As Prime Minister Stephen Harper was grilled by a gaggle of fake journalists Tuesday, a pack of news media—the real kind— was left cooling its heels hundreds of metres away.
It happened in Rouleau, Sask., about 40 kilometres southwest of Regina, where Harper was filming a cameo appearance on the popular sitcom Corner Gas.
Reporters requested access to Harper on the set of the CTV show, but were told the set was closed. A blockade kept them far from the action.
Harper then filmed a scene where he was surrounded by a large group of actors playingreporters and photographers. Aftercompleting the scene, he got back into his car and a motorcade left the town, which is called Dog River on the show.
"We can't say much about cameo appearances, because they're supposed to be a surprise for the viewers, but yes, there was press scrum," Corner Gas executive producer Virginia Thompson said. "That's all I can reveal."
Asked about the irony of the situation, Thompson said it's a normal practice to keep media off the set during filming.
Harper's sometimes frosty relations with the Ottawa press gallery has made headlines in recent months. But according to Thompson, Harper's scene with the phoney journalists came off without a hitch.
"He was absolutely relaxed," she said. "He really had a good time."
It's not the first time a prime minister has appeared on the show. When he was the leader of the government, Paul Martin had a cameo.
With his acting duties behind him, Harperplanned to meet with members of his Saskatchewan caucus at a barbeque Tuesday night. On Wednesday, he's scheduled to tour the RCMP training academy in Regina.