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Celebrity Travel - Peter Mansbridge
(2015 - Winter Issue)

Writer: Chris Ryall

Peter Mansbridge, CBC News chief correspondent and anchor of CBC TV’s The National, has reported the news since joining CBC in 1968. A consummate professional, he has won 12 Gemini awards for excellence in broadcast journalism and received appointment as an Officer of the Order of Canada as well as nine honorary degrees.

Born in England, travel has been a constant part of Mansbridge’s life since childhood. His father was with the Royal Air Force, which meant different postings and living in what was then Malaya in Southeast Asia. He began his career in Churchill, Manitoba, for Transair as a ticket agent and, while making an announcement his unmistakable voice was heard by a CBC manager. The rest is broadcasting history.

Through the years Mansbridge has travelled the world reporting from seminal events such as the Gulf War, the fall of the Berlin Wall, Québec Referendum, Princess Diana’s and Pope John II’s funerals, various Olympic Games and the inauguration of U.S. President Barack Obama. Mansbridge, who has interviewed celebrities, athletes and world figures, considers his interview with former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher one of his most challenging and toughest while Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson was among the most illuminating. Mansbridge is the only Canadian journalist who has interviewed a U.S. President while in office.  

Mansbridge lives in Stratford, Ontario, with his actress wife Cynthia Dale and their teenage son Will. When he eventually retires, Mansbridge plans to golf, travel and spend much more time with his family.

What’s your favourite place in Canada?

I’m most excited when I visit the Arctic. Most Canadians imagine the Arctic is a barren wasteland. While parts of it are like that, other areas are just spectacular. Having had the opportunity to travel there has been one of the great joys of my career.

Is there a destination you would love to visit?

I haven’t been to Antarctica. I’ve been to all the other continents and I would love to be able to say I’ve been to and broadcast live from all.

What cities are among your favourites?

I’m very partial to Canadian cities and I spend a lot of time travelling to them be it for work, for speeches or on vacations. Otherwise, Rome and Hong Kong are probably my favourite cities.   

What do you like to do when travelling?

For me travel is the opportunity to get away from everything. Will and I go to Scotland every year to golf and this year Cynthia joined us. I’m partial to oceans and I like to be near one whenever we travel. I also enjoy historic cities. 

What’s your favourite hotel?

My favourite is the Peninsula Hotel in Hong Kong. Sit at a table in the lobby for a couple of hours and you’ll see the world go by. It’s quite fascinating.

What’s your travel pet peeve?

I really tire of listening to some Canadians complain about our airlines. Clearly, they haven’t flown outside of Canada! The other thing that really bothers me is how there’s no consistency at the airport security checkpoints. You can travel through 10 Canadian airports and everything’s different in each one in terms of what you’re allowed to take with you. It’s crazy.

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