Connect with us

Peter Mansbridge Say’s He lost himself


Peter Mansbridge Say’s He lost himself

Peter Mansbridge plans to step down from the anchor chair of CBC’s The National, after Canada’s 150th birthday celebrations next July 1.

Mansbridge, 68, has held the post at CBC’s flagship news program for almost 30 years.

Peter Mansbridge says his most awkward interview ever was with Margaret Thatcher. "She kept accusing me of not having read her book . . . and I don’t think she ever wrote it."

His tenure includes covering every federal election snce 1972 and anchoring all 10 since 1984.

He has also hosted eight Olympic Opening Ceremonies, most recently in Rio last summer.

Here are 8 facts about Mansbridge:

Yes it’s true.

Mansbridge’s broadcast career began in singular fashion in 1968, when he was working in the Churchill, Man. airport.

He was a 19-year-old baggage handler at the time, filling in on the intercom.

The station manager at the local CBC radio station heard his baritone over the intercom and offered him a job on-air.

Mansbridge worked on CBC Radio’s news service to the North and by 1976, he was covering Parliament Hill.

Rambling childhood

He was born July 6, 1948 in London, England into a foreign service family and spent much of his early childhood in Kuala Lumpur in the Federation of Malaya (now Malaysia).

He moved to Canada as a child after his father took a job in Ottawa with the Canadian government.

He didn’t make it to the end of grade 12, dropping out to join the Navy.

“I had a great time,” he told Antonia Zerbisias of The Star in 2010. “I loved it. I was in pilot training. But things didn’t quite work out as well as I hoped,’’ he chuckles. “Let’s just say we both agreed the military wasn’t the way for me.’’

He was honourably discharged.

Higher education

He doesn’t have a high school diploma and didn’t attend journalism school.

He does have nine honourary degrees and was named Chancellor of Mount Allison University in New Brunswick in 2009.

Toughest interview

He has particularly non-fond memories of an interview with former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

“Few things go wrong but when they do, they’re kind of catastrophic,” he recalled to Zerbisias. “I remember interviewing Margaret Thatcher and it was just a disaster. It was when she was on a book tour after she got out of the job (as British prime minister) and she kept accusing me of not having read her book, which sadly I had and it was brutal . . . and I don’t think she ever wrote it. That was just one of those really awkward interviews that I didn’t handle well. It was just bad.”

Mentor and big brother

Mansbridge was offered a co-hosting spot by CBS on This Morning in November 1987 and there were reportedly big bucks attached.

Knowlton Nash, then lead anchor of The National and chief correspondent of CBC News, offered to step aside to keep Mansbridge north of the border.

Mansbridge assumed the chief correspondent and lead anchor role in May 1988, replacing Knowlton Nash.

Mansbridge once told the Star that Nash was “everything from a big brother to a colleague to an uncle to a really good friend to a mentor.”

When Nash died in May 2014, Mansbridge tweeted: “We’ve lost a very special journalist tonight .. Knowlton Nash has passed away at the age of 86. A great friend and a mentor to so many.”

Lots of awards

He was named to the Canadian News Hall of Fame earlier this year.

He’s also an officer of the Order of Canada and has a dozen Gemini Awards, including several for best anchor and best overall broadcast journalist.

The Best News Anchor Award is unofficially called “The Peter Mansbridge Award.”

No shocker he’s leaving

“I’ve made it very clear to everybody that I have no intention of doing this job with a ‘7’ in front of my age,” he told Vinay Menon of The Star in May 2014.

He added: “When I started, a young person would stop me and want a picture because they were a huge fan,” he says. “Then it became ‘My mother loves you. I need to get a picture.’ Now the thing that’s starting to creep in is ‘My grandmother loves you.’ So you kind of know the direction this is going.”

Busloads of potential replacements

“We have the luxury of having a lot of people who can step into that job tonight,” he told Menon. “If I walk across this road and get hit by a bus, there’s no problem. The scramble will be on. I see them all every day when I come to work. They’re standing on the second floor, looking out the window as I cross the street, wondering, ‘Is he going to make it today?’ ”

Continue Reading
You may also like...
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


To Top