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Gzowski's triumphant return to CBC Radio

For three hours a day, five days a week – for 15 years – millions tuned in to CBC Radio's Morningside and Peter Gzowski. Despite Gzowski's dishevelled appearance, this beloved radio host cast his folksy charm across the country. When Gzowski died in 2002, Canadians paid tribute to the broadcaster whose stammering informality and comforting voice had become a symbol for Canada.

"I've been thinking about this moment for eight years," says Peter Gzowski in the opening monologue of the very first edition of Morningside. As heard in this radio clip, Gzowski can barely contain his excitement as he introduces the lineup, which includes singer Sylvia Tyson and writer W.O. Mitchell. The inaugural show kicks off with Morningside's original political panel - featuring journalist and women's rights activist Doris Anderson, law professor and later the premier of Saskatchewan, Roy Romanow, and political commentator Dalton Camp.  
• Gzowski's return to radio was the result of a chance encounter at a Toronto restaurant opening with another beloved CBC broadcaster, Barbara Frum. Gzowski wrote about the meeting (The Private Voice: A Journal of Reflections, Peter Gzowski, 1988):

"How come I never hear you on the radio any more?"
"Nobody asks me."
"You're kidding," she said with the concerned expression the whole country now knows.
"I wish I were," I said.
"Would you sit in for me?"
"Would I?"
A few days later, Peter was offered the chance to guest host for Frum for six weeks.

• Gzowski first filled in for Barbara Frum on As It Happens in 1975.

• After a six-week stint hosting As It Happens, Gzowski was asked to host Don Harron's Morningside. When Harron announced his retirement from the radio, Gzowski was the natural choice for a newly revamped program.
Morningside's political panel would evolve over the years. The most celebrated panel featured Dalton Camp, Eric Kierans and Stephen Lewis.
• In 1985, Gzowski returned to TV, during a summer break from Morningside, with a program called Gzowski & Co. The show followed Gzowski across the country interviewing famous and not-so-famous Canadians. It was cancelled in 1987 due to budget cuts at the CBC.
Medium: Radio
Program: Morningside
Broadcast Date: Sept. 6, 1982
Guests: Doris Anderson, Dalton Camp, Roy Romanow
Host: Peter Gzowski
Duration: 21:15
Credit: Morningside theme by David W. Thompson

Last updated: September 20, 2013

Page consulted on December 6, 2013

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