Monday, January 07, 2008

We love George

My entire family loves George Stroumboulopoulos. Even my mom has a crush on the guy. Talk about intergenerational sex appeal!

I went to a taping of The Hour last week with my mom and two of my sisters (that's us with the object of our shared affection in the photo).

I know I've said this before (okay, many, many, many times before) but it's worth repeating. George Stroumboulopoulos is one of the nicest guys around. He's charming, funny and one of the best interviewers in the business. Watching him work his on-screen magic in person is a treat.

Even though this was the second time I was part of The Hour's studio audience (in case you missed it, you can read about my humiliating first time here), I was still blown away by George's professionalism.

He seems genuinely interested in the people he's interviewing and he asks intelligent, well-researched questions. He also seems genuinely interested in the people who watch his show. He spent half an hour chatting with the audience before the show started.

After the show wrapped up, George stuck around for an hour, happily answering questions and posing for pictures. There were no handlers ushering him out the door. He didn't leave until everyone who wanted to meet him had met him.

I'm kind of embarrassed to admit that we were there until the bitter end. We were the very last people in line. But George didn't seem annoyed or tired. He greeted me with a big bear hug and even remembered my name.

"Marchildon!" he boomed. "What's going on?"

I'm not sure how he remembered me. The last time I "saw" him was when I was in Montreal in 2005. One of his producers called me to get David Suzuki on the show. Because we were in Montreal and George was in Toronto, the interview had to be done by satellite. So David and I hopped into a cab and drove out to the CBC's Montreal office. They put David into a tiny studio, with barely enough room for a chair and a camera.

George was talking to David through his earpiece before the interview started. I asked David if I could say hi to George. But because the room was so small, there was no way I could get in front of the camera to wave hello unless I sat in David's lap. So I did what any professional, career-minded woman would do. I dove into David's lap and flirted outrageously with the camera (shameless, I know).

I must have made a big impression on George for him to remember me ("Oh, no! It's the crazy stalker who works for David Suzuki!").

Anyway, he joked around with us for a while. I have never seen my mom giggle so much before. It's kind of weird to have a crush on the same guy as your mother. We both swooned when George proposed to me.

"Move back and marry me," he said.

I'm 99.999 per cent certain that he was joking but on the .001 per cent chance that he wasn't, my answer is "Okay!" (mostly because I want to have the world's longest hyphenated last name. Sarah Marchildon-Stroumboulopoulos has a nice ring to it, don't you think?)

Anyway, I think I've hit my 2008 quota for gushing about George. I mean, you know you have a problem when your 20-year-old sister shakes her head at you and says you acted like a teenager around him.

Whatever. She's, like, totally jealous.

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