London Calling calls out for brand new VJ tonight

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

London Calling, a new TV show about London’s entertainment scene, is MuchMusic’s programming’s newest rival.

London Calling creator and host Drew Skitt originally wanted a show about Toronto artists, but readjusted his focus when he realized how talented but underexposed London artists are.

“I created this show not knowing what was going to happen,” Skitt says. “It became like a monster. People at Rogers, people whom I’ve met on the street, people whom have seen the program " they’ve all jumped on board and wanted to get involved. It’s become a team effort.”

To help provide London’s arts scene with better coverage and involve more youth, Skitt created a VJ search to find a cohost.

“A lot of the people we’ve spoken with during the VJ search have said, ‘I feel like I’m in a bubble,’ at Western or Fanshawe,” Skitt says.

“I think the larger media have always been reluctant to include younger people because they already have [other outlets] like TV Western or The Gazette. But I think there are a lot of things going on in the city and we need to celebrate them.”

Interested VJs applied by submitting an e-mail explaining why they should win. Over 70 people applied, but only a few were interviewed and auditioned in front of a camera.

The top five finalists will be announced tonight at the Taphouse.

Sylvia Kim, a fourth-year media, information and technoculture student at Western and a London Calling VJ contestant, said she jumped at the chance to compete.

“That’s kind of what I want to get into, broadcast television, so I thought it’d be a good experience for me,” Kim says. “Even if I don’t get it, it was just more to see the process; if I do get it then cool, seeing as I’m done school for the term and that would probably lead me to some places.”

Skitt says the selection process was difficult, as the applicants were all incredibly talented.

“When we actually sat down with these people and interviewed them one-on-one, we just kept looking at each other and being like, ‘what are we going to do? Some of these people are so talented and amazing!’”

The judges selected finalists based on voids in London Calling’s programming they’d like to adjust, Skitt added.

“Some of the people we’ve met just fit a specific niche,” he says. “It’s just a really fun project and I hope this whole opportunity will strengthen our team.”

The London Calling VJ showdown begins tonight at 9 p.m. at the Taphouse. Tickets are $7. The event also airs on Rogers TV tonight at 9 p.m.

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