Rick Campanelli 'values' 'ET Canada' as it enters season 10

Rick Campanelli (Courtesy of ET Canada)

Rick Campanelli (Courtesy of ET Canada)

Bill Harris, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:36 PM ET

Hey, Rick Campanelli, who are you wearing?

With Entertainment Tonight Canada entering its 10th anniversary season, beginning Tuesday, Sept. 2 on Global, the answer to that question has changed dramatically through the years.

“I remember back when we were starting, I used to get my blazers from Value Village,” said Campanelli, the ET Canada co-host who, along with host Cheryl Hickey, has been at the helm since the show began in 2005. “Oh yeah, I used to have some nice shirts, but it would cost $10 or $15 for the blazer.

“And I would wear jeans. Our first season, Roz (Weston, senior entertainment reporter) and I were allowed to wear jeans. Because back then, I think, we were just making that transition from, of course, for me, MuchMusic. It was more, I guess, rock 'n' roll for us.

“So our executive producer at the time let us wear basically what we wanted, as long as we had a blazer on. But, you know, over the last nine full seasons, going into our 10th, it has changed so much, in terms of wardrobe and what we're allowed to wear, stuff like that. But I don't mind if they show clips of the old outfits, it was just a different time.”

The first episode of ET Canada's 10th season will, in fact, include a look back at some of the show's favourite moments. There will be many similar retro segments and special features throughout the season, including a studio makeover, to mark the anniversary of a show that has become one of the cornerstones of televised entertainment coverage in Canada.

“We have a lot planned,” Campanelli said. “Each of us will be doing something different as we jump into our 10th season, so it's going to be pretty fun.”

It's actually hard to imagine a time when ET Canada didn't exist.

Through those 10 years, though, there has been a shift in the philosophy of entertainment reporting everywhere, and the differences are even more pronounced if you go back to Campanelli's days at MuchMusic in the 1990s and early 2000s. What used to be categorized as “gossip” now has become mainstream entertainment reporting. That's not a value judgment, merely an observation.

“It's so true,” Campanelli said. “We both know that MuchMusic is no longer happening, which just goes to show that what we were into 15 years ago was music, and music videos. Likewise today, we're just sort of feeding the masses what they want.

“Years ago, in another lifetime, in that other world I was in, I don't remember ever doing gossipy or socialite types of things. But that's what people basically want these days. Now, we don't give them only that. We try to give them everything on the spectrum of what's going on locally to what's going on around the world, from actors to musicians to whoever. That's our job, we want people to come to us, night after night.

“We're making a lot of people happy with our content, I think. By providing as much as we do, we're doing a pretty good job.”

Of all the things Campanelli does at ET Canada, he still gets the biggest kick out of interviewing people.

“I've always been that way,” Campanelli said. “Even in my first interview, I wanted to find out as much as I could about that indie band from Saskatoon. I've really stuck with that over my 18 years.”

So Rick, can you count the number of times you've asked people, “Who are you wearing?”

“No, but I do remember the first time I had to ask that question,” Campanelli said with a laugh. “I looked at my producer and went, 'Are you serious?'

“Now it just rolls off my tongue. Any time I go anywhere, that's my first question. On the street, strangers, my mom, my dad. What are you doing to do? I'm in that game!

“Our mother ship down in L.A. (Entertainment Tonight) has been around for close to 35 years. So if they can do it, we can do it.”

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