Daniel Richler

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Daniel Richler (born 1957) is a Canadian arts and pop culture broadcaster and writer. He is the stepson of author Mordecai Richler.


Born in London, England, his family moved back to his stepfather's hometown of Montreal when Daniel was 15. He became a punk rocker as a teenager and was lead singer of the Alpha Jerks[1]—the only local band with an anti-Secessionist agenda at the time of the 1980 Quebec Referendum. He also joined the Ontario biker gang, The New Hegelians, which were "encouraged" to quit the road by the Toronto Hells Angels chapter in the early 1990s.[citation needed]

From 1977 through the early 1980s, Richler was a deejay, presenter and critic on a variety of major market radio stations including CHOM-FM in Montreal and CJCL, CFNY-FM 102.1 "The Spirit of Radio" in Toronto. He also joined the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation where he was a cultural commentator on CBC Radio's Morningside with Peter Gzowski.

He moved to CITY-TV in 1985 becoming co-host and eventually producer of the The NewMusic, the internationally syndicated, pioneering weekly rockumentary show that pre-dated MTV and later gave rise to MuchMusic. The show fused international field journalism and in-depth interviews with rock videos to create an occasionally tough rockumentary newsmagazine geared at 15 to 30-year-olds. Items and documentaries included those on Band-Aid, post-revolutionary music in Zimbabwe, the Japanese pop industry, Andy Warhol's art video work, William Burroughs, Frank Zappa at the PMRC hearings in Washington, the death and legacy of Bob Marley, Yoko Ono post-John, and Malcolm McLaren's manufacture and manipulation of the Sex Pistols.

In 1987 and 1988 Richler was Chief Arts Correspondent on The Journal, CBC's national news program. His international profiles and docs included those on Anthony Burgess, Keith Richards, Art Spiegelman, Pat Nixon and numerous others. He subsequently moved to TVOntario where he became Creative Heads of Arts Programming and launched the long-running literary program Imprint, which he later served as host and Executive Producer. At that time Richler also oversaw the schedule, acquisitions, commissioning and original programming of the channel's arts sector. He developed and launched Prisoners of Gravity with Mark Askwith and host/comedian Rick Green – a prize-winning, weekly half-hour, hybrid magazine/documentary/veejay show devoted to science fiction, fantasy, comics, and horror and commissioned Peter Vronsky's 1991 feature documentary film Mondo Moscow.

In the mid-to-late 1990s he was producer/director and presenter of the counterculture show, Big Life, on CBC Newsworld. Subjects included trepanation, anti-genetically modified food activism, digital downloading, auto-erotic asphyxiation, the Furries, anti-G8 anarchism, Burning Man, Genesis P-Orridge, the true nature and history of ecstasy, turntablism, etc. In 1998, he won Best Presenter Gemini.

In 2001 he moved back to ChumCity as Editor-in-Chief/Executive Producer of its new literary specialty channel BookTelevision, which launched 1 September 2001 as a digital service across Canada. There he conceived and developed the channel format, oversaw development of its schedule, budget of original in-house programming, acquisition selection and overall design. He served as Executive Produced and/or Director for The Word News, The Word This Week, Richler, Ink., Writers on the Road, Authors at Harbourfront, Lust, The Electric Archive and a variety of full-length documentaries. He also developed literary video and literary ad/EPK initiatives and was credited with boosting sales of new books, including Alice Munro's Runaway.[citation needed]

Richler has published one novel, Kicking Tomorrow (1991), a bestseller in Canada for 13 weeks,[citation needed] which was named one of New York Times Book Review's Best Books of 1992.

He presently resides in London, England, where he works as a freelance TV director and writer. He has most recently directed episodes of Wag TV / Discovery UK's How Do They Do It? and Real Vampires, a 2-hour factual/dramatic documentary for Discovery UK and Canada that examines the scientific and historical underpinnings of the vampire myth.


  1. ^ Schnurmacher, Thomas (28 November 1980). "Daniel Richler is busy with music". The Gazette. p. 47. Retrieved 20 July 2010. 

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