Steve Paikin: “It’s nerve-wracking as hell”

Ever wonder how it feels to be watched by three million politically charged Canadians on live TV? “It’s nerve-wracking as hell,” says three-time leaders’ debate moderator Steve Paikin.

Paikin appeared on CBC’s Metro Morning Wednesday to discuss the previous night’s English-language leaders’ debate. And though Paikin appears cool as a cucumber on TV, he told host Matt Galloway he can understand why the four Party leaders looked so nervous two minutes before air time:

“I myself have felt on the verge of vomitting. It’s so nerve-wracking. You don’t want to do anything that’s going to mess this up. There’s so many people watching.”

When Galloway later asks Paikin if the difficult task is, at least, fun, Paikin is candid:

“Matt let me tell you, it’s not fun — it’s nerve-wracking as hell … You know after it’s over tonnes of people are going to be dissatisfied regardless of what you did and however it goes. But you know what? You feel as if you’ve made a modest contribution toward helping people deal with the issues of the election and helping them figure out how they’re going to vote on May 2nd. And that’s why you do it. And, I’m glad it’s over”

You can hear the rest of the interview here. Paikin is host of TVO’s current affairs show The Agenda.

Paul Larocque of TVA and Anne-Marie Dussault of Radio-Canada will co-moderate the French debate.