Ev­ery­thing was live and God for­bid if you made a mis­take

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

be com­pletely Ipokriti was on.”

She says the first two sea­sons, writ­ten by Lino Grech, were much classier. The writ­ing changed dras­ti­cally for the third sea­son when the themes of in­fi­delity crept in and cer­tain lan­guage started be­ing used. “Pop­u­lar­ity de­clined. View­ers could not ac­cept the change. We are still a bit con­ser­va­tive in this coun­try.”

She ac­knowl­edges that tele-se­ri­als nowa­days have be­come more re­al­is­tic in that they por­tray real life sit­u­a­tions, like drugs, in­fi­delity, sep­a­ra­tions. “It does not bother me be­cause, at the end of the day, this is re­al­ity. What I judge is the level of act­ing.”

The level of cer­tain TV news­cast­ers is ap­palling, she says. “Some news­cast­ers do not even know how to read place names. empty when All they need is some prepa­ra­tion be­fore go­ing on air. This hap­pens on all sta­tions. Nowa­days it’s about who you know. Some peo­ple are just given a mi­cro­phone and put on the air.”

Mrs Grech says that Mal­tese tele­vi­sion has ad­vanced greatly from a tech­ni­cal as­pect. But as a keen fol­lower of news and cur­rent af­fairs she feels that the cul­ture of sen­sa­tion­al­ism has set in. “Mind you, this hap­pens abroad as well. I have fol­lowed the US Pres­i­den­tial cam­paign and re­alise how bi­ased the Amer­i­can me­dia can be.”

She does not like the re­cent trend of cov­er­ing the fu­ner­als of ac­ci­dent vic­tims. “That is some­thing very per­sonal and is not a news item in my opin­ion. Are we do­ing it be­cause these sto­ries sell more news­pa­pers and get more view­ers and clicks? Jour­nal­ism is one of the most beau­ti­ful jobs there are. But how many real jour­nal­ists do we have in Malta? When I see some­one ha­rass­ing another per­son with a mi­cro­phone I ask my­self; is that jour­nal­ism?”

The pol­icy of giv­ing view­ers what view­ers want is not the way to go she says, re­fer­ring to cer­tain talk shows. “Just look at the qual­ity of view­ers that they at­tract. I also don’t agree with the way politi­cians are sub­jected to that kind of heck­ling by the au­di­ence. All that re­mains is for the au­di­ence to throw toma­toes at the guests. It has be­come a farce. I have been in­vited many times but I refuse to take part in such pro­grammes.”

Mrs Grech is cur­rently not in­volved in TV and does not even ac­cept in­vi­ta­tions to ap­pear as guest speaker. But would she re­turn to the screen, we asked. “If I was asked to do a 30-minute pro­gramme on the ra­dio I would ac­cept there and then. Ra­dio is so sat­is­fy­ing. Tele­vi­sion is just an at­trac­tive job, even if some pre­sen­ters re­ally put their heart into it. Ra­dio is dif­fer­ent – you are mul­ti­task­ing and keep­ing in con­tact with the lis­ten­ers at the same time.”

What if she was asked to re­turn for a fourth sea­son of Ipokriti? “What, in my old age? I’m 79,” she jokes.

Mrs Grech still rem­i­nisces about her old tele­vi­sion days but has ac­knowl­edged that that pe­riod of her life is over. “When there was the 50-year an­niver­sary of TVM I was in­vited to the cer­e­mony. We went round the build­ing and saw the stu­dios and all the mem­o­ries of peo­ple like Charles Ar­rigo and Charles Abela Mizzi, who were my rocks. I felt a tremen­dous nos­tal­gia go­ing back to that place we had given birth to. That visit took me back all those years. But it stopped there.”

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