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Leo Marley TV ‘Hot Topics’ – Too Hot to Handle ★★★★

Being schooled in the art of YouTube procrastination myself, it was a joy to behold traces of many of YouTube’s top comedy channels in Third Year LSE student Leo Marley’s ‘LSE Hot Topics’. There were the close-ups and sharp edits of The Chicken Connoisseur, the awkward British humour of Chicken Shop Dates, and the boyish energy of KSI and Joe Weller.  Despite these connections, Marley managed to carry his own distinctive style throughout his first three ‘Hot Topics’: mixing a likeable bravado with openness and genuine interest in his interviewees, making for easy and pleasurable viewing.

The concept of ‘Hot Topics’ is a simple one, playing on an internet interview trend involving a host and guest eating progressively hotter chillies, or food dipped in chilli sauce. Marley establishes real chemistry with his three interviewees: the President of the Entrepreneur society Kim Lippoth, TalkTank Podcast host Priya Shivaram and LSE General Secretary Zulum Elumogo. Indeed, in trying moments where the heat seemed to get the better of guests Lippoth and Shivaram, Marley was there with a cool head, ready to steer the interview ship back to its entertaining, jovial course. Of his three guests, Elumogo was the most unfazed, showing a statesmanly skill in handling spice worthy of an outgoing Gen Sec.

Being an LSE-specific series (so far), Marley matched the driven discussion required when talking about the subjects’ more serious pursuits with the wit and enthusiasm necessary to push on his brave guests as the spice increased incrementally. 

Of the three videos, the most recent, Elumogo was also the best, a testament to Marley’s rapidly increasing skill while mastering tricks of the interviewing trade. This is not to detract from the first two videos, but only to highlight the quality of Marley’s back-and-forth with our two-time president. A particular moment that stood out was Elumogo’s recounting of a brilliant night out to a mystery club, matched almost perfectly beat by beat by accompanying humorous overlay of Abba’s dancing queen and Google search queries regarding the location of the mystery club. Such moments were not only refreshing to watch, especially when contrasted with today’s saturated YouTube landscape, but also signified what there is to come from Leo Marley TV. Could 2020 be the year an LSE student makes it big into the YouTube world (sorry LSE vlogs)? 

Through spice and sharp wit, I’m sure we’ll find out the answer soon.

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