Ottawa Morning has scheduled my interview for today, February 2nd, at 7:45 a.m. Depends on the news, though, so stay tuned. Literally.
Now I’m going to geek out about the coolness. I did my interview with Ontario Morning in studio 39, a small, tech-less booth in the hallway. Karine did a sound check for me before the technician in Toronto, Mike, added the audio to my earphones. At 8:20, Wei Chen asked me cool questions, including if I would ever quit medicine. Then Karine led me through the newsroom to the Ottawa Morning studio. I was agog at the 360 degrees of television.
Ottawa Morning was just finishing up its live program. I sat in a comfy chair in the hallway, listening to host Robyn Bresnahan read out people’s Tweets on Lebreton Flats while I surreptitiously took pictures of all the goings-on.
Robyn Bresnahan came out to shake my hand, but she’s so friendly that I felt like hugging her, so we did. She’s good friends with Christina Peeters, my hair stylist, which is only one degree of separation. Robyn admired my boots, and I told her we were boot twins because she had nice black ones.
(When I came home, my daughter, Anastasia, was very excited. “Did you wear your red boots?” She’d wanted me to wear them for Daytime Ottawa on Rogers TV.)
Robyn led me into the studio with a round table, chairs, and multiple microphones, while the technician stayed behind glass in the next room. I’d never been in such a big recording studio before, with one side all windows. Just beautiful.
Robyn asked interesting and perceptive questions. She’s a very expressive interviewer, widening her eyes and nodding encouragement as you speak.
Here’s the interview!
After we turned off the mike, because we’d just talked about the hostage-taking in Stockholm Syndrome, she mentioned that the BBC takes reporters for hostile situation training. During that week, she was riding in a van when a bunch of ex-special forces guys pulled the ten of them over at gunpoint and threw them in a building with a tin roof. They were braced for a fake kidnapping, but it was still scary.
A lippy Greek reporter kept posturing and telling the “kidnappers” where to go. Robyn was worried because he kept drawing attention to their end of the hut.
They shot him. With blanks, but it still meant they dragged him out.
Meanwhile, Robyn’s strategy was to tell them she was pregnant. “I know your culture respects family.” She ended up as one of the five hypothetical survivors.
In real life, while she was working with the BBC, Alan Johnston was kidnapped in Gaza. Every day, on the news, the BBC would announce, “Just so you know, it’s been 100 days since he’s been gone…” They weren’t optimistic about his fate, but it turned out that his kidnappers actually let him listen to BBC’s World Service, and them remembering him was one of the only things keeping him going.
After 114 days, the kidnappers released him, and Robyn said she learned a lesson. You never know what’s going to happen. You can read Alan’s own account of his ordeal here.
Are you a writer/artist/entrepreneur who wants to be on Ottawa Morning?
Here’s the inside scoop. Robyn said it’s a tough sell. They’re more a news show. However, it is possible if you…
- Have an interesting personal story
- Send a short pitch. She emphasized the short part because she gets 200 e-mails a day.
- My addendum: pitch to the producers. Producers seem to schedule the guests. Robyn is the host and will interview you, but you need send your concise pitch to the producers.