As the leaves on the trees start to turn bright colors, people in the entertainment industry start to worry about the NHK Kouhaku Uta Gassen on New Year’s Eve. The question that attracts more attention than the singers is who will be the host? Who will be the host? It’s no exaggeration to say that the general host is the key person of “Kohaku”.
“Last year was the first time in the program’s history that it was held without an audience due to the Corona disaster, but we managed to complete the live broadcast by using remote control and recording. This year, we would like to stick to a live broadcast with an audience. However, there are concerns about the spread of the sixth wave of corona at the time of the broadcast. It’s not impossible that the event will be held without an audience again,” said a NHK official.
This year, NHK Hall, which has been used every year, will be closed for quake-resistant construction. This year, NHK Hall, which has been used in previous years, will be closed for earthquake-proofing work, so the Tokyo International Forum in Yurakucho, Tokyo, will be the venue. In any case, this year’s “Kohaku” is expected to be even more difficult to broadcast than usual.
In such a situation, Mitsuyoshi Uchimura (57) of the comedy duo Ucchan Nanchan is considered to be the main candidate for the overall host of “Kohaku” again this year. If he does, it will be his fifth consecutive year as the host.
“If it happens, it will be the fifth year in a row. He has experience not only in regular OA but also in live broadcasting under the emergency situation of the new coronavirus. In fact, this is Uchimura’s third time. In fact, when Mr. Uchimura was asked to host the show for the third time, he said, “If I don’t do anything, I’ll become an NHK employee. This is the end of it,’ he joked backwardly to those around him. It was last year that his mood changed. It was last year that his mood changed, or perhaps I should say that his face changed. …… He changed his stance to one of accepting offers as many times as possible. His daughter praised him, saying, “You can show off your father’s appearance in Kohaku to your friends. It’s so cool. I heard that she was suddenly motivated.
It is said that two strong rivals to Uchimura have emerged this year.
(A major entertainment industry insider) He says that two strong rival groups have emerged against Uchimura this year: “Young staff members of Kohaku have come up with other names than Uchimura. I’ve heard that the upper management is feeling too enthusiastic to ignore it and has started to consider it positively.
First of all, the name of Mikio Date (46) and Takeshi Tomizawa (47) of the comedy duo Sandwitchman emerged as the general host, and NHK Chairman Akinobu Maeda is said to be a big fan.
“The reason for this is that they have been doing volunteer work related to the Great East Japan Earthquake and are supported by people of all ages. The two have also made a great contribution to NHK by appearing in numerous programs such as “Let’s Connect to Tomorrow, Mirai Juku,” “Hospital Radio,” and ” Sand’s Bath Itadakimasu. He also hosted the “UraTalk Channel,” a supplementary audio program for Kohaku in 2018, so he has some knowledge of what goes on behind the scenes. He is on par with Uchimura in terms of name recognition and likeability,” said an NHK production staff member.
Another pair is Sho Sakurai (39) and Masaki Aiba (38) of the idol group Arashi, which is currently on hiatus, both of whom served as NHK’s “Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games Broadcast Special Navigators. They also recently announced their marriage at the same time.
“Their contribution to NHK is impeccable. The contribution to NHK is impeccable, and neither Uchimura nor Sand will be beaten. Even if he doesn’t make it as the overall host, he’ll definitely be the host of the white team.
There is only one reason why NHK’s production team is so concerned about the casting of the general MC this time. There is only one reason why NHK’s production team would go to such lengths to cast the host of this year’s event: it is the perfect opportunity to get even higher ratings than usual. This year, “Downtown no Gaki no Tsukasa ya Arahende! series, which had been gaining viewership right behind “Kohaku,” will not be aired this year, NTV announced.
“It was announced by Nippon Television Network Corporation (NTV) that the series will be suspended. And it’s a blessing in disguise that “Laugh It Up SP” will be suspended. Depending on how it is structured, both the first and second parts of the show have a chance to achieve a household viewership rating of over 45%. That’s why the younger staff members are proposing to renew the overall host. They’re having meetings remotely every day.
As for the female host, it is said that Mayuko Wakuda (32) and Maho Kuwako (34), both of whom are NHK’s ace announcers, will compete against each other.
“It is said that the competition will be between Mayuko Wakuda (32) and Maho Kuwako (34), both of whom are NHK ace announcers. It’s a good idea to have a member of the station as the general host, because it’s an insurance policy in case something happens. There was talk of deciding on one of them based on their performance as the host of the last Tokyo Olympics, but it turned out to be a moot point. The reason is that if Mr. Uchimura is the host for five years in a row, it will definitely go to his favorite, Anna Kuwako. There’s also a jinx that says she’ll get the ratings. And like Sakurai and Aiba, Kuwako is also a newlywed.
In any case, the host will be announced in mid-October or later. Who will be the host? Or are there more surprises in store for us? I’m curious.
PHOTO： Takao Kawakami