Montreal

Larry King recalls Trudeau interview fondly

Retiring CNN talk show host Larry King says he wishes he had spent more time in Montreal over the years and would pick an interview with Pierre Elliott Trudeau over one with Céline Dion any day.

Retiring U.S. talk show host reminisces on career during Montreal visit

Retiring CNN talk show host Larry King says he wishes he had spent more time in Montreal over the years and would pick an interview with Pierre Elliott Trudeau over one with Céline Dion any day.

King, who is retiring as host of Larry King Live in December, shared his trademark frank talk with a room of reporters in Montreal on Wednesday, ahead of a benefit talk he is giving for the Combined Jewish Appeal.

Veteran U.S. interviewer Larry King spoke in Montreal on Wednesday. ((Canadian Press))
The 76-year-old television host has interviewed every sitting U.S. president since Richard Nixon, as well as an impressive array of newsmakers in five decades on air.

When asked who was his favorite Quebecer to interview, King picked Canada's most famous prime minister over pop superstar Céline Dion, who he has interviewed several times.

"I guess it would be Trudeau. I liked him," said King, sporting his signature suspenders.

"Did they name the airport after him? I arrived at the airport named after him.

"You know you're old when you drive down streets, or you land at places, and you knew the people they are named after. I tell myself I'm old every time I drive down Martin Luther King Boulevard."

King said he always wanted to spend more time in Montreal, because he loves hockey and would have been thrilled to watch a game at the Forum.

The award-winning "king" of interviewers has spoken to an estimated 40,000 people on his talk show, but he said he hopes to land a few more big names before going off the air, including Bruce Springsteen and Fidel Castro.

An insatiable sense of curiosity has been his driving force over the years, King said.

"I have never lost my sense of [the] 'who, what, when, where, why' of asking questions," he said. "I still like to sit down across from a guest and find out about them. I never lost that."

King plans to write a column and sees some CNN specials in his future but says he is looking forward to turning his attention to family.

"I have two little boys now, and it's time to spend time with them," he said.

King also commented on the controversy around former CNN host Rick Sanchez and his recent firing over calling comedian Jon Stewart a bigot.

CNN had no choice but to fire Sanchez, King said. Sanchez issued a blanket apology on Wednesday for his incendiary comments.

King's last CNN show is Dec. 16. British tabloid veteran Piers Morgan will host a new talk show in the King time slot.

With files from the Canadian Press

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