Introducing Ian Gillespie: host of St. Joseph’s all-new DocTalks Podcast
After careers as an actor, reporter and writer, Ian Gillespie has added a new role to his repertoire — podcast host.
Ian hosts the all-new DocTalks Podcast — a conversation with experts from St. Joseph’s on what’s new and relevant in Canadian health care. He first sat behind the microphone in May 2022 and found podcasting a natural fit; it combined his expertise in acting and his 25-plus year career as a journalist.
As host, Ian is the show’s face (well, voice). His guests talk about cutting-edge research, and he helps listeners understand what they’re hearing. He’s well suited to the role. Ian has now spoken with experts on topics including prostate cancer, erectile dysfunction and dementia.
“I just enjoy telling stories,” he says. “It’s fun talking to people and learning new things.”
Ian is also impressed by the convenience of podcasting — he loves the idea of listeners delving deep into a subject while driving, cooking or cleaning.
“There are so many experts at St. Joseph’s, and they’re doing such exciting work. There’s so much to learn,” he adds.
Now that he’s behind the microphone, Ian jokes he has a “face for radio,” but he shined on stage too.
He graduated from York University with a BFA in Theatre Arts — winning a playwriting award during that time — and performed across Canada in productions of Twelfth Night, The Shipbuilder and Billy Bishop Goes to War.
Although the DocTalks Podcast is Ian’s first experience in the recording booth, he’s no stranger to interviews. After nine years as an actor, he began a journalism career at the London Free Press.
He first covered arts and entertainment, where he interviewed “almost anyone and everyone in the Canadian music scene.” Ian later won two awards with the Free Press: an Ontario Newspaper Award in 2004 for opinion and analysis and a National Newspaper award in 2009, as part of a breaking news team.
He also turned his storytelling talents to fiction, with his short story Playing Possum named runner-up for the 2021 Austin Clarke Prize in Literary Excellence.
But it’s the power of information that excites Ian.
“Information can be so reassuring when you’re faced with serious medical conditions,” he says. “Hearing from an expert is so much better than searching and hoping.”
Ian sees the DocTalks Podcast as an opportunity to ensure people can navigate the health care system and receive the medical information they need. He’s always been fascinated by medicine and health care, and he wants to use his expertise to highlight some of St. Joseph’s groundbreaking research.
“If we can help people better understand the conditions they or their loved ones are living with, then we’ve accomplished something huge,” he says.