Steve Dawson, the presenter of SportsCenter, says the secret is staying cool under the collar
Steve Dawson’s relaxed persona on screen is an extension of his personality in real life. One of the presenters on ESPN-Star’s sports news show SportsCenter Asia, he is always in a suit.“But I sometimes wear shorts or jeans under the desk,” he laughed.
Dawson started out a tax accountant but midway through his career found himself as a journalist with The Straits Times in Singapore because of his love for writing since university. His break in television came when the newspaper one day decided to start a channel and use the same print reporters for it.
“Very few people are able to do both print and television. After about 18 months, I was one of the people comfortable in both media,” he recalled.
SportsCenter started in America when ESPN was founded in 1979. Starting out as a once a day show, it is now shown up to 12 times a day, replaying the scores and highlights from major sporting events.
“It is a unique situation with us. Our main property is English football. And that meets the American SportsCenter. What makes the show in America fantastic is the great sense of humour.”
A skilled presenter has to also posses good man-management skills as this is the era of television punditry. Dawson has to regularly host personalities such as Ravi Shastri or Sunil Gavaskar for opinionated analysis. Shastri can comfortably don the role of a presenter with ease.
“We have different roles. Ravi Shastri’s first foot is expertise. If you have the skill sets, you can present and he has that. But not having played professional sport, my views are not as respected as one who has been there and done it.”