The Wright Stuff: Eric Johnson

When the Presenter Magazine got the opportunity to meet with one of the nation’s most likeable co-presenters, Eric Johnson, we jumped at the chance to get the inside track on how he got his big break in the industry and what its really like working on Channel Five’s lively topical chat show The Wright Stuff.

We understand you came from a Production background initially? How did you make the transition between producing to presenting?

Before The Wright Stuff I was a freelance News & Entertainment producer for a top mobile network. While this wasn’t actually television producing, I got into presenting by answering an ad in Broadcastfreelancer.com. I got invited in the next day, had a screen test on the Friday and was on TV the following Monday!

What does your average working day involve?

My alarm goes off at 05:30 in the morning and I arrive in the studio for about 07:30. Once I
ring all the expected audience to see if they’re on their way and to give them any updated
travel info that may affect their journey, I crack on with editing The Wright Stuff website
with today’s topics. Also, as Interactive AP, I scan the Twitter and Facebook feeds for any
comments, which we can weave into the show.

At 08:15 I head downstairs to meet the audience. I brief them on the topics and take their
opinions while force-feeding them coffee to make sure they’re awake and alert for the early
morning broadcast! At 09:00 we go up stairs where I warm them up and get them seated
for the 09:15 broadcast. During transmission I act as intermediary between the audience,
the panel, the viewers at home and the host, Matthew Wright. At 11:00 we come off air and
I bid fair well to the audience until the next time I see them. Straight after the show we
have a meeting about the next two days’ show. If there aren’t any vox pops to do, the rest
of the day is spent booking the audience for the next few shows.

What have been the highlights working on The Wright Stuff / What have been the funniest / strangest things that have happened on the show?

I’ve been working here for nearly 4 years so there are many! The highlights that spring to mind are the shows where people like Katie Price and George

Michael ring up out of the blue. We’ve had some special guests on who I’ve admired for a long time – such as Jerry Springer and Simon Weston. Others have been on whom I’ve been a fan of for years – Harold Bishop and Dr Karl Kennedy from Neighbours spring to mind!

We’ve had lots of fun while I’ve been here too. The week where we ran a segment called ‘Something New for Eric to do’ was great.It was a week where I had to learn a new skill daily, so they got me pole dancing and cow milking. I won’t go into the others!

I’m game for a laugh so when Michael Ball was on they dolled me up in a dress and I did a piece on why men like to dress in drag. Other strange bits include the time me and the booth girl Kirsty did a spoof wedding, I was shaved live by Shameless star Jodie Latham… and I had to sing a telegram to Janet Ellis!