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Jian Ghomeshi Biography,Career,Radio ,Television and Personal Life

Jian Ghomeshi Biography

Jian Ghomeshi is a Canadian musician, writer, and former CBC radio broadcaster.From 1990 to 2000, he was a member of the Thornhill-based folk-pop band Moxy Früvous, as a vocalist and drummer. In the 2000s, he became a television and radio broadcaster. He has hosted, among others, the CBC Newsworld TV show >play (2002–2005), the CBC Radio One radio show The National Playlist (2005–2006), and the CBC Radio One show Q, which he co-created and hosted from 2007 to 2014, until fired by the CBC. Q, which features interviews with prominent cultural and entertainment figures, became the highest rated show in its timeslot in CBC history. Ghomeshi was born on June 9, 1967 in London, England, to Iranian parents Farhang (Frank), a civil engineer, and Azar (Sara) Ghomeshi. When he was a child, he was teased by classmates, who called him “Blackie”. According to Ghomeshi, he grew up in a Muslim household but elsewhere noted that his family was secularist and even celebrated Christmas and Easter.

When Ghomeshi was seven, his father moved to Canada and got a job and Ghomeshi’s family followed, first living in an apartment on Don Mills Road before settling in Thornhill, Ontario.  Since there was not an Iranian expatriate community at that time in Canada, “Ghomeshi was extremely self-conscious of his appearance and his East London accent … and he felt different.” He attended Thornlea Secondary School, where he was student council president. Ghomeshi described Thornhill as a “safe and quiet suburb where conformity was coveted … The dwellings all looked relatively similar on our street, and most of the houses had big lawns and nice trees”. His older sister, Jila Ghomeshi, is a professor of linguistics. Ghomeshi acknowledges that his parents had reservations at first that he did not pursue a more traditional career path, but that they still supported his career choices.

Ghomeshi has written that, during his teenage years, he ensured that his clothes smelled of cigarette smoke to give him “social credibility” even though he was a non-smoker, dressed “new wave” and listened to music from David Bowie, Talking Heads, and Rush.Ghomeshi had an interest in music as a student and in Grade 9 started a short-lived band with a few of his school friends called Urban Transit.
Ghomeshi attended York University beginning in 1985 in the theatre program in his memoir 1982, he describes himself as a “theatre geek” and subsequently graduated with a BA in political science and a double minor in history and women’s studies. According to a former York University student, in 1988 residence advisers at York warned a group of students that Ghomeshi had allegedly hit a couple of students. In 1989, Ghomeshi unsuccessfully attempted to overthrow the student government at York. In 1990, he was elected president of the Council of the York Federation of Students with a record-breaking number of votes and subsequently renamed the federation the York Federation of Students. As president, Ghomeshi promised increased funding for the Women’s Centre, supported increased safety measures for women on campus and co-founded a pro-choice network. Jim Hounslow alleged that in the 1990–91 school year, when Ghomeshi was president and Hounslow was communications coordinator for the York Federation of Students, Ghomeshi grabbed Hounslow’s genitals through his jeans while the two were in an elevator.

Jian Ghomeshi Career

In 1983, Ghomeshi and friends Murray Foster, Tracy Jones, Reno Manfredi, and John Ruttle formed a band called Tall New Buildings. Tall New Buildings released two 12” EPs and played various gigs in and outside of Toronto before breaking up around 1988. Ghomeshi, Murray Foster and another bandmate, Mike Ford, then formed a band called The Chia Pets.  In 1989, they were joined by Dave Matheson to form the politically satirical folk-pop band Moxy Früvous and together they recorded eight albums before going on permanent hiatus in 2001. Moxy Früvous was originally inspired by street-performing or busking bands and Ghomeshi and bandmates started out by playing on streets in Toronto. Ghomeshi sang and played drums. 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.

