Celebrity Cooks

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Celebrity Cooks
Created byDerek Smith and Kent Anthony
Developed byDerek Smith and Keith Large
Country of originCanada
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons12
No. of episodes478
Executive producersDerek Smith and Keith Large
Production locationsVancouver, Ottawa, Toronto
Production companiesInitiative Productions, Upside Right Media Inc
Original networkCBC Television (1975-79)
Global (1980-87)

Celebrity Cooks was a Canadian cooking show independently produced by Initiative Productions and aired on CBC Television from 1975 to 1979 and on Global from 1980 to 1987. It was syndicated throughout Canada and the United States from 1980 to 1987. In the early 1990s, it continued in syndication in Canada. Barrie, Ontario-based CKVR later ran episodes in the 1990s that were also available in Toronto and surrounding areas for at least one season.

Bruno Gerussi hosted 478 episodes in total. He introduced celebrities, saw guests perform and chatted with them while preparing dishes for the audience.

The show began a successful run with the CBC and then moved to Global in 1980.[1] In addition to the daytime programming, Global also developed 26 prime time episodes.[citation needed] The show continued to air in Canada with Global and on a few CBS owned-and-operated stations in the US until 1987.[citation needed] At that point, Initiative Productions and partners had produced 478 episodes.

Among the guests who appeared on the show was a pre-stardom David Letterman.[2][3] Other guests included Margaret Trudeau (aired 3 February 1978),[4] Jean Beliveau, Barry Morse and Elayne Boosler.

An episode featuring guest Bob Crane was recorded on January 28, 1978. Crane was murdered on June 29, making this his last TV appearance. The episode was scheduled to air in the U.S. in July 1978, however given the circumstances it did not air at all in the U.S.. The episode did air several times in Canada, beginning in February 1978. Crane was joking about the subject of death during the episode's taping, besides discussing Hogan's Heroes, the television series in which he starred.[5] The taping of Crane's episode was recreated in the 2002 film, Auto Focus, in which actor John Kapelos portrayed Gerussi.[6]

Hermione Gingold was the guest for the program's first broadcast on 15 September 1975.[7]

Derek Smith, the creator of Celebrity Cooks, and now the executive producer with Upside Right Media Inc, is working to bring back the show in a new version with a new host. The host for the new version of the show is actress and improv specialist Ellie Harvie in much the same format as the original show.[non-primary source needed]

The show also led to the creation of Celebrity Cooks cook books:

  • 1977: Celebrity Cooks, Recipe Book II (Fforbez Enterprises/Initiative Productions) ISBN 0-08-897602-5, ISBN 0-08-897602-1
  • 1979: The New Celebrity Cooks Cookbook (Methuen) ISBN 0-458-94280-4

Key people[edit]

  • Creator: Derek Smith
  • Developed by: Derek Smith and Keith Large
  • Executive Producers: Keith Large and Derek Smith
  • Host: Bruno Gerussi
  • Musical Duo:Jim Walchuck and Henri Lorieau
  • Cooking Consultants: Helga Theilmann and Joan Mitchell (Season 1 & 2, Ottawa), Sue Morton & Chuck Norris (Seasons 3 to 12, Vancouver and Toronto)
  • Talent coordinator:Anne Kear
  • Executive Assistant to Derek Smith: Sharyn Manuel


  1. ^ Downey, Donn (13 February 1979). "Global planning five new shows". Globe and Mail. p. 17.
  2. ^ "Celebrity Cooks: David Letterman". IMDB. 1975. Retrieved 10 September 2018.
  3. ^ David Letterman on Celebrity Cooks, late November 1977 on YouTube
  4. ^ "Maggie's Tempura (photo)". Globe and Mail. 24 January 1978. p. 15.
  5. ^ "Bob Crane". Kentucky New Era. Associated Press. 3 July 1978. p. 14. Retrieved 13 July 2015.
  6. ^ Slotek, Jim. "Sex, murder and videotape". Jam!/Canoe/Sun Media. Archived from the original on 14 July 2015. Retrieved 13 July 2015.
  7. ^ Kirby, Blaik (6 September 1975). "Information packs the channels in bountiful new television season". Globe and Mail. p. 31.

External links[edit]