Marilyn Denis is one of the most fun-loving — and quite honestly, one of the nicest people in broadcasting — as host of her own and Canada’s #1 daytime lifestyle series, THE MARILYN DENIS SHOW. The veteran broadcaster also co-hosts Roger, Darren & Marilyn weekday mornings on Toronto’s #1-ranked radio station 104.5 CHUM FM. A dominating presence in Toronto radio and Canadian television, Marilyn’s quick wit, connection with the audience and charm have made her a much-beloved figure in CHUM FM’s 27 year history and a favourite among viewers nationwide. We were lucky enough that she took some time out of her incredibly busy schedule to answer some questions for On the Go.
1. You are the ultimate Lady On The Go … What’s it like having both a radio show and TV show each day?
It’s a lot of fun! Let’s start with the radio first: it should be completely illegal to have so much fun and laugh so hard at 5:30 in the morning — I recognize that and cherish it. It’s such a pleasure to work with Roger Ashby and Darren B. Lamb on the CHUM FM morning show (they get my sense of humour) and there is a whole team that supports us. On the television side of things, again it is about team work! And of course it’s about the camera — it shows every flaw and picks up everything you want or even don’t want to see — all on live TV! I love the in-studio audience who have travelled (in many cases from very long distances) to be a part of the live broadcast; they are the ones who make the show. Plus, with the great lifestyle experts that we have on both the radio and TV show, I learn something new every day and that is ultimately the most important thing to me: and that in return the viewers at home also learn something new and are thoroughly entertained.
2. What are three things people may not know about you?
1) That radio is my first love. From the early days of listening to my tiny transistor radio in my bedroom in Pittsburgh, I have always had a strong connection to the music, personalities and information emanating from those invisible airwaves.
2) I’m a big football fan. My team, of course, is the Pittsburgh Steelers (although I am Canadian-born, my parents were transferred to Pittsburgh when I was young and thus my love for football began). Like all fans, my heart rises and sinks with the team on any given Sunday. But I am also a CFL fan. Back in 1986, I tried out for the Calgary Stampeders cheerleading squad and unfortunately for them I made it! I never had to pay for a ticket and there I was right on the field. To be truthful, I never paid much attention to the cheers we were performing, but I sure was excited to be part of the game!
3) I consider my circle of girlfriends to be my biggest support group. Although I love my time alone to just relax and decompress, those lunches, dinners and get-togethers with my various BFFs have been an important part of my life.
3. How have you been able to be on top for so long?
I haven’t always had the success that I am experiencing right now. There have been days that have been very slow and inactive, which makes me really relish the days that I have now … which is absolutely loving each day spent on the CHUM FM morning show and having a ball on CTV doing THE MARILYN DENIS SHOW. I think it has a lot to do with loving what you do. I’ve been very lucky to have two great jobs that are both enjoyable and incredibly surprising every single day. And once again, working with a great team of creative and professional people makes it very rewarding and interesting.
4. What is the most embarrassing and/or funny thing that has happened to you while live on the air?
When you’re live every day, it’s hard to recall any one specific moment, as there is always a surprise waiting around the corner. The key to trying to get out of a mistake or mishap is to live in the moment and just roll with it. The funniest moments are really with the audience — from in-studio audience members to the listeners on the radio who call in. The things that people come up with are real, authentic and unbelievably entertaining on their own and sometimes their reaction and timing is bang on! If you don’t have audience interaction or participation then there would be no show and I take that seriously.
THE MARILYN DENIS SHOW airs live Weekdays at 10 a.m. ET on CTV and the CTV GO app and 11 a.m. ET on CTV Two and the CTV GO app. The show is also available on demand following the broadcast at Marilyn.ca and CTV GO (check local listings).