The wait is almost over for the anticipated launch of Shaw TV’s rebranded and revamped talk show with award-winning broadcaster Fiona Forbes. She meets me in the Shaw building for a chat, with her Yorkshire terrier Chewie “The Smiling Dog,” by her side.
The Fiona Forbes Show will capture the pulse of the city in three integral segments: a 30-minute talk series, candid panel commentary and public interaction with a quirky Q&A called “Seven Questions.”
Think coffee with your opinionated friends meets the celebrity who just walked in the door, meets Saturday night fun and a little Sunday morning serious. Bringing her insightful interview style to the TV screen once again, Fiona Forbes will capture the essence of what drives discussion: a natural curiosity for topical issues with notable public figures and the extraordinary people that hold your attention.
The addition of the ever-changing group of panelists will serve to openly delve into relevant headlines, trends and pop culture, while provoking honest chats and candid reactions.
“It’s like trying to put together a dinner party; community leaders, media personalities – people who wouldn’t usually be together,” said Forbes.
Note, a dinner party not the Big Brother house. There will be no fist fights, although perhaps some blunt banter? Shaw TV just upped the ante.
With thousands of interviews completed over the past 18 years, Forbes says it’s still about maintaining a level of trust in the conversation. This is the essence of lifestyle and entertainment, not an episode of “Trick the Politician.”
“At the end of the day, we’re still celebrating Vancouver, and we’re trying to show these people’s personalities,” she said. “They know what we do here, so when they come on the show, they have a bit more of an open mind.”
When Forbes participated in The Vancouver Sun’s “Letter to a Younger Me” hosted by Karen Khunkhun, an online mini-series where notable figures are asked to share some advice to their younger selves, she said: Live more, laugh more, love more and worry less.”
With an incredible following, the launch of a brand new show under her name and all eyes on the reveal, is it even possible to execute the part about worrying less?
“I used to be a chronic worrier, the kind of person with insomnia all the time, and it’s huge having the show launch, don’t get me wrong, but it’s a different worry, it’s more excitement.
We can all get so consumed with the daily to do lists, I’m like that by nature, but this isn’t a worry, sure I’ll be nervous, I was nervous during rehearsals, but it’s new and exciting. If it didn’t seem right, it would be a worry, but each concept is working.”
While she had some lasting advice for her younger self, she also has some important words of encouragement for aspiring broadcasters. Forbes’ own journey to the prominent spot of Vancouver host was an unpredictable mix; one part blind ambition and one part naiveté.
The formula worked, and now, only a day before the launch of her self-titled talk show, this power-woman has some words of wisdom for those wanting to fulfill their own potential in the industry.
“Someone gave me great advice: if you admire someone in this business, call them up and ask to intern for them,” she said, cradling Chewie on her lap.
“I just started interning everywhere, that’s how I got the job I have now. When a station needs to hire someone and they have an intern who has the drive, want, and personality, you will find out about the jobs before everyone else.
I would say, pick someone you admire, whether you want to be a producer, a writer, or on-air, pick someone whose career you want (and trust me, it’s not pestering them) and just ask. I have had a resolution to myself that if someone ever asked, I would let them intern with me.”
“Would you like to see the set?” she said smiling. “It’s really exciting! We’re actually fresh out the first dress rehearsal, we did the lighting today, it’s go time! That’s not worry time though; its fun time and hopefully people will like it.”
Chewie leads the way.
Catch The Fiona Forbes Show Thursdays at 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. beginning January 15 on Shaw TV-Vancouver.