But to so many Big Brother fans, he is the heart of the show.
When Nine announced it would revive the Reality series, fans were adamant. It had to have Mike Goldman. They had heard him narrate 8 series on TEN, watched him host endless hours of Up Late, get giddy at Friday Night Games and work the crowd at countless Live evictions. The show may well have no bigger fan than Goldman himself.
“Sometimes I find myself watching the ‘quad-split’ which is all of the channels being mixed live from the control room. I sit there after work when I should have gone home 3 hours ago, watching a conversation because you just get a side of their personalities that sometimes you don’t see unless you’re watching for a good hour.”
Occasionally his enthusiasm spills over into comments that give him a little network grief.
“I always get in trouble, but that’s because I love the show so much. I’m such a fan, so I let some things slip because I talk to other people who are passionate about the show,” he concedes.
“I’m the first to jump up and down when there is something I don’t like, but at the same time I look at myself and go ‘That’s why I am so passionate about it!’
“I love what this show brings to the television landscape.”
For Wednesday’s grand final he is tipping the final 3 to be Travis, Skye and Ryan or Penny.
“There have only been 4 girls to win the show before: Alisha, Terri, Reggie and Tim Dormer,” he jokes.
“Penny has been an Intruder turned Housemate only in the last few weeks and she’s won a lot of hearts because she is quirky and unusual. The things that come out of her mouth are bizarre, but she is so likeable. So she could scrape through (to the finale).
“Word on the street is –and I don’t know if I’m allowed to say this- it was neck and neck between Priya and David at the last minute. We had packages done up for Priya and David at the time.”
There’s that habit of saying too much again….
Goldman’s association stretches all the way back to 2001, to the days of Gretel Killeen, Sarah-Marie and Blair. He loves the show’s spontaneity and ability to take story detours mid-season.
“It broke all records and had everybody doing the bum dance. It was just crazy. It was so exciting to be a part of,” he recalls.
“It’s not like working on a boring TV show where you think ‘Ok this is what the network said we have to do’ or what the production company said we have to make. You never know what’s going to happen to the House from one day to the next.
“I feel sorry for people who work on shows like The Big Adventure –and a couple of them work on Big Brother. They pour their heart and soul into something and then along comes Big Bang Theory up against it, which they didn’t expect, and they get no viewers and it’s pretty much axed.
“It’s sad when that happens because people work so hard on something and I feel that there is enough of the pie to go around. Mind you I was a bit confused when I watched it!
“But our show is so organic, with people’s lives right there and then. In this age people like to know this is an event, something going on right now with people falling in and out of love, or breaking up with their girlfriend Live on TV.”
Yet while the 11th series has not matched recent ratings -even by Nine standards- Goldman deftly concedes some short-comings while still finding positivity.
“In my mind it wasn’t a fail because I am a fan and there are a lot of people who adore the show. But I know they were let down by not having as much access and losing touch with what was going on in the house. We used to have Up Late, Friday Night Live games, a Twitter feed, and they were saying they wanted more,” he says,
“If I was in charge I’d get one of those bloody annoying infomercial channels and run it 24 / 7 with Big Brother news updates on the hour, with Friday Night Games on the main channel in primetime and the Daily Show every half hour 7 days a week so that people know exactly what’s going on.
“But that’s just me because I’m a fan,” he tactfully adds.
“I’ve seen the target demographics and in 16-39 we’re winning. So to be winning that when we’re on at 8:40 at night against every single other show on TV, Channel TEN would wet their pants if they had that.
“And the JumpIn figures are bigger than any show they’ve ever had. They’re massive. The money it’s brought in online has been huge.”
Goldman insists he is no Programmer, but would prefer the show was constructed around fewer tasks and challenges and more about housemate characters.
“I just want to hear them talk and interact. I want to see intimate moments between housemates sharing a part of their soul, and I want to be reminded who these people are. They’re mechanics, nurses, radiographers, dancers, teachers –these are people plucked from all walks of life not because they can renovate or cook. They’re everyday people,” he continues.
“It teaches us a lot about ourselves. It teaches me a lot about myself when I realise ‘I can’t stand this person’ on a first impression and then after a couple of weeks they have really grown on me and I love them.”
This year the winner of Big Brother, whoever it is, will be left standing in the house alone (rather than announced on stage). Goldman isn’t sure if he will make an appearance in the final.
“I hope so but it’s Sonia’s show! I guess I will find out on Monday,” he says.
He’s then headed to Los Angeles for discussions about formats of his own he is developing, and hoping the show will land a 12th season in 2015.
“Even if it’s given a year off it will definitely come back. There’s no other show like it.”
Big Brother airs 8:30pm Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday on Nine.
NB: TV Tonight publishing Live results AEDT on Wednesday.