EDMONTON – In the October issue of Avenue magazine, you’ll learn more about Global Edmonton’s Weekend Morning News team. Here is the extended interview:
One’s a little bit news and sports… and one’s a little bit rain or shine. Together they entertain and inform audiences with their quick wit, authenticity/energy and a few laughs. Kent Morrison and Kevin O’Connell are hosts of the Weekend Morning News on Global Edmonton. Their favourite part of the day is welcoming local chefs to the studio for the mouth-watering cooking segment.
Spending early weekend mornings together have resulted in Kent and Kevin being good friends, having a great rapport, and bringing viewers guaranteed laughs with their trademark humour. We sat down with the dynamic duo to talk about hidden talents, cooking and competing on Survivor.
Kent: I was never a morning person until I had to be, but now I really enjoy it. That being said, there is no way to get used to getting up at 1:30 a.m. to go to work. People are always shocked to find out that neither Kevin or I drink coffee. There is plenty of it to go around in the studio, but I’ve never liked the stuff. I always tell people we pull off the early mornings on pure enthusiasm, which is more or less the truth. I’ll crush a green tea once in a while, that’s about it. Usually around 6 a.m. I’ll sneak into Quinn Ohler’s candy drawer if I need a pick me up. There’s no secret to how we get ready to do a show that early in the morning – we honestly love doing it. Kevin and the rest of the crew are fun to work with and we enjoy connecting with our viewers each morning. Plus, it’s really hard to fall asleep under those bright lights.
Kevin: Life gets me going. I have no special routine or trick. The alarm goes off, I grumble a bit and say, “Well it’s time to get ready for work.” I shower and change and head out the the door. I should mention that I come in significantly later that Kent. Kent arrives around 2:00 a.m. (sometimes right from wherever he’s been), and I come in around 5:30 a.m. (also sometimes from wherever I’ve been). As soon as the camera turns on we are wide awake and ready to go!
Kent: He sings. He sings all the time. He’s really good too.
We usually play some sort of music as we head into commercial breaks and he usually sings along once our microphones are off.
Most of the time he finishes the song even when the music stops and he always hits the high notes. I’ve seen him perform in a few musicals. Talented dude.
Kevin: Kent and I are both from Saskatchewan, so we are full of quirky habits. CFL days where it’s Edmonton versus Saskatchewan tend to be a bit conflicted for us and that brings out a few quirks! I’m not sure I know a particular quirky habit for Kent. He always wears great colourful happy socks, but he’s not that quirky.
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Kent: The funniest moments happen when we’re not on air. But, I can’t tell you about those ones or I’d get fired. Actually, Kevin would.
Our whole idea is to be informative and fun so we have all kinds of funny moments. One of my favourites was a few months ago. We bet our floor director, Tyler, that he couldn’t stand on one leg for an entire segment which is about 12 minutes or so. To his credit though, Ty was strong through the whole thing. When it was time to go to commercial and end the segment, Kevin was not willing to let Ty win, so we continued to talk and talk about really nothing just to make Ty stand longer. Eventually Producer Carly just cut us off and went to commercial. Ty won. We never paid him though.
Kevin: Our funniest moments on air usually always involve Kent trying to stop me from talking, usually for my own good.
I will start to go on a bit of a tangent on some some topic we may have discussed and he goes to great effort to shut me me up.
It typically starts with him telling me we have to go to break, then numerous interruptions and pointing and saying, “Ah!” and then Producer Carly joins in by talking in my ear piece. It ends in going to break with all of us laughing and me never getting to say what I wanted to because, by the time we get back on air, we’ve moved on to something new and the whole process probably begins again! Then of course there are the commercial breaks where we come back laughing. Sorry, I can’t tell you why though – you’ll have to use your imagination!
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Kent: I think most people know about the singing thing, but I’m sure they don’t know that he is a pretty good cook and he’s pretty handy too. He’s always telling me about his latest project; what he’s building in his backyard or in his garage. Or, he’ll come in and talk about the huge meal he made the night before. Producer Carly is a good cook too. She at least brings in leftovers for the rest of us to sample. Kevin never does that.
Kevin: Kent is a great baseball guy. He grew up playing baseball with his dad and brother, he played college ball, he plays in a weekend league here in Edmonton, and he is an encyclopedia of knowledge on baseball trivia. He also has a huge box of crayons and a pile of construction paper and likes to make hand-made cards for people – and they’re not too bad – so he has a bit of an artistic streak in him too!
