Richard Jobson is the Scottish rock star who left his homeland for London and a new career as a TV talking head. presenting the likes of Channel 4’s new series Men Talk. Tom Lappin hears about the (pre)tensions oflife in exile.
fa prophet is doomed to be \N‘llhtnll
honour in his own land. then what
chance does a smart-alec TV
presenter have? In the case of Richard
Jobson. very little. An informal vox
pop suggested rather forcefully that the 31-year-old Fife miner‘s son. one-time punk rocker turned actor, model. writer. poet and TV presenter was rather too fond of himself. narcissistic. and other variations on the ‘w‘ word.
Why Jobson should be constantly associated with the sin ofself-love isn‘t difficult to understand. For a start there‘s that jack-of-alI-trades CV. Nobody likes a
clever-Dick who strays beyond their neat niche in the public consciousness. Everyone was quite content with Jobbo as the gravel-voiced Skids hollerer belting out ‘lnto The Valley‘ on Top Of The Pops. so what was he playing at appearing nude in fringe theatre. or publishing a slim volume ofdifficult poetry? Asking for trouble. Then. just as Jobson began to be accepted as an ‘artist‘ (although there remained an open season for ridiculing his work) he went and spoilt things again by branching out as a presenter in 1988. His style. on Radio 4‘s Loose Ends and London‘s what’s-on programme ()1 (frothy. trivial shows both)
was that of the serious cerebral kind ofguy slumming it in the entertainment world. The long words and polo-necks screamed ‘I ought to be on the Late Show discussing Derrida with Sarah Dunant instead of interviewing the Chippendales.‘
All of which is rather sad. forJobson‘s career is a recurring tale ofartistic aspiration compromised by a need to make a living. What his detractors read as narcissism is actually his need to explain everything in terms of his own experience. to give us his all. Jobson gives the impression ofcarrying around a great deal ofembarrassing emotional baggage which he feels obliged to unpack at inopportune moments and scatter all over the floor. As a TV presenter he is constantly frustrated at the limitations the job imposes. We’re supposed to be chatting about Men Talk. a new Channel 4 discussion series, hosted by Jobson. exploring male
8 The List 17 - 30 July 1992