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Prime Time

Jul 07, 2013

Sangita Patel’s story is a dream come true. This engineer-turned-reporter has it all: a loving husband, two beautiful girls and a gig on ET Canada.

Sangita Patel studied engineering, but she always craved the thrill of reporting and the frenzy of media. So she became a professional engineer in the suburbs by day and a TV personality in the city by night. She’s since managed to carve out a niche for herself as an entertainment reporter, subbing in for Entertainment Tonight Canada’s (Global Television) regular co-host Cheryl Hickey, who is on maternity leave.

The new co-host of Canada’s entertainment news program started her media career on Rogers’s Toronto Living. She then reported the weather on The Weather Network and later joined City TV, reading the weather report and the news on Breakfast Television. “I am honoured that ET Canada has picked a South Asian person on the show, as I can’t think of any other national entertainment show that went to a South Asian,” Patel says. “It’s really exciting for me. People are great; the hosts have embraced me and are really nice about it. I am really lucky to be here.”

Patel’s parents moved to Toronto 40 years ago from India. She was born in Toronto, and growing up downtown helped her reconcile her native country with her Indian roots. “Every parent comes here to choose a better lifestyle for their kids,” she says. “My parents are very unique, being South Asians. They let us discover and explore ourselves. They taught us a lot of things, like classical dancing, and I have been a dancer for many years now.”

The art of interviewing has always fascinated Patel and she says her one-onone with Brad Pitt is her most memorable interview. “I was covering TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) and was pregnant at the time,” she says. “At the red carpet, Brad Pitt walked by without doing any interviews, and I yelled, ‘I am pregnant and I am cold!’ He came over and held my hand and asked me how I was doing. That was an ‘awe’ moment for me.

This is Brad Pitt holding my hand. And it was such a natural conversation between him and me.”

If you ask her about her role model, Patel gushes with excitement. “I would say Oprah,” she says. “She is not a reporter or a news anchor but she tells the story the way it is, and I love doing that. The reason I love doing entertainment is I actually get to interview people. If you have an opportunity to sit down with someone and listen to them, you learn something new every day.”

Patel is thankful for her husband’s endless love and support for her career choices and her busy lifestyle. “I am very lucky to have married my best friend. He is an incredible guy,” she says. “To be a parent and have a full-time job is an everyday juggle. If my kids need me, they will be the first ones to get my attention, and I will put everything else away. They are happy for me and I am happy for them. Everything is really working well right now.”

This mom of two believes in happiness and freedom. “I have simple goals, as always being happy. Most importantly, giving [my kids] the opportunity that my parents gave me. It is so important to give them that confidence that they can conquer whatever they want in life. And if they do well, I have done well in my life,” she says.

Patel cites her passion and determination as the keys to her success. “I love the word ‘passion,’” she says. “For me, some people say, ‘You are lucky.’ Well, it’s not luck. I am blessed, and it’s about drive and trying to get to that point. It’s about living your passion and never giving up.”

BY SWATI BHATT VYAS
PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF ET CANADA
PUBLISHED IN THE HEALTH & WELLNESS ISSUE, SUMMER 2013 

Swati Bhatt Vyas

Swati Bhatt Vyas

Author

With a master’s in Journalism from Mumbai University, Swati published her first book as one of the youngest female self-help authors in India. Later in 2011, she penned her second book. Since then she has worked extensively in print, web & broadcast media in India & Canada.  She c...

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