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When Goal Diggerz first aired on Vuzu it seemed like a pipe dream. Granted, Lungile Radu got to travel the world looking at the homes and lifestyles of famous African football stars playing abroad, but it seemed as if it might be a fly-by-night show.
If you felt that way you were wrong because the show became such a hit that it’s in its third season. The biggest news to come out of that is the fact that soccer legend Benni McCarthy (pictured) is now the host of Goal Diggerz.
Kudos to Siya Ngwekazi, Thomas Gumede and Radu who co-own the production company, Parental Advisory Productions (PAP), which enticed the elusive McCarthy to sign up. Yes, Radu did well in the first season and SK Khoza wasn’t bad in season two, but this season is set to be the biggest.
That said, we need to look at both sides of this coin: good and bad.
Why you should watch:
McCarthy has played most of his professional football in Europe so who better to send on a fishing expedition to find out how the players live? He lived the high life when he was still playing abroad and there is a chance that he is still monied enough to live that flamboyant life today.
With that in mind, the players he will interview are on the same level as him and may open up a lot more than they would with, say, Radu.
Then there is the issue of connections. A job like this requires that you know who to call if you need to get hold of high-profile people. Say you wanted to meet Liverpool player Daniel Sturridge. You could not just walk up to him and start filming. You would need to know who to call to arrange an interview, and with a name that carries weight like McCarthy’s, this cumbersome process could be speeded up in an instant.
What may go wrong:
TV presenting is a beast few people can tame. You need to look into the camera, yet appear comfortable enough to converse with the unseen viewer. Very few people, even the trained ones, get this right.
As you read this several old soccer players, the likes of Jay Jay Okocha and Sammy Kuffour, are struggling with basic English as they analyse World Cup matches. This is not to say they are not fluent in the language, but their nerves clearly take over. This may affect McCarthy too since he hasn’t taken on a job like this before.
Then there is the issue of inconsistency. McCarthy has narcissistic tendencies that have made it difficult for several coaches to work with him. Again, kudos to the PAP team who secured him, but the question is, for how long? He is the ultimate bad boy who will bring us the scoops, but he can also change his mind mid-season.
• Goal Diggerz, Wednesdays, 7.30pm, Vuzu (Dstv channel 116).