As It Happens

Chris Howden, writer at CBC's As It Happens, joins Carol Off as show's new co-host

Chris Howden, head writer at As It Happens for the last decade, is the CBC Radio show's new co-host.

Howden has worked on the program since 2003, and been the writer for the last decade

CBC's Chris Howden is the new co-host of As It Happens. 'I listened to As It Happens every night growing up,' said Howden, head writer for a decade. (Andrew Nguyen/CBC)

Chris Howden, writer at As It Happens for the last decade, is the CBC Radio show's new co-host.

Howden will officially join Carol Off, award-winning broadcaster on the acclaimed current affairs program on CBC Radio One, on Jan. 6.

"I listened to As It Happens every night growing up," Howden said.

"It is unbelievable that I'll be in the same chair that Alan Maitland, Barbara Budd and Jeff Douglas sat in. Not literally — it's a different chair. Regardless, I am proud and grateful to join that illustrious group, and thrilled to be working with my friend and hero, Carol Off."

Listeners will already be familiar with Howden's voice — in more ways than one.

Howden officially steps into the co-hosting chair Jan. 6. (Andrew Nguyen/CBC)

As head writer, his witty scripts and iconic puns have defined the program's unique tone. He has also frequently stepped into the studio to fill in as co-host since joining As It Happens in 2003.

"As our writer, Chris has already shown us the world through his unique lens," Off said. "Human folly is gently mocked; the absurd is exposed to the light of day; the ordinary becomes extraordinary. Now he will bring his humour, wit and insight to the airwaves as my co-host. As It Happens is blessed."

Cathy Perry, senior director of programming for CBC Network Talk Radio, credited Howden with crafting "the distinct voice and attitude of the program.

"Now he can literally bring that voice into the studio and deliver the scripts he's crafted so well," she said. 

Those scripts will keep coming as Howden will continue to write for the show as well as be co-host. 

The move comes after former co-host Jeff Douglas bid an emotional farewell to As It Happens in May to take on a new role as host of the weekday afternoon show Mainstreet in Halifax.

Goodbye Jeff Douglas!

4 years ago
Duration 5:42
Staff at CBC Radio in Toronto bid farewell to As It Happens co-host Jeff Douglas, who is leaving the program after eight years to take on a new gig as the host of CBC Nova Scotia's Mainstreet (Andrew Nguyen and Sinisa Jolic/CBC).

As It Happens has been CBC Radio's flagship evening current affairs show since it launched in 1968 with a simple premise: so many other programs rely on a call-in format — what if we call out?

Since then, every weekday, various hosts have interviewed people around country and the world, including Canadian and world leaders, regular people in extraordinary circumstances and proud eccentrics of all kinds.

The show airs weekdays at 6:30 p.m. local time (7 p.m. NT) nationwide on CBC Radio One, on the CBC Listen app for IOS and Android, and online at, with supplementary written coverage on

Howden has a long history with CBC, having contributed to various other programs, including Sounds Like Canada and This Morning, and hosted the documentary show Living Out Loud.

He grew up in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., and now lives in Toronto with his family.


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