It can be heartbreaking to find out that a celebrity or public figure that you once admired is not as nice as they appear to be on TV. Perhaps it’s a sign of that particular humility of Ontario celebrity (the same humility that makes Torontonians insist that Toronto is not a “real” global city like New York or Paris) that the Interns have not yet had this experience with any of the provincial celebrities we’ve met so far. Case in point is Steve Paikin, host of the current affairs program The Agenda, who is exactly as kind, thoughtful and humble as he appears on television – if not more so.
The Interns were fortunate enough to watch Mr. Paikin film the extro to a show at the TVO studio on Yonge Street, and then speak with him for an hour afterwards. Mr. Paikin invited us all to his table on set, insisting that he always looks forward to meeting the Interns. He took particular note of our names so that he could address us by first name throughout our conversation.
This is the kind of care that makes Mr. Paikin so good at what he does. He has interviewed authors, politicians, and experts on every topic. Each one of them gets the benefit of a fair and stimulating conversation with Mr. Paikin. This legendary evenness is also the reason that Mr. Paikin has moderated three provincial and three federal leaders’ debates. Like the Interns, Mr. Paikin sees non-partisanship as a requirement for what he does. A good interview requires an open mind, and that is something he excels at maintaining.
The hour with Mr. Paikin flew by, as it so often does on his program. So for the Interns, that’s all for tonight on The Agenda.