WATCH: Many of you have welcomed Gordie Tupper into your living room for more than 30 years. But all good things must come to an end, and Gordie has announced that he’s retiring at the end of the month.
So how does one sum up Gordie’s thirty years with CHEK? It’s hard to imagine the station without him, but on Jan. 31, Gordie is hanging up his microphone.
“Sounds crazy, I know…how can somebody this young be retiring?” says Gordie with a smile.
“I was hired as the voice of CHEK to come in and do those evening voiceovers, and write them, and other promo voiceovers and all, and I still do that, in fact.”
“Gordie brings a smile. He brings joy, he’s such a positive guy! His familiar face, his positive attitude among our viewers and among our staff,” CHEK station manager Roy McKenzie said.
So how did Gordie transition from station voice to on-air personality? Let’s call it fate when a station manager back in the late 80’s was telling Gordie about a whole new concept for a show that he was pitching.
“Go out with a camera on the street” remembers Gordie. “One guy, one camera, talk to people, put it together, make a half-hour show, and everybody, all the on-air people say ‘it’s stupid!’ – they don’t want anything to do it, seriously. And, I said, ‘it sounds like a riot to me’, and he says ‘do you want to do it?’ and I said ‘yes I do!’ So ‘CHEK Around’ became mine because nobody else wanted it!”
And CHEK Around was a hit with viewers as Gordie and his various co-hosts checked out just about anything happening in Victoria and across Vancouver Island.
“We shot it as a live show, I mean, it was on tape, but everything we did, it was like it was live. Somebody said ‘where are all the outtakes?’ and I said, you know, the outtakes were the on-takes, actually.
CHEK’s Creative Director Michael Woloshen says Gordie is a joy to work with.
“He has an ease about him and whatever situation presents itself, he just works with it, goes with the flow, makes the guest feel comfortable. I mean that’s just, that’s brilliant TV,” Woloshen said.
Through the years, Gordie also hosted GO Magazine, Island 30, countless parades and CHEK Charity Drive Thru’s, he did the weather, and he estimates, about 20,000 interviews.
“So, there’s a million highlights, most of them I’ve forgotten, honestly. I’ve talked to some super-famous people, again, the people that were most fun were the people on the street, who had all kinds of neat things to say.”
And Gordie admits he’ll miss all the people, and all the incredible, unscripted experiences he had over his long career.