No awards ceremony is complete without its Master of Ceremonies. And this year the Rose d’Or has got one of the best in London coming to guide the audience through the event. Paddy O’Connell is a broadcaster with over 25 years of experience in television and radio - predominantly with the BBC, He presents BBC Radio 4's Broadcasting House programme each Sunday morning. He is also an occasional presenter of Radio 4's PM programme. He has reported from New York and Washington DC for the BBC and was a host of the Eurovision Song Contest semi-finals for many years.
We spoke to Paddy O’Connell to get his view of what hosting the Rose d’Or meant to him and why London is the perfect venue for this year’s ceremony.
Read the interview in full here:
What does it mean to you to be hosting this edition of the Rose d’Or?
POC: “Well, there are now so many awards ceremonies that the only ones that count, really, are the classic ones, it seems to me. I think there are even awards for awards ceremonies. So, this is the oldest European entertainment award of its kind, and it’s going to be held in a fabulous location, the UK’s number one tourist destination, we’re going to be talking about some of the top entertainment shows in all of the languages of Europe, including my own. It’s going to be a fabulous showcase”.
Why London, what’s so special about London for hosting this awards’ ceremony?
POC: “London is a great tourist destination, the delegates are aware of the power of the English language, but it’s also a nice place to show off your content because London is a massive international city now, all the languages of the world are spoken here, and so many European natives are now living here. London is an international city, the English language is a fabulous language of entertainment, but London is also a place that is in receive mode for all of the formats of the world. We’ve import jeux sans frontiers over the years, we love American television, we had Total Wipeout that was of course made in Argentina, we sell formats from Britain from around the world, so TV is a big international commodity.”
What do you think about radio being part of the Rose d’Or?
POC: “My first love is radio. I’m looking forward to seeing the entries and the winners because radio is often where a lot of great tv starts. So, as long as people have put forward the best in radio that will get a good reaction.”
Why do you think it’s important to have pan-European awards ceremonies? Couldn’t we just stick with the national ones, the Baftas things like that?
POC: “We could, but don’t forget the Rose d’Or had a beginning in the 1960s, and some of the greatest artists have won from around the continent. We all fell in love with films directed by Fellini starring Sophia Loren and we sang the songs of Serge Gainsbourg and gave you dancing and we gave you Monty Python, you can keep the national borders up, but that’s not how people are consuming entertainment, if something’s funny on YouTube, I don’t care where it’s made.”
Is it important to have a unifying element today, and entertainment awards can help unify a continent and an industry have an interesting role to play?
POC: “The biggest films have universal appeal. Also, some of the biggest films in a home market are unknown outside that home market. It’s a real light-bulb moment when people in other countries get introduced to the Scandi-noir - we knew nothing about that until Borgen, we didn’t know anything about it and then you couldn’t move for Scandinavian noir. Similarly, a great French film, an animation, which has been coming out of France recently. You look to this to be a showcase, you look for people to swap ideas, great actors, what are the trends in low-budget stuff, what are people doing with the technology. You’d hope that you can be seeing something new. It’s very complacent, I think, that the TV business is notorious for just putting stuff on that’s already been on another channel. What’s great is when something new has been discovered, so I think everyone’s looking for inspiration from everyone else. You used to call it copying, but I suppose you’d call it inspiration now.”
What do you the future holds for international events such as the Rose d’Or, holds?
POC: “This year’s Rose d’Or is lucky because, without breaking any rules, I’ve heard already of some fabulous names who are coming because of what they’ve produced, but also because of what some categories are going to involve. I think you’re looking for great winners, with surprising and entertaining content and then the Rose d’Or will be something that everybody lusts after. It’s already got this great heritage, and if it can pull off some great, new contemporary meaning at the same time as being the classiest car on the road, it’ll still be here in another 50 years.”
(Photo: copyright © BBC)