A year after forming, Moxy Früvous was opening for headline performers like Bob Dylan. Moxy Früvous sold over 50,000 copies of their debut independent EP in 1992 (gold in Canada). Their debut album Bargainville went platinum in Canada in 1994 after selling over 100,000 copies. The band was also nominated for a Juno award as Band of the Year in 1994.  Over the course of eight albums, they sold over 500,000 copies of their albums in Canada and the United States and made an appearance on Late Night with Conan O’Brien. Ghomeshi released his first solo EP, The First 6 Songs, in July 2001.

A 1996 video tape, revealed in 2014, suggested that Ghomeshi disdained his audiences, stating on camera that people paying to see the band’s shows were “losers” and “fucking idiots”. David Yuhnke, who was present at the recording, suspected that Ghomeshi was joking, recalling that the room’s atmosphere was “sarcasm-laded”, but added that he found it “hard to gauge entirely if Ghomeshi was being serious or not”. In the year 1999, Ghomeshi began a correspondence with a 16-year-old girl, Sally Block, who was a fan of Moxy Fruvous. This continued for three years and included in-person meetings where Ghomeshi is alleged to have been “handsy” with her.

Jian Ghomeshi Radio and Television

In 2002, they had a falling out and Block broke into Ghomeshi’s email account. Ghomeshi sought to have her banned from “FruCon” – a Moxy Fruvous convention – and wanted criminal charges to be pressed against her. She was allowed to attend FruCon and Ghomeshi dropped the issue after her father confronted him for “carrying on this type of relationship with an underage girl”.

Ghomeshi became host of CBC Newsworld’s >play, a show about the arts in Canada and abroad in 2002. >play ran for three seasons and won a Gemini Award. He also did the weekly entertainment report on the Toronto edition of Canada Now, as well as wrote columns for The Toronto Star and The Globe and Mail.  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.

Ghomeshi was the host of Q, a program airing twice daily on CBC Radio One, and on over 170 stations in the United States over Public Radio International ,from April 16, 2007 to October 26, 2014, . Ghomeshi became “…famous as the coolly insightful host of Q, a marquee interviewer with a mellifluous voice that he would tune to the cadence of his guest, fostering a sense of intimacy.” As the host of Q, Ghomeshi interviewed a range of musicians, artists, actors, and other notable figures, a list that included Woody Allen, Paul McCartney, Salman Rushdie, Barbara Walters, William Shatner, Jay-Z, Jimmy Wales and Leonard Cohen. During his time as host of Q Ghomeshi regularly booked guests who shared his agent and lawyer without disclosing this connection.

In July 2014 the CBC accepted $5,000 from Warner Music Group to send Ghomeshi to Malibu, California to interview Tom Petty, in violation of CBC policies. The CBC vowed to repay the money after the incident was uncovered by The Toronto Star. Ghomeshi hosted the 2009 Dora Mavor Moore Awards ceremony. He was set to host the November 2014 Scotiabank Giller Prize awards gala but was replaced in October by comedian Rick Mercer. In November 2014, he was replaced as the host of the CBC competition Canada Reads by Wab Kinew, the previous year’s winner. In December 2014 the CBC announced that it would not be rebroadcasting Ghomeshi’s interviews and it would be removing them from the CBC’s online archive. Reactions to this decision were swift and varied and, after further deliberations by CBC management, the decision was reversed.

Jian Ghomeshi Personal life

Ghomeshi was diagnosed with a general anxiety disorder in about 2009 after suffering a panic attack. He began seeing a psychologist on a weekly basis. Ghomeshi told journalist Courtney Shea that the psychological issues arose because of “feeling like an outsider because of my Iranian background, trust issues. A lot of not feeling good enough”. At the urging of his therapist, Ghomeshi purchased a teddy bear to replace his childhood toy and help him deal with his anxiety. Ghomeshi has a tattoo of his father’s signature in Persian on his right arm.

Jian Ghomeshi Photo

Jian Ghomeshi Photo


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