THAILAND - Pardon the boasting, but at the weekend our guy Kanok Ratwongsakul gave one of the most entertaining TV interviews we've ever seen.
Celebrity chef Yingsak Jonglertjesda invited the Nation Channel news-talk host onto his show, "Khon Dung Nung Clear" on the Starmax Channel. They made a great pair, coming across like a stand-up-comedy team getting back together again after a long split. Clips from the interview were soon making the rounds of the social networks to much amusement.
Yingsak nagged Kanok over his lousy fashion sense, always mismatching colours. "You must know you're an idol to many people and you should dress properly!" he teased. In fact every new question was phrased so it sounded like Yingsak was picking on his guest. Kanok was usually quick with a response and at times the banter was like a friendly catfight. So when Yingsak offered a compliment, Kanok had to ask, "Are you being sarcastic?"
"I never thought an interview could be so funny," one viewer commented on Facebook. It was like that from the start, with Yingsak complaining that his mother was such a huge fan of Kanok that they can't watch his show together. "She agrees with you on every single thing! I don't, so I have to walk away." He got Kanok to admit he often injects personal opinions into the news stories he discusses, but Kanok pointed out that it's not a news show and he's no anchorman. "My commentary is aimed at creating a better society," he said. "There's no other intention."
Yingsak pressed Kanok hard on several personal matters, insisting his fans wanted to know all the facts. Kanok was cool. "Are the fans curious or just you?" Does he think he'd be so popular if he hadn't previously been Sorrayuth Suthassanachinda's on-air partner? How would he know, Kanok shot back, when he's never had a chance to go solo?
Kanok tried to dodge a few controversial issues but Yingsak always managed to pin him down. Have he and Sorrayuth fallen out? "Here you go," Kanok winced, but then allowed, "I guess it's been such a long time since we talked that we're both awkward about being the first to call." Why not just fire a tweet at him? But there's nothing to talk about, Kanok said, bobbing and weaving. "Any chance at all you two will ever work together again?" Highly unlikely, Kanok said. There are many rising news-TV stars and loads of digital channels coming, so "it's not logical we'll join up on any one programme".
Has Kanok ever thought of leaving the Nation Channel? He said another firm once offered him Bt1 million - salary plus stock options - and he seriously considered it, but his mother asked how long the company would keep paying him that much, and on the basis of that wisdom he turned it down. Meanwhile he's happy where he is. He should be when the Nation Channel has more than 392,000 Facebook friends.
And that concludes our boasting.