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Nine’s new TV personality

STEVE Fitton is one busy chap these days.

Since taping of Channel Nine’s Initial Reaction began nine weeks ago, he has recorded 10 episodes each weekend while continuing his role as a drive time announcer with 96FM during the week.

He has been credited with taking the radio program from fifth position to number two in the ratings.

Mr Fitton said 96FM made some concessions to accommodate his new role in TV.

“They shortened my drive time shift to 5.30 pm and released me from weekend work, which was nice,” Mr Fitton said.

“With Initial Reaction, we’re aiming to get out 60 episodes by the end of August.

“We’ll be short of technical staff during the Olympic Games so we need to get them ready earlier than we normally would.

“It takes about 45 minutes to do a 30-minute show. The contestants need about 15 minutes to change clothes so it doesn’t look as if they’ve been wearing the same ones throughout the week.

“We’ve already given away our first car and a $2,000 bonus for the retiring champion.”

Mr Fitton said there were problems at the tapings with some of the audience calling out answers.

“We have to warn every audience twice not to do it,” he said.

“They don’t realise the sibilance carries very far in a studio environment. A word like ‘seahorse’ carries like you wouldn’t believe.”

He said the audience was amused by the crew’s antics during the breaks.

“I’m fine when I’m talking to the contestants because I’m talking off the top of my head,” he said.

“But when I have to turn to the camera for a break and smile, I have a hard time doing a convincing one.

“The cameraman provided a solution for this by flipping me the bird or flashing funny cue cards at me. This always gets a giggle from the audience.”

Mr Fitton said working in TV still made him nervous at times.

“I don’t get nervous with radio anymore because I’ve been doing it for so long – it’s like driving a car,” he said.

“But when the show hadn’t even gone to air yet I was already beginning to get recognised while doing the shopping, which is something that takes a bit of getting used to.”

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