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In a way, Randall King was born into the entertainment beat.
He was steeped in an arts-and-entertainment environment from birth. His dad was Winnipeg musician Jimmy King, a one-time columnist for the Winnipeg Free Press. One of his older brothers, David, is a playwright-singer-songwriter. Another, Bob, is a singer-songwriter whose songs have been covered by the likes of Al Simmons, Fred Penner and Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. (Bob sung his Olsen twins hit Brother for Sale at Randall’s wedding reception.)
He spent some of his youth wandering the halls of the old CJAY TV station at Polo Park, where Jimmy auditioned contestants for The Amateur Show (and Randall developed a lifelong aversion to hearing the song Spanish Eyes played on the accordion).
He also haunted Winnipeg movie theatres, from horror double-bills at the drive-in to Ingmar Bergman retrospectives at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. His fondest childhood memories include watching Chiller movies on TV on Saturday nights and making fun of them, innocently unaware this could be the basis for a viable career down the road.
He moved to Toronto as a young man, seduced in part by the sheer number of excellent repertory cinemas in that town. He eventually studied English and film at York University, supporting himself by working part-time at a video wholesaler.
Returning to Winnipeg, Randall has been content to cover the entertainment beat in one capacity or another since 1990.
On the film beat at the Free Press, the job has placed him in the same room as diverse talents, from Martin Scorsese to Martin Short, from Julie Christie to Julia Roberts. He has met three James Bonds (four if you count Woody Allen.)
In a phone interview, director Russ Meyer once told him: “I like your style.”
Randall really likes his job.