CBC Radio One’s Go! to return this fall

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Photo: Michèle Thibeau

Brent Bambury, host of CBC Radio’s Go! live at Morrin Centre in Quebec City.

Brent “Bonhomme” Bambury and his motley crew touched down in Quebec City in mid snowstorm for a week’s worth of adventures leading up to their live show at Morrin Centre on Saturday, March 15.

A crowd of curious fans, some first-time Go! listeners, arrived at 8:30 a.m. for the early-morning spectacle. It was true theatre, live on the radio.

What was neat was seeing how this show is put together – how much of it is scripted and how much of it happens live.

The show’s many guests ranged from historical experts to a former Quebec City mayoral candidate, Pierre Vélo, who brought and rode his “penny farthing.”

Shark expert and diver Jeffrey Gallant introduced listeners and audience members to the Greenland Shark, a species that has been hanging around Baie Comeau for the past few years.

The glue of the show was a passion that Bambury shares with the province of Quebec: game shows.

Bambury poked fun at Quebec’s love of daytime television talk shows and game shows, their stars and wild prizes.

Then he proceeded to create one, called, Montrez-moi Québec! – Grand Voix et tout!

His two contestants were Le Devoir journalist Isabelle Porter and Catherine Cairns of Restaurant-Pub Dazibo.

The two dealt with questions fired at them by Bambury and several guests, managing to come up with a few answers to some of the odd bits of trivia that were launched.

Bambury explained that Go! is a bit of a rare beast at the CBC these days, as doing live radio is a tough gig. But this team is up to the challenge and more than ready to improvise when needed. It all fits together rather seamlessly.

The keys are solid teamwork and great timing.

Associate producer, actor, crowd wrangler Pete Morey dressed as a prisoner in honour of the prison that was formerly housed on the spot. The souped-up interview in the building’s basement jail cells was a hoot.

A delightful discovery came in the form of a trio called the Lost Fingers, whose digits flew through acoustic, Gypsy jazz renditions of Pump it Up and Billy Jean with plenty of percussion help from the audience.

An autograph and photo session took place after a question period with the audience.

The Go! team was asked when they would be heading back this way. Bambury asked the audience if they’d be cool with the fall. We would have been cool with next weekend.

In the meantime, Go! will continue to broadcast weekly from Toronto, and live from a new city once a month. The show airs at 10 a.m. on Saturday morning.

For fans of Bambury and his merry band, there is something new in the air – that will hopefully make it to air, perhaps next fall.

Go! senior producer David Carroll and producer Kai Black, who have been working with Bambury for years, have their fingers crossed for their latest proposal, now sitting on a CBC television executive’s desk for approval.

Fans of CBC Radio’s former national music quiz show GrooveShinny, hosted by Bambury, might well get to see what those Canadian music trivia contestants look like if the show goes to air.

For all those who missed the show, watch for news in the fall about the second coming of Go! to work their magic, live, in Quebec City.