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Rick Campanelli celebrates 10 years of ET Canada

Has it been a decade already? It seems like just yesterday that Rick Campanelli, Cheryl Hickey and Roz Weston burst onto the scene in Entertainment Tonight Canada. The spinoff of the hugely successful U.S. newsmagazine show celebrates its 10th anniversary this week in grand style, with specials that include the most memorable celebrity interviews, bloopers, and “Star Evolutions” spotlighting the humble beginnings of Hollywood’s biggest names.

We asked Campanelli to look back on the last 10 years of ETC.

My favourite interview subject has been…
Rick Campanelli: Wow this is a tough one for me. I’m going to narrow it down to my Top 3, in no particular order of course. Michael Bublé because he is a great interview. He is super-talented and super-nice. Michael also has fun during the interview–hejokes around and makes you laugh. He also opens up and tells you things you never knew about him. I met Michael many years ago when he was singing at a Toronto stage show called Forever Swing. With all his fame and success he is still the same lovable Canadian I met all those years ago.

George Clooney because for someone of his stature in Hollywood, he has to be the most down-to-earth celebrities I have ever met. I’ve interviewed George a few times and he is truly genuine. He even gets up out of his seat to introduce himself to you in a junket setting. The guy really does have it all and you’ll feel like he could be one of your good friends after spending just five minutes with him.

Cher. Yes, I said Cher! The woman is an icon. She has been entertaining us since I’ve been in diapers and she is not about to slow down … or put more appropriate clothes on. I’ve done a couple full-length sit-down interviews with her and she just opens up and tells it like it is. She’s not afraid to speak her mind. She made me laugh out loud when she said one of her and Sonny’s first purchases was a toaster oven.

I was most nervous to interview…
Two people come to mind. The first time I ever interviewed Tommy Lee Jones. This man is an icon, he has been acting for longer than I’ve been alive and he is damn good at it! But it was the reputation he has during an interview setting that had me a little frightened/nervous about the outcome of my five minutes with him. Trust me, I was sweating but I was also prepared and knew a lot about this Hollywood legend. It turned out to be a pretty good interview and I even made him laugh which is always a good thing.

The other celebrity I was pretty nervous to interview was Jennifer Aniston. She’s gorgeous, she’s fun, she’s super-talented she’s gorgeous and the whole world knows her. Did I mention she’s gorgeous?

My most memorable on-air moment on ET Canada so far was…
My most memorable on-air moment for ET Canada was when we travelled to the Bahamas with Sharkwater director Rob Stewart to actually go dive with sharks. Yes, it took me a while to build up the courage but I finally took the plunge and hung out with 30 or so sharks down 30 meters in the ocean. I’m always up for a challenge and when my executive producer asked me if I would even consider doing it, I jumped at the opportunity. The day was gorgeous, the water was warm and the sharks were hungry. It is another world down there and I am so grateful all the underwater creatures welcomed me that day! Also, to hang out with Rob Stewart, one of Canada’s most passionate and dedicated documentary directors, was a total honour for me and we even became good friends.

My most memorable behind-the-scenes moment so far was…
My most memorable behind the scenes moment has to be going on the set of Vikings in Ireland. We hung out with the cast both in and out of their wardrobe/make-up, got an exclusive tour of the set where all the action goes down and even got made up as a pillaging Viking to see what it’s all about. I have been on so many sets and I will never forget this trip to Ireland because of the excitement and generosity that everyone showed us. From the make-up department, to the director and even the extras involved–they were all so happy to working on this project and it made my job that much easier to get so many amazing moments. The even better news is that we are going back on-set of Vikings soon, so stay tuned!

The best junket I have been on has been…
Hands down, the best junket I have been on was for Skyfall in New York City. We even included a trip to London, England, to tour all the famous James Bond spots. Got fitted by 007’s tailor, drank the classic Vesper martini, which Ian Fleming used to drink at Duke’s hotel bar and even sat in his Aston Martin! I’ve been a huge fan of James Bond for many years now and my obsession began back in the 1970’s when Roger Moore played the British secret agent. Although this is the new generation of 007 with Daniel Craig taking over the role; in my mind he’s the most rugged and real James Bond since the franchise began making movies back in the early 1960’s. He is the one that I sat across from at the Crosby St. hotel in NYC and who talked in great depth about one of my favourite big screen characters of all time.

The member of the ETC on-air team that pulls the most pranks is…
The member of the ETC on-air team that pulls the most pranks would probably be me … followed by Sangita, who takes a close second. I’ve loved pulling pranks for as long as I can remember. As you could probably imagine, I don’t like to be too serious. I have to be honest I had a bit more of the “prankster” in me earlier in my career … streaking, mooning, etc., but I had to slow down a bit over the years! I just like to make people laugh and smile – it lightens up the mood. Of course I can’t list all the pranks but I can say one of my favourites was when I did an up close and personal interview straight into the camera and when we were done and the camera pulled out, I was sitting in my boxer briefs…

I’m honoured to be a member of the ET Canada team because…
I’m honoured to be a member of the ET Canada team because we are part of an entertainment brand that has been around for 34 years. This entertainment franchise is an institution that has built a foundation for entertainment content to thrive. Entertainment Tonight is known throughout the world as THE No. 1 reliable source for all things entertainment and we here at ET Canada are proud to be able to share that same attribute with our Canadian viewers. I am also so proud of the team I work with every day. They are the best in the business at what they do. It’s such an amazing feeling to go home at the end of each day, sit back and take in what we created … and do it all over again day after day! Here’s to another 10 seasons!

Season 10 of Entertainment Tonight Canada airs weeknights at 7:30 p.m. ET on Global.

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Canada In Development: LIL’ WARRIORS

Spinning off the success of the MMA events that have taken the world by storm, Shaw Media & Global TV are bringing us LIL’ WARRIORS, a one-hour documentary that follows kids 8 & under and their families, to provide an explosive behind-the-scenes look at competitive fighting in Canada and the US.

Currently in the treatment writing and casting stages, LIL’ WARRIORS will take a look at the ambition, and competitive nature of martial arts coupled with the personality of each lil’ warrior, going behind the scenes to see what really lies beneath the surface of kids competitive martial arts.

Shark Teeth Films is an independent production company which incorporated in late 2008 by Tom Mudd and Adrian Carter.  They produce content for both film and television and have recently expanded to include to live-action, animation and visual effects.

Written by Tom Mudd, Adrian Carter, and John Turner (who will also direct) LIL’ WARRIORS is part of Global’s Close Up strand – a series of one-off documentaries that looks at the unusual that lies just beneath the ordinary right outside our doors.

The Documentary Series is slated to begin in January of 2013.

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