Jian Ghomeshi

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Jian Ghomeshi
Jian Ghomeshi in Vancouver 2009.jpg
Background information
Born (1967-06-09) June 9, 1967 (age 47)
London, UK
Years active 1990–present
Associated acts Moxy Früvous, Lights
Website jian.ca

Jian Ghomeshi (born June 9, 1967) is a Canadian broadcaster, writer and musician born in London, England, and raised in Thornhill, Ontario.[1] He is best known as a national on-air personality on CBC Television and CBC Radio, and host of the daily arts program Q on CBC Radio One. He has hosted various series on TV and radio including The National Playlist, ZeD and spent three years as the host of the TV program >play, where he interviewed people ranging from Woody Allen to John Lydon.

Ghomeshi is of Iranian heritage.[2] He graduated with merit from York University with a degree in political science and history.

Early life[edit]

Ghomeshi was born in 1967 in London, England. He is of Iranian descent. His family moved to Canada when Ghomeshi was seven years old. They lived in Thornhill, Ontario.[3] Ghomeshi attended York University and was president of the York Federation of Students.



He joined Mike Ford, Murray Foster, and Dave Matheson to form Moxy Früvous in 1990, recording seven albums through 2000. He was credited as "Jean," rather than Jian, on the band's first album, but reverted to the original spelling of his name for subsequent albums. Moxy Früvous sold over 50,000 copies of their debut independent EP (gold in Canada) in 1992. Their debut album, "Bargainville", went platinum in Canada in 1994 (over 100,000). Over the course of 8 albums they sold over 500,000 albums in Canada and the United States.

He released his first solo EP, The First 6 Songs, in July 2001.

Ghomeshi has also managed musician Martina Sorbara (now of the band Dragonette) and produced for Dar Williams through his production company, Jian Ghomeshi Productions Inc. He now manages the Juno Award winning artist, Lights.[4]

Radio and television[edit]

In 2002, Ghomeshi was hired as the host of CBC Newsworld's >play, a show about the arts in Canada and abroad. >play ran for three seasons. He also did the weekly entertainment report on the Toronto edition of Canada Now.

In 2006, he finished a documentary series entitled The End, which described technology's effects on television, radio, and print as well as the future of the media. He hosted the radio series 50 Tracks and 50 Tracks: The Canadian Version on CBC Radio One and CBC Radio 2. From fall 2005 until spring 2006, he hosted a program on Radio One called The National Playlist.

Since April 16, 2007, Ghomeshi has been the host of Q, a program on CBC Radio One. The show airs all across Canada at 10 a.m and 10 p.m. (10:30 in Newfoundland). The show also airs in the United States on a handful of National Public Radio affiliate stations, including WBEZ in Chicago, WNYC in New York, WUSF in Florida, WDET in Detroit, and WBUR in Boston, as well as statewide on Wisconsin Public Radio.

Ghomeshi's TV and radio credits include appearances on NBC Nightly News, CBS Sunday Morning, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Showbiz Today, All Things Considered, The National, Monday Report, Morningside, Just For Laughs and the Juno Awards. Ghomeshi hosted the 2009 Dora Mavor Moore Award ceremony.[5]

Ghomeshi curates a CBC Music online audio stream titled "Jian's New Wave," which features songs from new wave music artists.[6]

Billy Bob Thornton interview[edit]

On April 8, 2009, Billy Bob Thornton appeared with his band, The Boxmasters, on Q, with Ghomeshi hosting. In introducing Thornton, Ghomeshi mentioned Thornton's acting career and added, "he's always intended to make music, he just got sidetracked." Though he wasn't asked about his film work, Thornton became annoyed, having previously told the show's producers that he didn't want to talk about his film career, and immediately began giving erratic answers to Ghomeshi's questions, such as "I don't know what you're talking about" and "I don't know what you mean by that," when asked how long the band had been together. When queried about his musical tastes and influences as a child, Thornton gave a lengthy, unrelated answer about his favourite childhood magazine, Famous Monsters of Filmland.[7][8]

Thornton then expressed the cause of his anger, and Ghomeshi called for "a truce," after which Thornton began answering questions more directly. He did remain testy, however, complaining that Canadians did not get up and move or throw things at concerts, and referring to them as "mashed potatoes without the gravy."[9] Ghomeshi replied, "Oh, we've got some gravy up here as well." The interview caused an outpouring of criticism from across Canada and around the world for Thornton's behaviour.[10] The following night, Thornton's band opened for Willie Nelson at Toronto's prestigious Massey Hall. A series of boos and catcalls erupted mid-set when Thornton tried to explain he liked Canadians, but not Ghomeshi and many fans chanted "Here comes the gravy!"[11]

Thornton and The Boxmasters subsequently cancelled the rest of their Canadian tour, officially because a band member and several crew members caught the 'flu.[12] Ghomeshi described the interview as one of the most difficult he has ever conducted and compared the international media exposure he received to being "in the middle of a tsunami."[11]


Ghomeshi's literary debut, 1982, is a creative non-fiction title, about that year of his youth. It was released on September 18, 2012.[13]


  1. ^ "Interview of Barbara Walters by Jian Ghomeshi". CBC. 
  2. ^ Toronto Star, 13/9/98. Retrieved 25 April 2007 at fruvous.com.
  3. ^ Ghomeshi, Jian (September 15, 2012). "‘Hey, Blackie!’: Jian Ghomeshi on growing up in 1970s England", The Globe and Mail. Retrieved September 20, 2012.
  4. ^ Canada (March 25, 2009). "A career clocked at lightning speed, Globe and Mail". Toronto: Theglobeandmail.com. Archived from the original on 2009-04-09. Retrieved 2011-03-12. 
  5. ^ "Toronto's Dora Awards Were Held June 29; Noms Announced in Early June" from Playbill
  6. ^ Jian's New Wave
  7. ^ Thornton obnoxious in CBC interview, UPI, April 9, 2009
  8. ^ Thornton clashes with radio host, April 9, 2009
  9. ^ Billy Bob Thornton 'Blow Up' on Q TV (video), YouTube, April 8, 2009
  10. ^ Billy Bob Thornton does a Joaquin Phoenix on Canadian radio, The Times, April 9, 2009
  11. ^ a b Wallace, K. and Mudhar, R. (April 10, 2009). "Billy Bob not done with the barbs." The Toronto Star. Retrieved on: 2009-04-18.
  12. ^ Ditzian, Eric (2009-04-10). "Billy Bob Thornton Booed Onstage, Cancels Canada Tour – Music, Celebrity, Artist News". MTV. Retrieved 2011-03-12. 
  13. ^ "Jian Ghomeshi writing memoir about growing up in the 80s". The Globe and Mail. 6 September 2012. Retrieved 15 September 2012. 

External links[edit]