Good Morning Eger! – This is the sentence which is widely known in Eger and its agglomeration; both young and elder ones wake up with the Morning Show of Radio Eger. Starting the weekdays are not possible without listening to the two energetic swindlers of the Morning Show-Szabó Sándor and Szabó Gábor.
The two radiomen’s cheerfulness and enthusiastic virtue spices up the grey mornings and prepares all of the listeners for the long day that comes; indeed, even the most sceptic audience can burst out in laughter owing to the ridiculous but informative content that these guys mention. Personally, I am big a fan of the Morning show, but I was always curious about the background and the authenticity behind the microphones. Fortunately, last Friday, I had a chance to meet the Szabós and find out whether they are showing off their true selves during the show; and I have to tell you they did not disappoint me: they are totally crazy in real life, too!
The interview took place in the studio of Radio Eger, and despite the fact that both of them are famous radiomen whom I was scared to meet at first because of the social gap; they greeted me as a friend. During the interview we laughed until we cried, and also I got to know of many new information that has never been mentioned before. I asked them about their everyday lives, the Morning Show, and of course the balance of their everyday lives and the Morning Show.
- I would like to ask you about the motivation that made both of you work as radiomen. Was this job a childhood-dream that you were preparing for, or was it only an occasional opportunity that became a profession?
Gábor: For me it was a dream and that’s all.
Sándor: Well, for me taking part in the life of the Radio was not a conscious movement. Although when I was in high-school, at college and at the military I was part of the radio studios, I have never thought about it as a job. Since I have learnt to become a teacher, I have never considered getting a salary for being on the radio, but after years of practise, I realized that I am really good at this. (Gábor: And he still thinks that ha-ha). Thus, one of my college-related friends asked me whether I want to try out myself in the ether, and this is how it started for me.
- After all these years, what are the challenges and benefits that still makes this job worthy for you?
Sándor: Well, I have to say that we enjoy doing this because of the challenges. We go to work every morning with the same ‘I don’t want to do this’ feeling, but after 10minutes this changes. Since the Morning Show is live-stream, it includes spontaneous happenings. Although every morning we have a consciously planned topic that we want to talk about, owing to the audience anything could happen. We always try to stick to the topic line, but the comments and calls by our audience makes this show challenging.
Gábor: I totally agree and without the audience this show wouldn’t be as much magical as it is now. I could say that this is collaboration between the two of us and the audience: we need the audience to make this show.
- However, I am sure you have to deal with some negative features. For instance, how do you deal with the days, in which you are too tired to run the show, or you have a strong head-ache and you still have to make an energetic and hilarious Morning Show? Do you have a well-tried habit that boosts you up, or you just give your last energy into the show and try getting over with it?
Gábor: We start every morning with opening up a bottle of pálinka (traditional Hungarian fruit brandy) ha-ha. No, of course not, we don’t drink at work. To be honest, there are many occasions when we just not feeling okay, or don’t have any energy to do this. Fortunately, we have each other.
Sándor: Yes, exactly. Without each other, we could not work here. Our pair is amazing, because both of us are crazy and we can boost each other’s mood. Of course, it can happen that we had a long night and between two shows we sleep on the couch. But owing to our friendship, we can rely on the other.
- And how do you deal with the negative opinions that are audible during the show owing to its interactive live feature? For instance, last week I was listening to the show, when a lady called you to complain about your constant laughter that annoys her and she said that this kills the show and makes it unpalatable. How do you deal with these complaints in the live show? After all this time, do these complaints make you feel upset or disappointed?
Gábor: After the phone call we poison them ha-ha.
Sándor: No way, we don’t do this, don’t believe him. After all these years, we learnt how to deal with criticism. As you know, we are live-stream; hence, we have incoming phone calls during the show and we could decide which one is a complement, a complaint or news about Eger. The show is an energy-booster tool for the grey mornings, so the main aim is to make the audience laugh and give them a good start. Unfortunately, it happens that people just don’t get our jokes or they don’t even want to understand it because of their bad moods or different approaches and ethics. Therefore, in order to prevent these complaints, we included a spot in the advertisement of the show: Beware! The show contains giggles and hard laughter!
- What are the sources that you use to get the news and the information about the current state of the city? Do you have a permanent sponsor which gives you the material?
Sándor: We have great news editors who gather the latest information not only about Eger, but also about worldwide news and interesting –funny- topics on which we can build up the show. In addition, we also rely on our audience’s comments our advices what should we talk about next.
Gábor: We only have sponsor for the programs in Eger. We only have contract with http://www.egriprogramok.hu, you know, every hour we read out the day’s events in the city and its agglomeration.
- Talking about news and information, as I experienced, during the Morning Show you are sort of freely talking about everything that comes to your minds. I am curious whether you have to avoid some certain topics which are taboo in the radio? For instance politics or your subjective opinions/approaches about anything.
Sándor: Well, we cannot talk about sex ha-ha. Neither politics..Unfortunately, we have a strict policy what can be mentioned during the show. Although we would like to talk about politics because Hungary’s political situation is very divisive and our audience could fight over each other’s opinions, we must not mention ANYTHING that is connected to politics or politicians. The sad fact is that we love and enjoy doing this, so we swallow this bitter pill.
- As my last question, I would like to ask you what could you recommend for those, whose dream is to be part of the Radio?
Gábor: To stop dreaming and wake up ha-ha. As my most honest opinion, the only thing I could recommend you is to don’t work in the countryside, because it does not worth it. I mean it worth it, if you have a second job and you consider this one as a hobby or an extra pay.
Sándor: Unfortunately, I have to agree with Gábor. However, my advice for the youth is to be positive, dare to stand up for yourself, and dare to talk. There are millions of people who want to work in the media, more specifically in the radio, and all of them are the same You have to be unique, because it does not enough if you have a nice voice, but you would freeze after 3 sentences. Here, at the countryside, we could not afford many people as staff; therefore, those who we hire have to be multifunctional. This person has to be talkative, open-minded, be able to work as a technician and a newsroom, as well. Finally, my main advice is to BE YOURSELF; imitating good mood and playing a role is recognisable.