Interviewing the Interviewer – One on One with Marwan Kadry

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One of the most recognizable voices in Egyptian broadcasting belongs to Marwan Kadry, who took radio and TV by storm. With an early morning show on Nogoom FM and one on OTV Marwan Kadry managed to talk his way into the lives of many Egyptians.


How do you evaluate radio culture in Egypt after Nogoom FM?


Radio changed 180 degrees after the launch of Nogoom FM as commercial entertainment wasn’t available in Egypt. Many people switched from tapes or CDs to radio entertainment through Nogoom FM. It is a large scale and very important medium.

What’s more difficult for a presenter, radio or TV?

I find radio to be more difficult as you only depend on your voice and verbal communication to get your message across, whereas on TV body language, eye contact re essential aides.

What advice do you give to newcomers in your profession?


Well, ’m not qualified enough for advice, but I could tell them “you have to feel the words” meaning that if I told you that some restaurant offers great food you may or may not be a hundred percent convinced with what I’m saying but if I explained to you with my voice, body language and facial expressions you may try it one day.


These days media became a job market for the unemployed, who don’t have to be talented or qualified or even trained and it’s called the “the organized chaos” for people who want to be on air just for the fact of working as a presenter. People have to be well trained before working in such a career and it’s a gift from God to be presentable and have an acceptable sense of humor.


What makes a good resume for a presenter?


On air credit hours are what it takes for a good resume. Every profession has certain criteria when it comes to work experience. For example pilots are employed by their aviation credit hours not by where they worked before; it’s the same thing here when you apply for a radio or TV job.


You are a big fan of “Al Ahly” football team, have you ever considered hosting your own football program?


Before I consider something like that, I must consider the budget, production, hosting channel and some media production procedures. There are various football programs on TV today, but people choose only few. Furthermore, I’m a presenter on OTV and I must be exclusive for only one TV channel. Of course I thought about it and I really want to do that, but nothing is in the pipeline yet.


What programs do you follow up with in Egyptian media?


Every now and then I watch “Al Beit Betak”, “Al Ashera Masaan”, “90 minutes” and of course “Al Qahera Al Yom”. An obvious meaty effort has been exerted in those programs which makes them very high caliber. A program turns to be good by the hard work of reporters, script writers and presenters who work on it.


How much creative say do you get to put into your shows?


At Nogoom FM, I write the whole script myself from A-Z, but on OTV we have segment producers. I like the fact of writing the script myself as I’m aware of my capabilities and the thoughts or ideas I want to share with the audience.


How much freedom do radio programs enjoy these days?


Not everything I want to share with the audience I could simply go ahead with. There are rules and regulations I must follow according to the license of Nogoom FM which is “a commercial radio station” so politics, religion and sex cannot be included. For example, when people are focused on a certain issue like the Gaza crises for instance, I try to be different by providing entertainment material for morning audiences so as not to have all our media focused on one issue as I try to cheer them up and I find that a good thing. We don’t talk about political issues not because we are air headed, but because we don’t have the license to talk.


Is it true that people in media are cutthroat and very competitive?


There are some people who are lead by the phrase “I want to be famous”; they are seeking fame just for the sake of popularity and glam not for professionalism. They don’t mind the material they offer to their audience so they follow a disastrous path seeking fame. Those usually have a short life cycle in the field.


Who is your media role model?


Amr Adib is my media role model. He is spontaneous and down to earth. I had an interview with him once on Nogoom FM and I found him exactly the same person I watch on TV. He is a very educated man and also very gifted.



What music CDs are in your car?

I’m not so much into Arabic music I don’t buy or download Arabic music. You could always catch me with rock music as I’m a great fan of rock since I was little.

What do you do after finishing your morning shows?


I wake up at 5:00 am and start my radio morning show at 8:00 am and finish my TV show at 2:00 pm. I then see if there are any related tasks or some private errands I must finish and if not, I return home, go to the gym and stuff like that.


Who would you like to interview?


I have been working in media for 11 years, so I have interviewed nearly all celebrities except Amr Diab and Adel Imam. I would love to interview Robert De Niro; Benicio Del Toro is very interesting to meet, also Jason Statham is a good actor. Regarding female actresses Angelina Jolie and Charlize Theron are both worth an interview. (laughs)

What changes took place in Egyptian media since you started?


We became much aware of the changes in the global media sector as we had something called “Media Leadership” and we thought that we are the head of that leadership for a very long time; but if we keep following this belief we won’t recognize the competition and changes around us; especially Lebanese media is a whole new media school. They copy and paste some reality shows like “Al Rabeh Al Alakbar” that is based on the American show “The biggest loser” and of course when Star Academy hit our screens we were fascinated by the idea of gathering young people together to learn how to sing when they weren’t capable of singing and we never guessed that it was a copy from a foreign show due to the quality of the Lebanese production. We are now able to change our media identities and we became much capable of that.


Does working on air change a presenter’s personal negative habits and attitudes?


Of course it does. For me being live on air is like anger management classes. Now I am more laid back than I was before.






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