You can add Colin Mochrie's name to an impressive list of guests for The Stratford Slice, a popular podcast from local media studio Ballinran Entertainment.
The comedian was at the Avon Theatre on Thursday for a performance of Hyprov, a mix of hypnotism and improv. The show was a fundraiser for Stratford Arts and Culture Collective. Before the show, Mochrie stopped in to visit Ballinran founder Craig Thompson to tape the latest installment for The Stratford Slice.
Thompson said the two discussed how comedy plays an important role, especially during anxious times.
"Colin Mochrie is one of the most down-to-earth people you'd ever want to meet. Working in comedy improv is like walking the high-wire - going out on stage night after night not really knowing what to expect. So it takes a special kind of talent to be able to pull that off and Colin seems to pull that off with ease."
Launched in September, the podcast series features the "electic and unique characters" who contribute to Stratford's community.
Thompson's team have recorded 22 episodes so far and have built up a loyal following. The top five podcasts to date, he said, include former CTV news anchor Lloyd Robertson, Stratford Chefs School co-founder Eleanor Kane, artists Loreena McKennitt and The Bookends and Ken Gene from Gene's Restaurant.
Thompson, a journalist, broadcaster, and documentary film maker, has cashed in on a lifetime of connections to offer a local podcast with wide-reaching appeal.
"It's been a great opportunity to meet people who I'm curious about and a good excuse to catch up with old friends as well."
About 89 per cent of the audience is from Canada, about eight per cent from the United States and three per cent from other countries, mostly from the U.K. and Europe. The audience is split evenly between men and women. Most people listen on Apple podcasts or Spotify.
Thompson said the name came about because it offers a ‘slice of life’, at the intersection of arts, culture and current affairs, with enlightening personal stories from well-known personalities and those out of the spotlight who are still making a difference to the world around them.
“When you get a bunch of poets, artists, actors, musicians, writers, scientists, academics and even magicians living together in a community like Stratford, in the middle of farm country, interesting things can happen and great conversations occur."
Other guests have included Bruce Horak, Star Trek actor and visually impaired artist and performer; John Kastner, general manager, Stratford Perth Museum and a former sports editor and managing editor of the Stratford Beacon Herald and Dr. Gezaghan Wordofa, founder of the Multicultural Association of Perth-Huron and a current Stratford city councillor.
Thompson started his career at CJCS Radio and the Stratford Beacon Herald. Ballinran Entertainment has created a number of documentaries including Game Changers, featuring the late Jeopardy host Alex Trebek and The Truth Is In The Stars, starring William Shatner.
To learn more about the podcast, visit the website: https://www.thestratfordslice.ca/.