Orla and Andrea

Orla and Andrea

For Orla Johannes and Andrea Elias, motherhood put their respective CJAD careers on hold.

Orla, of course, was the charismatic traffic reporter whose charming English accent and wonderful personality delighted us all. Andrea served as the producer of the Andrew Carter Morning Show, a role which provides the incumbent with a lot of air time.

On Sunday, September 10 (5 pm) Orla and Andrea will return to the air as hosts of  Real Parents  with Orla Johannes & Andrea Elias.

“The show will feature Andrea and I being honest and real, whether our families are happy about that we will see,” Orla told me." It's the radio version of The Real Housewives! It's going to be informative for parents with great interviews and topics completely relatable from newborns to toddlers to teens. It will also be fun as Andrea and I do enjoy a good laugh. We have a lot of funny stories to do with our children!!

“Before kids we would hear the words ‘enjoy your sleep, freedom and fun times now;’ let’s be honest, we heard it, but didn’t have a clue until the kids came along! With kids you can get tired, stressed, grumpy and overwhelmed, yet many want to give the impression they are superwoman, it's in us all, we all want to be superwoman! Well behind closed doors it's not always the way So Andrea and I are going to get raw. For example on our first show we are interviewing a popular sleep trainer. I used her and swear by her. I was an exhausted mess I needed to sleep, which meant getting help to make my babies start sleeping at night. Breaking that down, we will be honest and say we were grumpy and tired and something needed to change. I'm sure parents will be pleased to hear honesty and that they are not alone.”

Orla’s son George is four and a half and daughter Chloe, 3. She and her husband reside in Nouveau St. Laurent. Andrea’s son Noah turns 3 in November. A native of Hudson, she and her husband live in Westmount.

Orla said she had resumed full-time traffic duty on the afternoon drive on CJAD/CHOM/Virgin/TSN after her second maternity leave. However, with an 18 month old at home with a nanny and a four a half year old at daycare picking up germs and getting sick often, she was up all night, exhausted and constantly feeling ill. “I would rush to collect George from daycare at 3 pm each day, drop him home to our nanny and rush off to the traffic studio to be on air for 4 pm,” she said. “Every day this little boy would say 'please stay home and play with me mummy I miss you.' I would explain that I was going to work and would be back to tuck him in. His next remark was 'so I will come with you mummy, don't leave again, I miss you.' Well it was really tugging on my heart strings. My husband was very supportive and we both discussed something had to change.

“So I decided to be the fill in girl, which eased the situation a bit. I didn't want to give up the radio completely as it's my passion, I enjoy it so so much. I knew Andrea from working together on the CJAD morning show for many years. We were in the same scenario so I suggested getting together to do a weekly parenting show. That way we could still do what we love being on the radio,  plus it would ease things at home with our children and the fact we were still up at night....part time seemed like a more efficient balance.”

For Andrea the hours of the morning show would have been too difficult to juggle with a young family. “My schedule required me to be up between 3:30 and 4 am weekdays, home around lunchtime and then a short nap and follow up work in the late afternoon/evening. I was fortunate enough to produce the show for eight years, but realized that it was time for a change so when Orla approached me with the idea to develop this show, I knew it would be a great fit. “

After months of planning and meetings the duo are ready to go. They credit program boss and dad of four Chris Bury for being a tower of support who loved their demo. “He is a great director, gives constructive feedback and we were really pleased to have his guidance and support in bringing the idea to fruition,” said Orla.

Orla arrived in Canada on January 8 1998, right in the middle of the ice storm!! She graduated from Bournemouth University, England, with an Honors degree in Hospitality Management with International Marketing. Her training in the UK from an early age in the world of theatre, voice and dance and then in Canada at the National Film Acting School and Acting School of Montreal helped her excel in her abilities and break into the Industry successfully. For five years she was the fun, effervescent and glamorous co-host with Mose Persico, and Fashion Reporter on "Entertainment Spotlight" on CTV. She also hosted her own food and drink radio talk show for 3 years, 'Table Talk’ on ‘AM 940 Montreal’s Greatest Hits’. With a business mind and determination to use her assets she created her own voice-over company where she is the voice talent for corporations worldwide, producing and editing voice scripts in her home studio. She is the English Voice for Air France, the British narrator on the popular kid’s computer game of 'Chugginton' and the voice over for many other clients across Canada such as Just for Laughs, Porsche, Jaguar, and many more.

 Orla has filmed roles in three Hollywood movies shot here in Montreal over the past two years :  Bad Santa 2  with Billy Bob Thornton;  Story of Your Life starring Amy Adams and Forest Whitaker, and in Brad's Status opposite Michael Sheen. This past summer she had a small role in one of the X-Men movies being filmed here, on set for nearly a week. She hosts a lot of charity events and corporate functions

Andrea has travelled extensively and lived in various places such as Paris, Barcelona and Ottawa before eventually settling back down in her home town.Graduating from Carleton University with a Bachelor’s Degree in history, Andrea always knew that she wanted to pursue a career in broadcasting. After completing internships in television and print, she discovered her true passion for radio during a promotional summer job for CHOM FM. After completing various promotions/marketing contracts for Mix 96 (now Virgin Radio) and CHOM FM, Andrea began working as a producer and host at CJAD 800. Andrea also co-hosted the “20-Something Show” and was the occasional host of “Live at Five” on CJAD. She is actively involved in the community and sits on the board of directors at The Alzheimer’s Groupe and will be the co-chair of “The Amazingly Fun Race Montreal,” a large charity race taking place this upcoming October.

Orla and Andrea promise that guests will be relevant, interesting and fun –likely some celebrities as well. They will be taking calls and offer prizes every week donated by their two sponsors, Pinkiblue and Allô!Mon Coco.


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