Just a thought… There’s always competition in the world but you don’t have to be enemies. You can empower each other. [Justine Skye]
What a deeply gratifying moment it was to sit side-by-side with this woman who’s shared morning radio hours with me for almost my entire time in Toronto. Yes, our stations competed, but she was never anything but kind and gracious. As much as we had wanted to share a set one day and have a good talk in front of the cameras, it never came to be: I had invited her on my Rogers TV show (in about 2000) and for a little while it looked as if it was going to happen, but powers that be – or were – wouldn’t allow it, or so we were told.
Anyway, that visit finally came to be during my book tour in Ontario in February. I’m so grateful to her for helping to spread the word and message of Mourning Has Broken. I hope you’ll see our episode today at 10 am Eastern (and throughout the day on various CTV affiliates, or online at marilyn.ca). It was pretty special.
To be completely honest, I’m looking forward to seeing it for the first time – they did some pre-shooting with me in the Presidential Suite in the King Edward Hotel (I was NOT staying there – it was just a room that was borrowed for the shoot); I’m quite interested to see how it all turns out! After all, one’s never quite sure about lighting, editing and all of that. Here’s what that suite looked like. I know I will never see the insides of it again!
I must tell you that for a great many years I was envious of Marilyn. When the CityLine show needed a host, they only had to look down the halls at CHUM (City was owned by CHUM Ltd.) and there was the friendly, relatable, funny host, ready to take her place under the TV lights. All the while, I sat at CHFI doing my radio show year after year, wondering what I was going to have to do to get a chance, too.
I auditioned for various cable network shows. I toiled for two years on community TV (what I called my hands-on television university), and later, when I was without a radio job, I had the surprise and pleasure of hosting a season of live phone-in TV on W Network. Up against a talk show newcomer named Ellen somebody at 11 am. Um yeah. I didn’t win that one, nor did I deserve/expect to!
Long story a little shorter: none of it amounted to anything and it turned out that radio was where I belonged and where I’d stay. Now, don’t get me wrong: I am grateful for everything that came my way and whatever I may have achieved over my career. But I always wished I could have succeeded in one more medium. I see now it was not about not having enough, it was always about not being enough.
So you see, Marilyn was always the reminder of what I perceived as my failure. The fact that people so often called me by her name was a further poke, coming at unexpected moments (like when I was handing out free stuff at a CHFI event) just so the gods kept me humble, as they always do.
It didn’t take long for envy to turn to respect and some incredulity that she was able to co-host her morning show and then go on to do a television show a few hours later every single day. It made for what I know were extremely long days, year after year. Every accolade, every bit of praise and every award she’s won has been hard-earned and much deserved. My wish now is that she finds the same satisfaction and joy in her role (later this year) as a grandmother. Those of us already in that club know how much fulfillment and excitement await.
I’ll always look up to Marilyn Denis, as so many do, as an example of someone for whom no one has an unkind word. She works hard, has a good heart and deserves all of the success and, most of all, all of the happiness in the world.
Thank you, Marilyn, for your kind words printed on the back of my book and for proving, as always, there’s bounty enough for all.