December 23, 2017 – Frank Edoho: I Left WWTBAM To Host The Price Is Right Nigeria Because I Was Not Promoted To The Executive Producer
TV Host Frank Edoho seems to have been prominent on television screens forever. Recently announced as host of the Nigerian version of the hugely exciting TV game show, he speaks to Adedayo Odulaja on what drives him, what he’s been working on and more in this interview.
How did you become a part of the new TV game show you will start anchoring soon?
Well I was jobless. When I left Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, it was because I felt I couldn’t go on with the same conditions, so I just said ‘maybe it’s time to take a break.’ I didn’t know about The Price is Right Nigeria when I left but it only came much later.
Did the breakdown in negotiations have anything to do with pay?
Of course, almost everything around negotiation is about pay, one way or another.
So one can say you were offered less to go on?
No, the thing about it is this. You have hosted a show for 13 years and the sponsor leaves and a new sponsor comes, I believe that I should be an Executive Producer for the show. That I should be elevated, my belief is for things to be done right and that’s how it is done abroad.
Look at Trevor Noah who took over from John Stewart on The Daily Show, he came on as presenter but now Trevor Noah is Executive Producer less than a year after he took over. So I feel we should do things that way as well as in Nigeria but they didn’t want to, so I said ‘no problem.’ Then we started other aspects of the negotiation and it wasn’t working out so I decided to bow out.
Will your new show, The Price is Right, follow the same format of a game show like WWTBAM?
Yes, it is a game show.
So will participants come on the show as well?
Yes, we are going to have players for the show. As a matter of fact, we are going to have a demo right here, that is why they are setting up the stage as you can see it now. It is not just a game but a series of games and I can tell you it will be very exciting.
Are you still going to be the one to handle people on the hot seat?
No, there is no hot seat. It is not a game based on the WWTBAM format. That is more about drama and people winning money but in this one, all members of the audience are contestants so we randomly pick from the audience and they come and start playing. It is really fast-paced, high-octane and spontaneous like that and the prices are there.
In terms of engagement and looking at the drama you brought on in WWTBAM, what are you looking forward to in The Price is Right?
This one is different and you have to go with the format. If it needs me to give drama, I’d give the drama, if it needs me to give suspense, I’d give suspense but this one is more of creating that atmosphere of fun.
As a matter of fact it is just like anchoring a game show as MC and if anything happens as part of my experience from my broadcasting journey and my WWTBAM days, I can apply that experience to this show but it is more fast-paced and of a different format.
The producers, Genesis Studios, just announced that they signed a five-year deal with the franchise owners. Does that mean you are in for that long also?
No, it doesn’t mean that. For me, it is a new place and the contract I signed is for less. I did WWTBAM for 13 years, I must have signed contracts up to five times to renew.
I think it’s not wise for anybody, even you, that takes you down for so long. Because anything can happen, what if the economy becomes worse? You have tied yourself and your family’s fortunes to it and you can’t renegotiate and you have to do it for that length of time.
With The Price is Right being a global show and of such historical value, what are you really bringing on the Nigerian edition?
I am bringing Frank, my experience as a broadcaster, that is all I can rely on at this point. I am not one of those people that would say because I have been on WWTBAM for 13 years, which some people say is a phenomenal achievement, that means these people are lucky to have me. I am just stepping with caution but at the same time it is a great adventure because I am a diverse broadcaster.
I grew up as a radio presenter. I can do football commentary, I have been trained, I can cover a golf tournament. I can cast the news and do a lot more. So this is just an opportunity for me to bring to bear what I have learnt to enhance the show. That is what I am bringing in.
For most regular shows like that, they say staff of so and so can’t be part of it. Does that extend to you and your family as far as The Price is Right is concerned?
Yes, it sure does. Because what would you think? Mrs Edoho just won something on The Price is Right, her husband hosts the show, Nigerians are very suspicious and we don’t want that kind of drama, so I think it is only right that our families are excluded from it.
Despite being a big hit on TV, you have voiced your preference for radio
I have tried to own a radio station, it did not quite go well. I have been trying to get my hands on a radio license for the past eight years, they offered me license in Akwa Ibom, I don’t stay in Akwa Ibom. That is my state, I love my state but I don’t stay there and truth is you are not going to get a lot of adverts there. I want a radio that is entertaining and that can at the same time sustain itself.
I wanted Lagos, I couldn’t get Lagos but now we are waiting for the digitalization of broadcasting in Nigeria whereby content will be the primary essence of everything and I do have a lot of content. So my strategy now is just to start producing my content and putting it on other platforms until I get ownership.
[Interview By Adedayo Odulaja]