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Marilyn Denis on Returning to Daytime TV, Her Ridiculous Schedule and Why Sleep Is Important

by Annette Bourdeau, posted Jan 9th 2011 2:00PM
The busiest gal in Canadian broadcasting is set to return to the small screen. 'The Marilyn Denis Show' will premiere on January 10 on CTV and will feature the affable host chatting with celebrities and getting lifestyle tips from a panel of experts and regular contributors.

Earlier this year, the show issued an open casting call to find regular contributors to help Marilyn out. They received an astounding 3,500 submissions, both in-person and online. Successful applicants include Brent the fitness fanatic from Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, La-toya the cooking enthusiast from Scarborough, and Bahar the beauty buff from Toronto. Marilyn will also be joined by regular correspondent Cabral Richards, best known for his show 'Cabbie on the Street' on The Score.

TV Squad caught up with the former 'Cityline' host to get the scoop on her new show, the new studio and how she finds the energy to host a morning radio show ('Roger, Darren and Marilyn' on CHUM FM) and a TV talk show.

What can viewers expect from 'The Marilyn Denis Show?'
The show is very fluid. There's a great lineup of celebrities and contributors and lots of interviews and lifestyle too.

I know you did an open casting call to find some experts. What inspired that decision?
We just wanted some fresh faces on television -- except for me! There are a lot of people who, by day, do something and then by night, they're really good at something else. We were ready to listen to anybody and everybody who had a great idea or who really felt they had a passion and wanted to be a regular contributor.

Were you surprised by the number of people who responded to the open casting call?
Oh, yeah! It was amazing because people were really connecting in line and they were really enjoying each other's company. We encouraged everybody who didn't get an audition to go online and apply. It is a national show, we wanted to involve everybody.

On your show's Twitter page, it says Live Happy. Is that the new mantra for the show?
Yes. I think there's a lot of garbage going on around this world. Live happy is exactly what it says. What I really want people to know is this is an audience-driven show. We want people to tell us how they feel about things and what makes them feel better and to contribute that way. When people get to share their ideas that makes them happy.

Do you have a sense of how you'll be involving the live studio audience?
They'll be sitting right in front of me. If anybody rolls their eyes I'll have a microphone right in front of them and say, "What is wrong with you?" The audience is the most important thing in the room. We're going to have big movie stars in there, but I need that audience. They're the most important group.

What are some segment examples? Will you be doing makeovers and cooking segments and things like that?
It is a talk show, but lifestyle will be covered. There's décor and fashion and food and relationship and tech stuff. I don't want to get into specifics because I want you to watch the show, starting January 10 on CTV.

I know that you're having a new studio built --
-- It is stunning!!! It has lots of light. Everything is new technically. The façade is new. Everything is new. It's the best of the best. We wanted to make sure that when the show was announced that every component was perfection. It's better than my new house!

How involved were you in the design decisions?
Very much so in the sense of what I felt was needed, what could be improved upon. From there, of course, we had better visionaries than me.

You're obviously incredibly busy. What's your average day like? What time do you get up?
I get up at 4AM, I do the CHUM FM morning show with Roger Ashby and Darren B. Lam. Roger and I are going into our 25th year. I'm on the air from 5:30 to 9AM, if I'm on time. Sometimes 5:45. Roger says I'm late all the time. And then, after I'm done, I'm in the same complex for my new show -- CTV -- so there's no driving involved. I cross the bridge that connects the two buildings. I get my hair and makeup done. I get a pretty outfit on and I go downstairs and start the show live at 10AM.

Wow. That's tight.
But you know what, I feel like I have more time because I don't have to drive in between. Now I can maybe actually go to the bathroom before I start the show! So that's my day. About four times a week, around 2PM I go and workout. And then I do what a girl has to do sometimes -- get the hair done, go grocery shopping, that kind of stuff. And that's all. That's my Monday through Friday.

Do you have any secrets to maintaining your energy levels?
I do. I think sleep is the best thing. That's why I go to bed between 8 and 8:30 every night. At least I'm in bed by then. It's really important to eat five meals a day. It's important that you tell your friends, "Look, I love you all very much, but I won't be seeing you until the weekend because I can't really go out for dinner during the week." You have to be very disciplined with that.

It's quite a fickle industry, yet you still have a very loyal fanbase. Why do you think people relate to you so well?
Wow, you tell me! I've got to tell you, internally people are excited about it, friends and family are excited about it, which makes me really happy. I've got great support there. I don't know. What you see on television is what you would get in person. I'm not an actress. I tried and I was abysmal. I'm thrilled that people really want to see me on television again.

Is there anything else you'd like to add about the show?
We know who the audience is now. We're very efficient with people becoming audience members. We ask you to fill out a survey because that really helps us get you to the show that you want to be at and that's really important to us. We want to see you down there, because if I don't have an audience it really means nothing.

'The Marilyn Denis Show' airs Monday to Friday -- starting January 10 -- at 10AM on CTV.

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Happy happy Ms Marilyn Denis is back on City TV at 10. Missed Her Program immensely. Never watched after
Ms Marilyn Denis left.

January 13 2011 at 3:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What did she have done to her face? Does not look like the Marilyn I remember.

January 12 2011 at 9:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Wondered where you had gone. Pleased to see your'e back. , well done.


January 11 2011 at 10:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I found Marylin's biography interesting in how this all started with her mother giving her a transistor radio when she was 11. She took a lot of giant leaps, and HEEEERE's Marilyn !!!

January 11 2011 at 8:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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