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Opinions of Thursday, 30 April 2020

Columnist: Arnold Asamoah-Baidoo

'Irreplaceable' George Quaye’s void at GhOne still not filled

George Quaye, radio and television personality George Quaye, radio and television personality

George Quaye is underrated. This guy is one of the multi-faceted personalities in the creative industry and his value has not been heavily touted yet.

An actor, an award-winning Events Manager, a producer, a writer, a PR expert, Master of Ceremony, Radio Presenter and a Television presenter; he does it all and effectively. Without a shred of doubt, his work rate and proficiency at every endeavor is telling and that attestation lies with anybody that has worked with him.

Some millennials would be wondering why he has the tag, ‘actor’ in his portfolio. Get a strap, young folks; George, with the moniker, ‘Aboagye’ – was one of the most popular faces in the popular comedy series, ‘Taxi Driver’ in the 90s that also starred the legendary Psalm Adjeteyfio and Mikki Osei Berko among others.

Those nostalgic moments could make me drift from the core matter on the agenda, so let’s get back at it. That core matter is the obvious void he created at GhOne TV, which has become extremely torrid for Managers of the station to fill.

Time on the ‘Pundits’

Apart from his exploits on ‘Taxi Driver’, George is well-known for 2 major things; his association with Charterhouse Ghana and ‘The Pundits’.

‘The Pundits’ is an entertainment talk show that was created from a talk show that was originally designed to discuss the VGMA in 2012. After the awards was over, something had to be done to maintain the momentum of that show, so, together with Iyiola Ayoade, Afeafa Nfojoh and Nii Ayite Hammond, the concept for ‘The Pundits’ was practically created.

The show became the most popular entertainment talk show for the 6 straight years it was commandeered by George and his pundits – who discussed a potpourri of issues pertaining to creative space.

On the show, George was a talkative; his opening monologue can get tiring but he was super intelligent, engaging, had composure, researched on his topics and was such a great interviewer. He was such a delight!

Best in the game

For the 6-year duration George hosted ‘The Pundits’, there were similar shows before and during his, but he was dominant. Every eyeball was fixated on GhOne every Tuesday night.

The ‘Pundits’ was the go-to spot for every relevant element in the business; events promotion, events preview and review, core industry related issues, personality profiles, personality interviews and everything else.

It generated lots of controversies too; the infamous bribery allegation on gospel artistes in connection to the VGMA, the rift with the organizers of 4Syte Music Awards and many others.

His brilliance and efforts were duly recognized via the popular Radio &Television Personality Awards where he won ‘Male Entertainment Show Host of the Year’ 3 times – 2013, 2014 and 2016 – an unprecedented feat by any entertainment male host since the inception of the awards.

Where’s the replacement?

George exited GhOne TV and ‘The Pundits’ in 2018 for inexplicable reasons and after 2 years, the show has not been the same. Aside losing its host, the show also lost its core following, its fervor, the allure and quite disappointingly, it also lost its resident pundits, also known as the ‘original pundits’; Francis Doku, Nii Ayi Tagoe and Arnold Asamoah-Baidoo.

In the spate of the 2 years of George’s absence, the show, which still runs – has seen 6 different personalities who have attempted to fill his big shoes as host.

There was Kwame B, then Jay Foley, after which Kojo Preko Dankwa also took the seat. Then came William Asiedu, Caleb Nii Boye and now, the first lady to ever host the once popular show, Adwoa Osei.

All the guys who have attempted to host the show after George are good personalities, who are great in their respective fields but clearly, none can do it as George; never!

All the best to Adwoa Osei but without any malice and chagrin, the indisputable fact is that, George owned that show and it would take such effort and rebranding exercise to get that core following back.

Moving On!

George Quaye is overly talented not to get any slot on any media platform, in any capacity. It therefore came as no surprise that he became part of the Multimedia Group family and thus far, he has lived up to his true potential with more to be explored.

Whether he is sitting in for regular host, Naa Ashorkor on ‘Showbiz A-Z’ or playing his role as producer or panelist, he delivers – and whenever his sits in to oversee the ‘Drive Time on Joy’ or ‘Cosmopolitan Mix’, he proves his mettle every time.

What is most interesting is the sort of vibe he’s brought to the ‘Late Night Express’, also on Joy 99.7FM. Many doubted his ability to be suave on a late evening show but his articulation, smoothness and knowledge of music has killed all cynicism and won himself, the show and the station followers.

Time for another TV Show

George has left many TV lovers hanging since his exit from ‘The Pundits’ and he needs to get back on that medium as soon as possible.

Thankfully, he still has all the arsenals to win; and he doesn’t necessarily need a television station to do it. With his Events/PR Company, Image Bureau, behind him, he can easily create another entertainment/arts talk show on any social media platform and it would be a hit.