Kent: The running joke in the studio is that I’m an awful cook. I suppose it’s sort of true, which is embarrassing because my mom is a wonder in the kitchen and taught Home Economics for 30 years. So no matter what meal I pick, Kevin cooked it better. I’m not sure I have a favourite recipe, but I have some favourite chefs. Any time Doug Adsit, Gail Hall or Chris Hrynyk are in the kitchen I know we are going to have good food and have a great time making it.
The cooking segment of the show is my favourite because we get to meet and showcase some seriously talented chefs in our city. Plus, I’m usually starving by the time they come in and most leave food behind for the crew. We are spoiled.
Kevin: Kent is self-proclaimed bad in the kitchen, but getting better every week! He will be pulling together a multi-course meal and not cutting his fingers in short order. It’s hard to choose what my favorite recipe is. We’ve had so many great chefs and so many great recipes on the show.
In all honesty and humility, I’d have to say that no matter the recipe we’ve cooked, I cooked it better! Sorry Kent…….
Kent: Kevin has all the tools to win Survivor. He can cook, he’s handy, he works hard and he is unbelievably social. I’ve seen the guy make friends with total strangers in an instant. The game is made for him. But…he’d get voted out before me and here’s why: I’d ride his coattails as long as I could, make nicey nice with everyone, maybe win a couple challenges along the way. All along though, I’d have a secret alliance with the bad guys and just when the time is right and no one is expecting it: BOOM. Blindside backdoor vote. My secret alliance takes over, pick off the Kevin lovers and in the end I get the winning votes for the power move of the game. It’s easy as that. Can you tell I’ve watched Survivor a few times?
Kevin: I would absolutely hear “the tribe has spoken” first. I have a feeling that the tribe would want to get rid of me pretty quick. I’m afraid I would not do well on a lot of the physical challenges during the competition, but I would complain about them a lot. I like adventure, camping, fishing, hiking, but at the end of the day, I like my comforts and head back to the “glamper” not the tent!
Kent: “Our City” is a stellar slogan that we use at Global Edmonton. It’s pretty unique for me because I’m not from here and I’ve only lived here for a little more than a year. But, this place has been so welcoming and I’ve never felt out of place. The people I meet, whether they watch the show or not, are always so warm and friendly. There are so many things to do and see here that it is easy to settle in and call Edmonton home.
So, to me “Our City” is the collective embrace of the people that live here.
I hope everyone who comes to Edmonton receives the same kind welcome that I did. Now it’s my job to extend that warmth every weekend on the Morning News. At the same time though, as a news reporter, it’s my job to help shed light on the problems that need to be solved and the issues that need to be discussed in order to maintain everything that makes Edmonton such a great place to live.
Kevin: Edmonton is a fantastic city. I have had the chance to live in many towns and cities across Canada growing up as an RCMP kid (brat). I am so glad I’ve settled in Edmonton. This city offers as much or more than others I’ve lived in. Edmonton has a passionate sports community – professional, amateur and minor. This extends to out youngest citizens, giving kids in Edmonton a chance to play and watch and be be coached in almost any sport they love.
I’m an artsy guy. I love the theatre and concerts and performances of all kinds. Edmonton is a city that embraces art and performance. There is not a style of music, art or theatre that cannot be found in this great city. We have great shows coming into the city but the pool of talent for productions that originate here is endless. I have had the opportunity to work in community theatre in Edmonton a few times and the talent, time and dedication of Edmontonians is remarkable. Then there are the festivals and the volunteers that seem endless.
One of the greatest traits of Edmonton that never ceases to amaze me is the generosity of the people in this city.
The people of Edmonton seem to rise to any cause that needs to be taken care of and they do it well.
A city that can be be that generous and responsive to the people that live in it has a lot of reason to be proud.
Kent: If I was going to pick one to describe the two of us it would be #nofilter because when you watch the Morning News, what you see is what you get. We are not any different on TV than we are in other aspects of life. We are 100 per cent genuine and we want you to enjoy the show as much as we do.
Kevin: Not too sure about this. I usually leave this up to our fantastic audience. They are always, funny, kind, and engaged with us on social media, so I will leave this one up to them and thank them for their contribution to our show!
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