Mongol TV launches first afternoon chat show – to train for its new live morning show

Early in 2013 our new live daily Morning Show for Mongol TV – Unuu Ugluu (“Good Morning”) – will be launched.

Naashaa Tsaashaa Logo

The Unuu Ugluu production team has been training full-time since June 2012 but as they are mostly new to TV, we decided they needed hands-on practice.  And what better way to do it than with a live show?

So on October1 2012 the Unuu Ugluu team launched a one-hour live afternoon talk show – Naashaa Tsaashaa (“Here and there”).

The first challenge was the location and set.  Where to shoot it?  The new studio and control-room were not yet finished and, as often in Mongolia we had to come up with a quick and practical solution.  A Ger is the round felt tent that people have lived in for centuries in Mongolia. And there was a big beautiful ger outside the  Terelj Hotel!  So we relocated it and set it up behind Mongol TV’s current building – together with our new-state-of-the-art OB truck.

The walls go up

Then the central column

Nearly done!






Several more trainers joined the team:

  • John Detarsio director, light and camera expert from San Diego
  • Mikkel Beha the excellent morning show host from Copenhagen
  • Charlotte Korn, assistant director, also from Denmark.

A lot of work was done to develop the content.  Meanwhile we tried to do full dry-runs in the Ger – but never really managed to. The closest we got was a run-through with no light (problems with the electrical installations) – so we used one lamp and the hosts’ mobile phone light!

The table alone was a huge step: moving the traditional coal oven from the center of the Ger and replacing it with a table made some people raise their eyebrows. But after explaining that we wanted to mix the traditional Ger with new Mongolian thinking, we got praise. And it certainly looked different, with the felt walls and wooden pillars that hold the ceiling up being used as part of the set.  It was very lucky that we had John Detarsio here to light it, bringing his own clamps and filters….

camera left

the famous table

camera right






Nevertheless –  in good UB style – the show went to air on October 1 looking amazing!  Great content, and a completely different style and pacing than anything seen before in this country:

  • Interviews that last only 6-7 minutes (is the usual time for one question on Mongol shows!)
  • Visual and compelling stories from the field
  • A lot of fun and laughter around the table in the middle of the Ger.

live sax on tv

fire eating







Our main host, Bum Ochir, is a natural, using all of Mikkel Beha’s advice, and great at getting people to talk and share their stories. Maybe because his real profession is Professor of Anthropology at UB University – a post he is devoted to and continues to do, at the same time as being very prepared and focused on the show. It’s quite normal for people here to work several jobs.

small is beautiful

Bum Ochir at UB university

Host Bum-Ochir






As part of the training for the morning show we included a number of “columnists” in Naashaa Tsaashaa:

  • A doctor, that we happened to find after she had been an interviewee!
  • A small-business/money expert who was very, very nervous during his first shows – being a professional stock-broker he had never been in front of a camera before – but who has blossomed before us
  • and our cook – Munguu – who learned his trade in an Irish pub in Dublin – and is now back to teach Mongolians to cook better food (the main fare here being meat, potatoes and carrots).

Munguu has already become a star on the show, and our request for email questions from the audience always seems to grow when it’s Thursday and he is on!

The Ger-studio interviews and columns are mixed with fun stories that our researcher/reporters shoot in the field. They have slowly – through great training from Justin, John and editor Miguel – become used to doing items that tell a story in 3 minutes, and are very visual. Among all the stories we have also done 3 series:

  •  “Behind the job” – what a denture-maker, army-cook or shoe-repair guy really do
  • Monuments in UB – there are a lot and no-one knows what they are there for, so we’ve told the story
  • Different kinds of dancing – from Lambada and Tango over Electric Hip-hop to Ballet

TV Cook Munguu

Denture Maker

Dancing Styles





The show is now finishing its run. It is impressive to see how the team is improving on a daily basis, and these two months of doing live shows have certainly prepared them for the next challenge of doing a daily 3 hour morning show in 2013!

See the 60 second trail here:


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