The soon-to-retire host of CBC radio’s Radio Noon answers more than 9 questions.
What is your current obsession?
The honest answer to that is creating a workspace for myself at home, because I do want to work on something that I hope will be a book. I’ve been gutting out my office and I’ve been getting rid of a bunch of crap. I’ve been trying to make it more airy and bright in there, and a place I feel happy to go into. I’ve also been trying to clear away some of the clutter of my life. I don’t want to feel encumbered. I want the next chapter of my life to be clean and clear.
What is your idea of earthly happiness?
Oh, something good for supper and good company.
…Not breakfast or lunch?
No… supper. I can’t wait for lobster season. A blueberry pie. A nice bottle of wine to have with that…
Something good to eat and some friends at the table, that’s earthly happiness.
What super-power do you secretly possess?
I’m starting to think that I can tell when people are lying to me. This has taken me a lot of time, and thousands of interviews. Now, I’ll sit at a story meeting in the morning and I’ll hear someone say “We’ve got a call from this man saying that he’s done this and he’s done that and this is what’s going on.” And I’m thinking, “Well, that’s just a bunch of bullshit.” I know perfectly well, that the guy just wants his neighbours evicted (or whatever.)
I’m starting to think, after having so many people tell me stories over the years that I can trust my gut.
What is your principal defect?
Probably speaking before I’ve thought about what I’m going to say.
But, you know, I’m more likely to do that with you on the phone than I am on the radio. On the radio there’s some kind of control device.
…Something in the headphones?
I don’t know what it is, but I curse and swear all the time but I don’t do it on the radio.
I tell you what is going to be really bad, is when I get to be a really, really old woman and that control is gone. I’m going to be in the bank or the supermarket or in the old-age home and I’m going to be telling everybody to F off because the control won’t be there.
What sound or noise do you love?
I love the sound of the water lapping up on the beach outside my mother’s house in North West River. It’s a sandy beach, so it’s not that beach rock sound that you hear so much on beaches in Newfoundland. It’s this lovely, soft water sound…
It’s not a saltwater beach with millions of gulls. It’s a quieter beach. Not a noisy, pebbly, gull-ridden beach [laugh] but a nice, quiet, calm, sandy Labrador beach.
What sound or noise do you despise?
Without a doubt one of those high-pitched sounds that you often hear in here when you go in the radio control room and they’re doing an audio test. It’s enough to pierce your ears.
What job (other than your own now) would you like to attempt?
At the age that I am, I don’t feel like I want to take on another job really… But you know, I always wanted to be an astronaut. I wanted to go to space. …Space, the final frontier! I want to go there! I would love, love to fly in space.I am also totally attracted to big control panels (but I want to be the one that operates them.)
When I was a little kid—and people my age will remember this—in the comic books there was a thing advertised and they would send you a rocket ship. It showed an illustration of a kid sitting in a rocket ship, but even at that point I was skeptical enough to know that it was probably cardboard. But I really really wanted to have my own little rocket ship.
I want to be an astronaut!
What job would you not like to do?
I wouldn’t want to be the police officer who has to go to someone’s house and tell the family that their kid has just been killed in a drunk driving accident. Or to tell the wife that her husband’s been killed in an industrial accident… I wouldn’t want to be a person who as a part of their regular routine carries really horrible news to other people—news you know is going to break their hearts.
Where (other than Newfoundland or Labrador) would you like to live?
Vancouver Island. I lived there when I was a teenager, and I still have friends there, and I’ve always thought about being there. Or maybe one of the Gulf Islands between Vancouver Island and the coast of British Columbia. I love it out there.
If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
“You don’t have to sit in a cubicle… And all the people you love are over there.”
Radio Noon airs weekdays, 12:30-2:30pm, on CBC radio 640AM. Anne Budgell will be stepping away from the helm on April 27. Tune in on that day for a special farewell program.
(Photo by Ken Griffiths)