Citytv icon Peter Silverman dead at 90

‘We solved many things for people just by making one phone call’

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Famed TV icon and consumer advocate Peter Silverman has died at the age of 90.

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“He believed in Tikkun Olam, the Jewish philosophy that you were put on Earth to repair the Earth and help others,” his wife, Chess, told CityNews.

Silverman was best known as the host of Silverman Helps, which aired on Citytv from 1989 to 2008.

The segment saw Silverman, who began his career with Global before joining Citytv in 1981, tangling with an assortment of bad business owners on behalf of wronged customers. In one segment, he went viral after he tussled with an optician accused of selling counterfeit glasses.

“Oh, I’m sorry. Did I hit you? Did I hit you?” Adam Plimmer yelled at Silverman in 2007. “Get outta here.”

Silverman never backed down saying, “I’m a hard person to hurt.”

In another episode, he warned an overzealous offender who tried to manhandle him to “Watch it, buddy!” The line became one of his most popular catchphrases.

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We solved many things for people just by making one phone call,” Silverman told the Sun in 2008.

When Silverman Helps was cancelled just a year shy of its 20th anniversary, Silverman told the Sun’s Joe Warmington “it hurt.”

In my mind I was hoping to get a one-year extension from Rogers so I could make it 20 years,” the two-time Gemini nominee and 2005 winner of the Edward R. Murrow Award for broadcast excellence said. “But even if it was to end Aug. 31, that would have been okay with me too. But to be called in and have our segment pulled as of that second was not pleasant.

In 2009, when Silverman was awarded the province’s top honour, the Order of Ontario, he said, “I am deeply honoured and touched.”

After losing his job at Citytv, Silverman went on to host a radio show on CFRB.

mdaniell@postmedia.com

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