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“Fireside Al” retires from As It Happens

The Story

After 19 years as the host of the critically acclaimed CBC Radio program As It Happens, Al Maitland is retiring. Since 1974, Maitland has been the anchor that has kept the show on track. His quirky sense of humour, so integral to the success of As It Happens, comes through in this CBC TV clip as he describes his relationship with host Michael Enright.

Medium: Television
Program: CBC at Six
Broadcast Date: June 25, 1993
Guests: Michael Enright, Elizabeth Gray, Mark Starowicz, Dennis Trudeau, Pamela Wallin
Duration: 3:25

Did You know?

• Al Maitland was also known for his readings as Fireside Al and Front Porch Al. His reading of The Shepherd as Fireside Al has become a Canadian Christmas Eve tradition.

• Some of Maitland's famous As It Happens moments include blurting out "auditor genital" rather than auditor general and having a beaver pee on him.

• Maitland died in February 1999 after a long illness. He was 78.


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