To say Cheryl Hickey has an exciting schedule—as nightly host on ET Canada, a busy mother of young kids, and an entrepreneur—isn’t the half of it. If the sparkling smile and engaging demeanor you see on TV and in our cover story make you feel like she’s having the time of her life, well, she is. Hickey is a natural on camera, fashion is her playground, and there’s no denying, she makes it all look easy.
Cheryl Hickey: “I Am Living My Dream”
“I have to admit, being a host on ET Canada really doesn’t seem like work,” she laughs during our recent interview. “I love my job, and I am living my dream.”
Well over half-a-million viewers tune in to ET Canada to see her coverage and interviews each night with some of the world’s biggest celebrities such as Oprah, Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise. It’s a demanding job. She’s up early and sometimes home late—and working long hours means that she always has to be on top of her game. Being surrounded by a supportive crew makes it possible.
“I am so lucky to work with a great team who are all like family. We all work hard each day getting the show ready for viewers from coast-to-coast and we have so much fun doing it. Yes, we are serious, but we all have a sense of humour, which means we laugh a lot.”
Never give up
Hickey is living the life she dreamed about as a kid. She was born in Owen Sound, Ontario, and at age 16 she landed a job at the local cable TV station. After studying Radio and Television at London Ontario’s Fanshawe College, she got her start working at CFOS in Owen Sound. Not long after, she scored her first big job at the New VR in Barrie when she went from being a writer and producer, to a cameraperson and began hosting a small entertainment spot. That job eventually led her to a new opportunity as a news chopper-reporter, cameraperson and switcher with Global TV in Toronto.
Her talent did not go unrecognized. In no time flat, she moved from the helicopter beat to the entertainment beat with Global, landing the title as host of ET Canada. Auditioning with a slew of the country’s top talent, she was told she wouldn’t get the job. But when she went for the last audition, Hickey was elated when she was, in fact, offered the position.
“It was not easy getting to where I am today,” she explains. “I have certainly paid my dues in the industry and have worked hard to get to the top. I never gave up and was always prepared ahead of time when the door of opportunity opened.”
Hickey celebrates fashion within the job.
“I have a unique mix of styles that I like,” she says. “I enjoy a nice tailored suit and my fashion tastes are influenced by Elle Macpherson, Jennifer Lopez and Gwyneth Paltrow. But when I am off work, I like to keep it simple: jeans and a white shirt are just fine with me.”
Hickey works hard to maintain her health and fitness. She says she’s not a small person and exercise and eating right are key to staying on track.
“When I was pregnant with both my kids, I went from 130 pounds to 200 pounds, so it took work to get the weight off, but I did it,” she says. “I will admit exercise is something I have to work at as I do go through periods of eating what I want.”
The popular TV star is also very business-savvy. At the forefront of her entrepreneurial vision is her passion for family and parenting.
This summer, she launched Cheryl Hickey Family with an innovative product for parents called “Arm Here For You.” It’s a cushioned arm pillow and blanket perfect for breastfeeding, bottle feeding, or snuggling, which is now being sold at Snuggle Bugz, with information on her website CherylHickeyFamily.com.
After having her son, Cheryl would wrap her arms in blankets or prop them up with pillows to find that comfy spot. Then she designed “Arm Here For You” and she used it with her daughter, Nyla, and decided now was the time to share it with other families.
Hickey is also an official spokesperson for KidsWifi, a ‘made-in-Canada’ device protecting kids online from inappropriate material.
“I became involved with this new product as family is very important to me,” she says. “The Internet is an amazing educational and entertainment tool, and what’s so unique with KidsWifi is that it gives parents back the control. You would not drop off your kid in Central Park in New York City at night and say, ‘good luck with that.’ It’s the same with the Internet, and this product gives parents the right solutions for protecting their children when they go online.”
“Family means everything to me,” says Hickey. “I have the best family, who have supported me so much over the years and this means the world to me,” she says. “My mom, dad, sister and brother have always had my back.”
She adds, “Now I have my own family, and it’s an amazing and challenging experience raising two kids. And I have to say, I have an amazing husband and partner who is totally supportive; I am so fortunate.”
With the help and support of friends and family, Hickey manages a work and life schedule that can simply be described as: go-go-go. But she keeps her stress in check and enjoys every moment.
“It’s tough juggling everything, but I manage,” she laughs. “I am on an exciting journey and the support from my family and friends means so much on so many levels.”
Catch Cheryl on ET Canada weeknights at 7pm PT/7:30pm ET on Global.
Full Story Credits:
By Paul Fitzgerald
Photography by Richard Sibbald
Clothing and accessories provided by: North 42 Fashion and The Store on Queen
Hair by Brian Jarvis
Makeup by Suzanne Mckay
Styling by Alicia McNamara
Location: Thompson Hotel Toronto
About the Author
Paul Fitzgerald is a journalist based in Toronto. He is a writer and blogger for HOSS Magazine and Vitalize Magazine, and is a columnist with the Toronto Sun (“Home, Smart, Home” – New Homes and Condos Section). He is also a science and technology columnist with InventorSpot.com and blogs for CNN International Report. His work […]Read Bio Read Posts