Unexplained Unconventionals Undone

"Take a walk on the weird side" with Howard Hughes as he valiantly keeps trying to bring the fringe mainstream. Sadly inevitable though, that his time will soon be called. The bean counters running the tv channel he once illuminated on Sunday nights, soon settling on the mistaken belief that audience figures for political demagoguery, no matter how well intentioned, will be higher. A sorrowful moment for the media landscape.

Maybe it's his radio upbringing. Maybe his journalist apprenticeship. Maybe the generally geeky eccentric outsiders he's come to befriend these past couple o' decades.

Undoubtedly he was not like other rolling news telly presenters.

Bouncing in his seat, shuffling papers, often unconcerned with camera lens location.

I last shared good practice from one of his two-hour shows (live and catch-up via youtube) back last year.

Now the axe has half-fallen, pushed back to radio-only, I thought it worth a retrospective of some of his enlivening gesticulation, now consigned to the dusty archives of old data purgatory.

Starting with never being afraid to have a cuppa on-camera.

Even if this is him trying out the abomination of a 'coffee-bag'. Thankfully, the advent of trendy water bottles has naturally led to most people being comfortable with doing similar.

He's not averse to holding up props.

More should do this. Perhaps they're put off by over-use, and a gimmicky line you needn't cross. Although he did love his mock-up go-to sponsor cola.

And not far removed, I'm still staggered so few people use a clipboard or mini-whiteboard to handwrite that special message.

Note the colour ink. Although he could've filled the sheet more. Even adorned beyond the exclamation.

He also likes his hand signals.

I've run entire workshops on these.

You can go beyond the traditional visual alphabet to make your point memorable.

Also on occasion talking with his hands. With aforethought, you can match the message to the movement for great recall.

Last-but-one, playing about. Reminding us to (unlike allegedly Vogue potentate Anna Wintour when recently laying off loads of staff over video) not wear sunglasses on a video call.

Finally, whether its readers or prescription, ever felt able to break the habituation cycle of those staring at your fine mush, and occasionally take on/off your specs?

Also, one for the English folk of my vintage. Without his spectacles on, isn't he quite the doppelganger for [90s breakfast DJ turned world's first-ever Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? host] Chris Tarrant?

Go Howard. This post features the man himself. I'll run another with how some of his often decidedly non-mainstream guests present themselves.

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