Television presenters are key to the sociability of the medium, speaking directly to viewers as intermediaries between audiences and those who are interviewed, perform or compete on screen. As targets of both great affection and derision from viewers and the subjects of radio, internet, magazine and newspaper coverage, many have careers that have lasted almost as long as post-war television itself. Nevertheless, as a profession, television presenting has received little scholarly attention. Personality Presenters explores the role of the television presenter, analysing the distinct skills possessed by different categories of host and the expectations and difficulties that exist with regard to the promotion of the various films, books, consumer and cultural products with which they are associated. The close involvement of presenters with the content that they present is examined, while the impact of the presenters' own celebrity on the tasks that they perform is scrutinised. With a focus on non-fiction entertainment shows such as game shows, lifestyle and reality shows, chat, daytime and talk shows, this book explores issues of consumer culture, advertising and celebrity, as well as the connection of presenters with ethical issues. Offering detailed case studies of internationally recognised presenters, as well comparisons between national presenters from the UK and Australia, Personality Presenters provides a rich discussion of television presenters as significant conduits in the movement of ideas. As such, it will appeal to sociologists as well as those working in the fields of popular culture, cultural and media studies and cultural theory.
Frances Bonner is Reader in Television and Popular Culture at the University of Queensland, Australia, and author of Ordinary Television: Analyzing Popular TV
'In this book Bonner continues her vital work analysing those aspects of television routinely ignored but which are central to how the medium offers meanings and communicates with its viewers. Offering in-depth analyses of contemporary case studies, as well as covering appropriate contexts such as ethics, genre, aesthetics, gender and celebrity, this book is novel, insightful, readable, and well-researched.' Brett Mills, University of East Anglia, UK 'Bonner’s work on the presenter not only provides a remarkably fresh avenue into the interpretation of television, it works through the formation of identity and presentation of the public persona as it is refracted through the particularities of television’s engagement with the self and the audience’s conception of self with detail and imagination.' P David Marshall, Deakin University, Australia ’... Bonner looks at an impressive range of programs and presenters from both the British and Australian television industries... In her acknowledgements, Bonner writes of the challenge of ’fighting the data into shape’, and this is certainly a book underpinned by wide-ranging and detailed research. Alongside its admirable diversity of programs and presenters, Bonner’s book also provides an insightful and detailed consideration of recent and classic academic writing dealing with the intersection between television, its viewers and everyday life.’ Media International Australia 'This fascinating book by Frances Bonner is like a journey into the personae of selected television celebrities in England, focusing especially on television presenters. ... Bonner opens one door into a rich and still unvisited site of investigations for social scientists and academics in Media Studies. Scholars working in languages other than English could someday draw on parts of this analysis in other cultural contexts with different television programmes.' Discourse and Communication