of Jedward. I think at some points Norton looks too much at the camera and audience and this slightly decreases the rapport with Jedward, but on the other hand he’s sustains a rapport with the audience. He uses hand gestures which exaggerates what he is saying, but I think personally he’s posture is too laid back and gives an informal look.

In both interviews there would be two different audiences so the reaction and how Norton tries to sustain a rapport with them would be different. In the radio interview, Norton interacts with the audience with the tone and pitch of his voice, whereas in the television interview Norton uses gestures and looks straight at the audience to get an immediate reaction. Also his volume of his voice is more prominent, in the radio interview so the audience has a connection with Norton. In the radio interview Norton’s language is more formal whereas in the television one it’s much more relaxed and Standard English so this shows that Norton does adapt himself to both situations, which is a good technique made by Norton.

So, overall I think that Norton is good at adapting himself to both interviews; I do think that in the radio interview that Norton is better suited to the television interview when it’s a bit more relaxed and informal, because this suits Norton’s personality better. Norton does have a few bad techniques which include interrupting and looking at the audience too much, but he has many good techniques. Although in both interviews he uses good techniques which sustain a rapport with both the audience and the interviewees.


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