That Awful Glass Eye
The illusion of an interview as a cosy chat between two acquaintances is just that – an illusion. In a studio both the interviewer and interviewee are nervous as chickens in a fox den. There are harsh lights glaring at you, people telling you to sit this way and that, and everybody except you is wearing a pair of headphones and is listening to all sorts of private jokes about you. And everybody is telling you to relax! Cameras are horrid great lumps of machinery, but they’re driven by real human beings. Without making a bit thing of it, say hello and introduce yourself to anyone you meet in the studio. A sound man who clips on your microphone, the floor manager, the cameraman who moves aside to let you get to your chair. Two of the nicest people I’ve ever met in show business, Wilfred Hyde-White and David Niven always made a point of introducing themselves to everyone in every studio they entered. It wasn’t a posing thing, or done for any ulterior motive, but it immediately got the whole atmosphere a thousand degrees warmer.