Monday March 30th
British humourist, playwright and novelist Ben Elton will make a return visit to The Hour. Best known for the enormously successful series Blackadder and work on the musical We Will Rock You - over the last decade, Elton has shifted his focus to concentrate on his career as a novelist. As his original work was viewed as rather cutting edge and groundbreaking, Elton is not without detractors who view him as a sellout. In most circles, I believe that`s fancy showbiz talk for for jealousy.
Tuesday March 31st
BC born Barry Pepper has been a successful working actor for years, with an extensive and impressive IMDB page of credits in film and television. His last high profile role was in the 2008 release Seven Pounds starring Will Smith. Perhaps you recognize him from his memorable turn in Saving Private Ryan? Or if your name is Tom OR Katie, you might know him best from his lead role in the horrific Battlefield Earth for which he received the Anti-Oscar, known as a Razzie for Worst Actor. In typical nice Canadian guy style, Barry has apparently said if he had known he was receiving the award, he would have picked it up personally!
Canadian born, US resident Frum is a heavy hitter - perhaps best known as a speechwriter for George W. Bush. Yes, it IS hard to believe what were most likely comprehensible and well reasoned statements so tragically mangled were written by a Canadian, but it is all too true. I wonder if he got a bonus for coining the phrase AXIS OF EVIL? Perhaps his notes to GWB were illustrated, formatted into a pop up book or presented in a hooked on phonics style? Though a conservative, he was a vocal opponent of the decision to name Sarah Palin as John McCain`s running mate. I would bet all my hopelessly devalued stocks that the US economy, the Obama administration`s policies and performance thus far will be a hot topic.
Wednesday April 1st
Canadian comedy Icon Martin Short has, through his amazing work with SCTV and SNL devised and perfected some of the most indelible, funny and bizarre characters -- from Ed Grimley to Brock Linehan to Jackie Rogers Jr. and Irving Cohen --Short always leaves you laughing! To this day, his turn on SNL as a water winged, nose-plugged synchronized swimmer (with Harry Shearer) is one of the classics. If this whole comedy thing doesn`t work out, he could always fall back on his social work degree from McMaster.
British adventurer Avery exemplifies a daring and risk taking. He`s walked to both the South and North poles... the youngest Brit to have accomplished that feat. Whether leading an expedition to the poles, writing about his experiences in his book `To the End of the Earth` or delivering motivational addresses, I bet Tom will have more than one `Best Story Ever`!
Thursday April 2nd
Former NHL goaltender with the New York Islanders and Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks - Kelly Hrudey has enjoyed a long career as a commentator on Hockey Night in Canada with his featured segment, Behind the Mask. Nicknamed `Hollywood`while playing for the Kings, Hrudey was part of the roster that made it to the 1993 Stanley Cup playoffs where they went down to defeat to the Montreal Canadiens. Everytime I hear his name I think of the Clash`s `Rudie Can`t Fail` ... but I digress.
Genius is a word that`s bandied about a bit too freely sometimes. Not so here -- evocative, provocative and stunning, Cronenberg is a true original. With a body of work that includes classics like Scanners, The Dead Zone, The Fly, Dead Ringers, Crash, A History of Violence and the amazing Eastern Promises -- Cronenberg has more than earned his many honours including a Star on Canada`s Walk of Fame, Order of Canada and a place on every reputable `Top Directors`list going. His latest project is rumoured to involve Tom Cruise and Denzel Washington... should be a great interview!
Friday April 3rd
He`s becoming a regular around these parts. With his recent full interview and last week`s stint as a guest presenter of The News. This interview was a nice mix of topical issues facing the Canadian entertainment industry, specifically issues surrounding web content. He`s engaging and funny as ever - one of the true masters of improv.
The Killers are a band who`s sound is fresh, powerful and modern. When You Were Young is likely their best known (and perhaps massively overplayed) single that really put them on the musical map. Kind of punk, alternative and always great live, The Killers have an extremely busy touring schedule that will see them hit Australia, Europe, North America -- most notably Coachella in April. Their latest CD Day & Age is doing great numbers!
Richard FloridaWho's Your City? Is the question posed by Professor and Author Richard Florida. A proponent of urban regeneration and the rise of the 'Creative Class' his theories and statements are not without detractors. Letting smaller, less sustainable cities and one horse towns - particularly in a globally struggling economy - die a natural death are a bit too tough to take for many, but applauded by others...
Happy April Showers - hopefully we ALL can finally begin to enjoy Spring!