Suresh and Ahila are renowned announcers on the RAAGA radio station. Both of them, however, have also been lately seen hosting or appearing on TV shows.

Ahila co-hosted the Big Show Tamil talent show, while Suresh featured in the Tamil standup comedy show Sirikatheenga Please.

Here, they share their experience making the transition:

What was your experience like being in front of the camera for your recent roles on TV?

Ahila: It was truly an enjoyable moment for me. Being in front of the camera for such a huge TV show, ‘Big Stage Tamil’ especially after a long time, was truly memorable. I missed the whole vibe of being a part of a TV show.

Suresh: I have been featured on TV for quite some shows and ‘Vizhuthugal’ was my debut show as a host, back in 2012. At the beginning, I felt nervous but after gaining some experience I enjoyed the moments. ‘Baba’s cooking show’, ‘Ulagam Awards’ were some of the shows on TV that I hosted. I’m excited and glad for being featured as a comedian on the first local Tamil stand-up comedy show on Astro, ‘Sirikatheenga Please’.

Was it an easy transition to go from radio to TV?

Ahila: Overall, I didn’t have much difficulty. However, I had a little difficulty adapting to the mood of the set for a couple of days. After that, everything went smoothly. It was also crucial that I was on the same page with the director, producer and co-host to present according to their vision.

Suresh: To me, there is not much difference between radio and TV as the preparation required is almost the same. Make up and timing are two additional elements that need to be given attention for TV.

What were some of the main differences you had to adjust to, in comparison to being a radio announcer?

Ahila: When I’m being a radio announcer, looking presentable is important especially with the amount of digital content I do simultaneously. Yet, it is not the most important thing. But when it comes to TV, presentation, our overall look, makeup, wardrobe, the way we carry ourselves, our facial reaction and everything will be scrutinized. So, when I’m on stage it is crucial to make sure everything is on point.

When I am a radio announcer, I fully concentrate on content delivery only. However, as a TV host, I have to pay attention even to the slightest details. Making sure I have proper eye contact with the camera is also a big difference when it comes to TV.

Suresh: Call time, shoot schedule, retakes if required and promo shoot are the main differences I need to adjust for TV and the rest are same as radio.

What were some of the methods you used to prepare yourself for being on TV compared to radio?

Ahila: When it comes to radio content, I don’t really need a script and I can talk flawlessly as long as I know the gist of the content. However, I have to follow the script when it comes to TV to ensure the flow is correct and the important points are not missed. If I didn’t follow the script during the shoot, a reshoot may be required. Thus, I’ll always go through the script thoroughly the day before every shoot to make sure everything goes smoothly. I will also familiarize myself with the script whenever I have free time on set especially during make up sessions and more.

Suresh: I have a radio producer to brainstorm daily deliverables. Similarly for TV, I will have writer(s), director(s) and producer(s) who will prepare the script earlier. The writer will always run through the script with me. However, these mechanics differ slightly for stand-up comedy as I write my own jokes to sound authentic.

What is your advice for those looking at exploring new experiences in their roles in the entertainment industry?

Ahila: My sincerest advice will be that opportunities don’t just knock on doors and will take time. In the entertainment industry, one has to prove oneself to be recognised. It is also vital to be in the right place at the right time while maintaining good relationships with everyone in order to secure opportunities. In the beginning, do not belittle any opportunity. No opportunity is too small. Try to take up every chance you get and most importantly excel in each job. You should create a good reputation among producers and directors as a reliable talent which is very important. Don’t go after fame. Work hard and fame will follow you.

Suresh: Firstly, you should train yourself for your desired role and attend auditions. Always push yourself beyond boundaries and showcase your uniqueness.