“A journalist never sleeps. I also work on vacation,” says moderator Josef Mádle. What time should he get up and how is his day going?

You are one of the most prominent faces of Prima TV right now. But how did you come to work as a moderator? Was this your childhood dream?
Originally, a little boy from the village, I started playing as an amateur. At the same time, however, I was playing with moderation from various meetings and academies. These first experiences are gradually supplemented by others – the animation of various balls and events for the city intensifies. After graduating from high school, I spent six months in England, but eventually returned to the Czech Republic. I tried to study something else for a while, but my interest in acting and moderation never left me. For a while I worked as a freelance actor with a touring theater and continued to host all kinds of events.

But when it comes to moderating on TV, that was my main goal, which attracted me from childhood. However, it is very difficult to access this job. You certainly can’t expect to meet someone on the street who will help him on this journey and seat him at this table. I tried it in different directions – I became interested in news and the activities of a journalist. I first worked for regional television, then Prima approached me, where I have been for six years. Here too, I started as an editor, but gradually got various opportunities in the form of moderator promotions. At present, I am mainly engaged in moderation and political reporting.

You talked about taking action, which is also important to you. Is it true that you took preparatory courses for the DAMU?
Yes. I tried the talent tests at DAMU. The first time was right after high school, when it didn’t work out. Then I tended to back to it, but because I’m also a very economical person and love marketing and PR, I considered doing it very uncertainly. Even if someone has a degree in this field, he never has a guaranteed income. That’s why it was crucial for me to have backdoors as well. So I have an acting background, even though the rehearsals didn’t work out, but it’s no wonder. There’s a lot of overpressure, when several hundred people show up, but in the final stage they only take maybe 12. So I definitely didn’t catch up, because I managed to sniff the theater and the cinema even without school.

Do you think your acting experience has helped you in any way in moderation?
In moderation, one is for oneself and one must be able to estimate the spectator, which is similar in the theatrical game. Even the actor communicates with the audience and perceives how they react – whether he is laughing or whether it is a little more complicated. Also, playing has definitely relieved me of nervousness, which I don’t suffer from at all.

Can you describe what your normal working day actually looks like?
I get up at 3:30 a.m. and the actual show takes place from 5:55 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Our task is to tell the viewer what will happen that day in the Czech Republic and abroad. Therefore, there must be up-to-date information, which we usually monitor continuously until the evening of the previous day – for example, government meetings. We also have guest interviews, which we share with my colleague. As a pair of animators, we also participate in writing the three-hour script.

I joke that if I get home in the afternoon, because I usually do various private things after the broadcast, I can “vacuum” the sofa for a few hours and fall asleep immediately. But when my alarm clock goes off around three-thirty, I’m completely broke and struggling to start working on a new script for the next day. It usually takes me until ten o’clock in the evening and I get up at 3:30. For example, preparing such light topics or questions in interviews with politicians does not take me much time, because when you have an overview, it is not so difficult.

Did it take you a long time to get used to this fundamentally unnatural diet?
I’m such a night owl, so I’ve always had the best ideas at night. Also, I have no problem relaxing during the day, and if we add the crucial factor that you just have to love this job, you can handle it. Sometimes I regret missing certain evenings and not being able to go to a concert or the theater so often. But the advantage is that I always get up early for only a week. The next one, I have the classic shifts of a political journalist, so I can catch up.

Do you have time for other activities?
I’m definitely happy to relax and the possibilities are on one side – be it culture or a visit to the gym. On the other hand, a journalist must always be on the phone and has such a duty to follow everything – even on vacation in Croatia, when he does not give it to you and you shoot, for example, images of a column of Czechs At the frontier. So, most of the time, you rest for half a day, then you dedicate time and work according to your own convictions. Which can be managed, you just have to know how to coordinate your time well.

In the media, of course, the war in Ukraine has been in the news lately. How do these events affect your work schedule?
As for moderation, we have split shifts ahead of time, and if, for example, someone doesn’t get sick, we stick to the plan. But the worst thing about the war in Ukraine is the psyche. I remember that on the day of his appearance, my colleague and I were supposed to have fun and interesting guests from show business in the studio. But during the night, we learn that the invasion has started, so we arrived at work three quarters of an hour early with blank and perfectly clean paper. We could just throw the old script we prepared in the trash. Instead, we had to watch what was happening, because we then passed that information on to the public. Something like that is really difficult. And now I don’t want to catch and capture everything, but in 2022 nobody expected this situation. Moreover, it is not at all pleasant to report that soldiers are shooting at civilians. Of course, we cannot compare ourselves to rescuers or people who experience this directly.

The subjects are not lacking in the program you host. Is it a challenge for you to “switch” like that?
This will sound cliché, but I wanted to do a morning show and be the one to take the viewer into a new day. I like to communicate with people and diversity suits me. I like consumer issues, political guests and a light lifestyle and culture, where I can relax again, which as an original parliamentary rapporteur I could not afford . This balance is great, you don’t have to be tied by a tie, but you have a chance – as they say – to kick your hoof off and just afford more than on other shows. But everything has its limits, so political discussions need to be backed up with facts and you need to be prepared so that the guest doesn’t bother you or start evaluating something subjectively.

You said the moderator was acting for himself. Was it difficult for you to connect to the dynamics of the moderating couple?
It’s difficult in that when moderating in pairs, you just have to sit with the other person on the human side as well. I certainly can’t say I have a problem with anyone here, but last year we took turns in pairs and it was clear that if me and I understood better with one colleague, the other could better improvise and the third had an excellent overview. I am currently paired with Soňa Porupková and I hope I can speak for her when I say that I am very happy that we found each other, as it combines all the qualities mentioned. Plus, we’re friends, so we can find a common theme outside of the show. We also know what we can expect from each other and what we can count on each other.

We mentioned at the beginning that a university degree is not absolutely necessary to work in the media. But what do you think a good moderator really can’t do without?
Sometimes I miss the desire to be interested in a job early on and I ran away from that wild youth when I packed my backpack and disappeared abroad for a year and a half, where I would learn a language or maybe surf. At least if I miss my only and also very short experience in England right after high school. I can’t do anything like that right now, because I can barely jump into that getaway car again. There’s a lot of interest in moderation and acting, but few really get into those areas. It is mainly about diligence, determination and determination. And also to not give up and to persevere if something does not work right away. Thanks to that, maybe I am where I am now.

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