Nicky Greenwall taking SA chat shows to a new level

2012-08-27 00:00

ENTERTAINMENT reporter Nicky Greenwall, who rubs shoulders with A-list celebrities as part of her job, has become something of a celebrity herself.

The entertainment host has done what most local reporters only dream of — reporting live from the Academy Awards (the Oscars), interviewing top celebrities like Angelina Jolie, Anthony Hopkins, and Charlize Theron.

She has her own production company, Greenwall Productions, which has produced the popular shows The Showbiz Report and The Close Up. The recently launched ScreenTime With Nicky Greenwall is a celebrity chat show featuring some of the most talked-about South African entertainers.

“The show was inspired by international celebrity chat shows like the old Larry King [now Pierce Morgan] format. I’m also a huge fan of British talk show hosts Graham Norton and Michael Parkinson and wanted to bring South African audiences a similar kind of energy — with our own twist,” Greenwall said.

Each episode features two to three guests who are an unlikely combination with the aim of creating an interesting conversation. Some of the celebrities featured are music duo Locnville, SA’s Got Talent judge Shado Twala and TV presenter Dineo Ranaka.

Greenwall, who has conducted countless interviews over the years, said they all have had some aspect that was memorable.

She still gets nervous before interviews. “It’s natural to get nervous when you know you only have one shot at something. It’s not the person that makes me nervous — rather the situation.”

What keeps her calm is remembering that they are just two people having a conversation.

“It isn’t a test, I’m not trying to make a great impression on them; I just need to coax them to saying things that will ultimately be entertaining to the audience.”

Greenwall was born in Cape Town and her first television role came after she was cast as a presenter on a sex education video when she was a teenager.

She has always wanted to be involved in creating entertainment for people. Over the years, Greenwall has worked hard to perfect her craft.

“It’s become clear to me that interviewing isn’t about asking good questions, it’s about getting good answers. I like to focus less on what I’m saying and more on what I want the guest to say …”

There is still more to come from Greenwall, who believes that a good host needs a sense of humour and an ability to see the big picture.

The second season of ScreenTime with Nicky Greenwall starts its run in January, while The Close Up will kick off its third season.

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