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By Mark Pavilons
Maddy's outgoing personality and zest will take her far in life.
Not yet a teenager, she's already entered the entertainment field, but she won't let her new-found popularity go to her head.
Her dad and mentor will see to that. The 12-year-old King Township girl has some big shoes to fill – her “producer” is legendary Toronto radio personality John Derringer of Q-107.
Together, they launched JD and Maddy, a weekly radio show/podcast that covers everything from music to current events, with ample helpings of humour and genuine father-and-daughter interaction.
It's an audio reality show of the purest kind. It's like eavesdropping on the conversation around the Derringer family dinner table, complete with parental controls and creative editing. Magic is often made in the simplest of ways.
JD and Maddy is uploaded every Thursday (jdandmaddy.com).
The idea grew from a visit Maddy made to John's workplace at Q-107 when she was just eight years old. They chatted on air and he quickly realized that Maddy was born for radio and displayed a comfort level and gift far beyond her years. The duo work amazingly well together, both on and off the air.
“We have a great time together,” John said, noting they share similar interests.
It's an educational experience for the Derringer duo, who have managed to do what most fathers and daughters hope to accomplish – bridge that massive generation gap.
They have developed a passion for one another's generation and tastes. While John may be a die-hard rocker, listing Led Zeppelin, the Beatles and The Stones as his favourites, he can relate to Maddy's top pick – Panic! At the Disco – an emo pop group that was featured on the Suicide Squad soundtrack, doing Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody.
Maddy, who loves drama at her school, has her own style, and she's not afraid to tackle any subject or issue. She introduced her own ideas for the show, such as “Achy Breaky Big Mistakey.” John said they try to come up with five subjects for each show, prepare some ideas and then let creativity and the moment carry them through the 30-minute segment.
Maddy's high energy displaces her nerves and even after just a couple of broadcasts, she has the makings of a true professional.
John himself, got a very early start in radio at just 16. Today, he finds it great that he can pass on many tidbits of wisdom and techniques to help his daughter flourish.
Derringer has been named “Radio Personality of the Year” by Canadian Music Week 10 times, and has been named “Favourite Toronto Radio Personality” by the Sun, Eye Weekly, Now Magazine and Top Choice Awards. In 2012, Derringer received the Allan Waters Lifetime Achievement Award and was inducted into the Canadian Broadcast Industry Hall of Fame at Canadian Music Week in Toronto. Also in 2012, he received the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal for his work with the Canadian Centre for Abuse Awareness.
Maddy has already noticed that working with her dad has improved many social skills.
John said he's not one of those parents who see talent where none exists, noting they work extremely well together.
“We learn as we go,” he said, adding they really enjoy it.
Maddy's friends are now listening to Derringer in the Morning.
An important part of any local broadcaster/podcaster's responsibility to help out in the community in any way possible. To that end, JD and Maddy are including a feature called Community Corner, an old school way in a new school world to let listeners know about upcoming events in the area. They also include a link or information about one community event around the time of every podcast.
Keeping it simple, they plan to explore options for the show over the next year. In the future, it may include special guests, callers and even some music.
Until then, the Derringers are riding the airwaves, combining wisdom and youth in a fun and entertaining way.
Excerpt: Maddy’s outgoing personality and zest will take her far in life. Not yet a teenager, she’s already entered the entertainment field, but she won’t let her new-found popularity go to her head.
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