personalities: lee carter


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Lee Carter

Lee Carter

"Live From London" Wednesday nights (1981 - 1989)

"Live From London" was cancelled in early 1989. When Lee was brought back in 1990, he returned to Toronto and hosted Sunday night "Global Beatbox." He then did a 4-hour Sunday night spectacular for a few months. He quit that, and wrote an article for Eye magazine entitled " CFNY Insider's Report " (August 27, 1992). He has done numerous shows at the CBC as well as freelance news reporting for the BBC. He is now a writer in the CBC radio newsroom.

From Lee, August 2002:

I resigned from CFNY in 1992 after freelancing my various offerings in a state of hopelessly idealistic gratitude for pathetically meagre rewards. And I did this for 11 years, without a lobotomy along the way. I was mostly reporting from London, but had latterly hosted a fun, rambling Sunday night show from Toronto, that surprisingly attracted good ratings. As I left in some disgust, I vowed never to look back and indeed have completely changed my radio wardrobe since then.

The eight years I spent in London reporting for CFNY (and some U.S. alternative stations such as WFNX in Boston and WLIR in New York) were certainly never dull. I saw one of The Pogues very first gigs and years later one of their very last with Shane as lead singer. I followed bands that were obscure and interesting, ( I still get people wanting to assault me for making them pay import prices at the Peddler for Half Man Half Biscuit) and the more well known, such as The Smiths. One of my favourite moments was clambering on a bus to Manchester to interview Morrissey. But there were plenty of depressing Spinal Tap moments too: Bands who never showed up to interviews, or I would be saddled with a booze-addled inarticulate drummer. I was even vomited on once during an interview. I was also as poor as a church mouse in the world's second most expensive city. At one time I was literally filing my live reports from a red British telephone box.

I came back to Toronto in 1990 but resigned two years later.

I had actually started freelancing reports to the BBC World Service while I was still working for CFNY and had also been freelancing for four years to a CBC Radio pop culture show called Prime Time. My second great interest had always been news and current affairs, especially documentary making so I was very fortunate to slip gracefully into it.

Today I am the eastern Canada correspondent for the BBC. I am also a freelance news producer for CBC radio.

I would also like to pay special tribute to David Marsden. Although he was sometimes infuriating to work for, he was a true visionary in ways that I've only realised in hindsight. When I was still a mere teenage listener, it was him who made us care. He made signing a petition to stop a prospective owner from changing the station format, a call to arms.

It's now so difficult to imagine people caring that way about a mere radio station ever again - but we did.

Last updated: Saturday, November 26, 2011


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