Death of Paul Houde: “He is perhaps the brother I never had”

Thérèse Parisien had the pleasure of working for several years alongside Paul Houde; but before being a colleague, the host was first and foremost a great friend for her.

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“He was like a brother; “he’s perhaps the brother I never had,” she immediately mentions in an interview on LCN.

“He is someone who was very important in my life. We worked together a lot, and we traveled together; he was a friend, a friend who it is difficult to imagine is no longer there,” she confides.

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Sports presenter and commentator Paul Houde died on Saturday following complications linked to an operation earlier this week. He was 69 years old.

Ms. Parisien notably worked on radio with Mr. Houde; their joint segments were always highly anticipated and appreciated by listeners.

“I remember his rigor, his way of working, his way of wanting to entertain while informing. It was important to him, he was rigorous. He worked very hard before his shows, but when he arrived, he also said that you had to have breathing space in a show,” explains his great friend and colleague.

“He was a radio man – but totally a radio man – and he had a way of hosting which was unique, in my opinion,” she adds, pointing in particular to the happy meeting at his home of an equal desire for rigor and entertainment.

“We trusted each other”

The duo did not hesitate to exchange jokes and quips on the air.

“It’s true that it was a rare complicity, I admit that. As soon as we met, it clicked. We loved each other very much, and we trusted each other; we were on the air together, and we trusted each other. There was something comforting about being on the air with him,” she says, recalling stints on the air that could last up to 9 hours during breaking news, and saying she was happy to have gone through them with him.

Paul did not hesitate to joke at the expense of his colleague, as she herself recounts with amusement.

“Obviously, there were days when I was his advocate… he had fun at my expense. When you’re not worth a laugh, you’re not worth much, my grandfather said, so we laughed; If I made a little mistake, he was going to make a little money on it,” she remembers.

A free man

Thérèse Parisien knew Mr. Houde well; she assures in this regard that a part of him conformed to the idea that listeners may have of the host, that is to say that of an energetic, passionate, concerned man.

“I traveled with a free man; he was eight years old when he went on a trip, he loved it. He was going to see a show, he was completely crazy, he was playing air guitar in the Bell Center. It was delirium. He took advantage of every moment, he had a lot of fun,” she exemplifies.

Like everyone else, however, Paul was not always laughing. He had his personal concerns, mentions Ms. Parisien. However, the host never let these issues encroach on his job.

“One moment you go on the air, then you leave your problems outside. He taught me that,” she admits.

Even if Paul was preoccupied or disturbed for whatever reason, the host knew how to put all that aside as soon as the “red light came on”: “He lit it up too, he beamed.”

“The studio was his home. He was at home, he was comfortable, and radio was really his job, his first job,” she says bluntly.

Wave of love

The numerous reactions and tributes paid since yesterday in memory of Paul Houde deeply touch Ms. Parisien.

“It is extremely touching to see and read everything that is said,” she mentioned with emotion, offering her condolences to the family, but also to the listeners, for whom the death of Mr. Houde has was a shock too.

“I think we all had a very, very bad day yesterday,” says Thérèse Parisien sadly.

Listen to the full interview with Paul Houde’s great friend and colleague, Thérèse Parisien, in the video at the beginning of the article.

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