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Celebrity Travel - Marilyn Denis
(2016 - Spring Issue)

Writer: Chris Ryall

Family and football score big with this popular radio and TV broadcaster.

There is no glamour in waking up at 3:30 a.m. every day but it’s the daily routine for multiple award-winning radio and television broadcaster Marilyn Denis. By 5:30 a.m. she is co-hosting the Roger & Marilyn radio show on Toronto’s CHUM-FM before a quick wardrobe change and switching mediums to CTV’s national lifestyle-talk program, The Marilyn Denis Show. Born in Edmonton and raised in Pittsburgh, Denis studied broadcasting at the University of Idaho before working at a radio station in Calgary for a few years and eventually moving to Toronto. In 1986 she began a successful radio stint at CHUM-FM that continues to this day. TV beckoned as well and Denis hosted the syndicated daytime talk show Cityline on City TV for 19 years before hosting The Marilyn Denis Show since January 2011. A broadcast veteran, Denis has interviewed everyone from Elton John, Shania Twain, Bradley Cooper and Christopher Plummer to celebrity chef Jamie Oliver with her warm, engaging and non-confrontational style. Despite her highly successful broadcasting career, Denis keeps it real. Visit her CTV office and it’s anything but glitzy except for the dozens of pairs of dress shoes she wears for the show. Family photos, Pittsburgh Steelers paraphernalia and even a vacuum adorn her office.  

Last year she travelled with friend and TV personality Debbie Travis to Tuscany, Italy, however more often you will find her travelling to less exotic destinations where there are the three Fs—friends, family and football.

What’s your favourite travel destination?

I don’t have a favourite. I love going down to Pittsburgh to see a Steelers game. I love reuniting with my high-school girlfriends, spending time with them, going down to the stadium, watching the people file in—the whole experience. I just love the whole process partly because it’s nostalgic.

Do you have a travel experience you cherish?

A couple of years ago I went on a road trip to Jasper with my son Adam. And I said to him, “Take a moment, enjoy the mountains. Nanna and Grandpa were standing at this point.” We try to find the point where they always stood. We were just in awe of how peaceful it was. Nobody else was there that day—how special is that? It was all very spiritual to me.

Do you have a favourite Canadian destination?

Banff and Lake Louise. I want to go to the mountains. I’m not really a skier but I love the whole vibe of the mountains and how fresh it is. It’s just comforting. 

Do you have a dream destination?

I did my dream trip. I went to London. I’ll go back again as I also want to explore the countryside.  

What do you like to do when travelling?

Usually when I travel, it’s for a purpose because I have to schedule these two shows. I like to visit my uncle and friends in Calgary or my sister in Seattle and go to a football game. I’m active but it’s not like I can’t wait to go to Costa Rica to go zip lining.  

What’s your travel pet peeve?

I don’t like it when people stash their carry-on at the front of coach (economy class) when they are sitting in Row 23. So by the time we get on, there’s no room for our stuff. 

Embarrassing travel experience?

I woke myself up snoring so I can’t sleep on a plane now!

What’s your favourite hotel?

The Sheraton Eau Claire right in the heart of downtown Calgary is great and couldn’t be friendlier. Since I go to Calgary quite often, they’re like family to me.  

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