To the best of Utt’s knowledge, he still has absolutely no idea why Mediacorp wanted him to host a horror anthology docu-series called Incredible Tales. You and me both.
Come to think of it, the Thai-American, then a MTV VJ based in Singapore, is the last person you would associate with anything remotely out of this world. (Actually, there is something we’ve always find peculiar about him, but more of that in a bit.)
“On MTV, I’m bouncing off the walls being really hyper and everything,” Utt, whose full name is Greg Uttsada Panichkul, recalls. “And here’s a show that’s a whole different genre — very brooding, supernatural, paranormal — from what I had done before.”
That said, Utt aced the audition and the rest is history. He went on to host Incredible Tales for eight seasons; it started in 2004 and ended in 2017. But the show never went away; all 104 episodes of them on meWATCH. (There’s even a Mandarin version with Guo Liang hosting.) Utt is surprised by the series’ longevity and its fervent followers in Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines. “There are fanbases there even back before it’s on Netflix!” he exclaims.
Incredible Tales, or rather a ‘Best of’ compilation of Incredible Tales, is now on Netflix. Whether you’re a first-time viewer or someone who hasn’t seen it for a while, you’d notice something intriguing — Utt hasn’t aged a bit. Well, maybe a bit. In the years that I've known him full disclosure: we worked together at MTV Asia back in the day), he hasn't physically changed much. If you compare his past and present pictures, it’s hard to tell when they were taken. He's 47 but looks like he just celebrated his 35th birthday. Let’s face it: Utt is an Incredible Tale unto himself.
“This is really interesting because I just came from shooting a show today,” says a bemused Utt. “They actually asked me the same exact thing; that the team was a bit shocked as to why I still kind of look the same to them.”
These days, Utt is a freelance producer and media consultant, per his LinkedIn description; he’s previously spent a year at Thai telco True Corporation, running its True ID app. (His other corporate gigs include Head of Creative and Content for the music app Joox and a consultant with talent agency Beam Artistes.)
Here, speaking to 8days.sg via FaceTime from the Greyhound Cafe in Bangkok, Utt shares with us more about his memories of working on Incredible Tales and what he’s been busy with during the COVID-19 pandemic.