Former diver Alexandre Despatie is making a splash into television: he’ll co-host Breakfast Television Montreal alongside former VJ Joanne Vrakas.
The two-time Olympic silver medalist, who announced his retirement Tuesday, is bilingual, but will be speaking English for the morning show.
“Alex is one of Canada’s most inspiring athletes. His drive, passion, and charming personality, complemented by Joanne’s flair and breadth of broadcast experience in the city, will bring a unique English-language morning show to Montreal television,” Bob Babinski, executive producer for City Montreal, said in a statement Thursday.
“Breakfast Television will combine local news, weather and traffic with the biggest celebrity interviews, community happenings and lots of big ticket giveaways,” said Babinski.
The show will debut in August, live from City’s downtown Montreal studios. The station just launched in February.
Despatie, a Montreal native, got his on-air start in 2010, when he provided French-language coverage of Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver. Despatie, alongside legendary Quebec hockey commentators Richard Garneau and Pierre Houde, gave commentary during the opening and closing ceremonies.
He has also hosted a 17-part series for TV, radio and online, which paid tribute to the extraordinary individuals who have helped Canadian Olympians and Paralympians overcome their personal and athletic challenges.
Vrakas has worked in broadcast for a decade, including a stint at CBC News Montreal. She has interviewed politicians and celebrities, including Amy Winehouse, Lady Gaga and the late NDP leader Jack Layton.
The pair will be joined by Wilder Weir, the co-host of City’s weekly sports magazine show Montreal Connected. Weir will be the Live Eye host when Breakfast Television debuts.
Rogers Media is the parent company of City, CityNews and CityNews.ca.