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Local puppeteer Jake Thompson, 13, created Gary Wheeseltin, the star of Rogers TV’s NL Now
Brad Gushue had just stepped off the ice after losing his Boost National quarter-final game to Scottish skip Bruce Mouat Saturday at the C.B.S. Arena when he was led to the interview area under the stands, and waiting was tough newsman Gary Wheeseltin.
No softballs from this member of the fifth estate.
Gary is actually Jake Thompson’s alter ego, a bespectacled purple puppet who makes a career out of interviewing local celebrities.
Jake, who won’t turn 14 until next month, already has a show on Rogers TV, called NL Now which started when he was 11.
Some of the local celebs Gary has quizzed are Allan Hawco, Alan Doyle, Mark Critch and Rick Mercer.
“This is the first time I’ve talked to an athlete,” Jake … er, Gary … said of his post-game chat with Gushue.
Jake, a Grade 8 student at St. John Bosco, who always had a fascination with puppets, used his puppets to create a YouTube show called NL Now. He and his dad, Chris, drew up a proposal for Rogers to carry the show, and it was accepted.
Thirty shows later, Jake and Gary are still going strong.
And asking all the right questions.