Sar­nia’s smartest kid hope­ful won’t spill the beans

Liam Henderson in the cast of Canada’s Smartest Per­son Ju­nior TV show

The Observer (Sarnia) - - NEWS - PAUL MORDEN OB­SERVER

Sar­nia’s Liam Henderson al­ready knows if he won the ti­tle of Canada’s smartest kid, but he’s not telling.

The 11-year-old Sar­nia res­i­dent is one of a dozen cast mem­bers in the tele­vi­sion show, Canada’s Smartest Per­son Ju­nior, premier­ing Nov. 14 at 8 p.m. on CBC.

The show, sched­uled to air over the com­ing six weeks, was shot dur­ing Au­gust in Toronto with 12 Cana­dian young­sters, ages nine to 12, com­pet­ing for the ti­tle.

“I’m not go­ing to be able to tell you who won,” Liam said ear­lier this week from his home in Sar­nia. “You’re just go­ing to have to tune in each Wed­nes­day from 8 p.m. to find out.”

Not say­ing how he did “is ac­tu­ally kind of tough,” Liam ad­mit­ted.

The show is based on an ear­lier CBC Canada’s Smartest Per­son Con­test pro­gram.

Henderson, who is in Grade 6 at Er­rol Road Pub­lic School, ap­plied to be part of the con­test to pick a ju­nior win­ner and was se­lected af­ter suc­cess­fully mak­ing his way through tests and in­ter­views.

“It’s fun to be a celebrity,” Liam said about the no­to­ri­ety that has come with be­ing on the show.

His mom, Tr­ish Henderson, said Liam’s very out­go­ing, which sets him apart from her­self, a stayat-home mom who worked at Ethyl Canada, and his dad, Randy Henderson, who works at Nova Chem­i­cals.

“We’re a very quiet fam­ily,” she said.

Liam said that when the call came that he had been se­lected for the show, he wor­ried it might in­ter­fere with his role of Au­gus­tus Gloop in the Re­bound Act II the­atre pro­gram’s re­cent pro­duc­tion of Willy Wonka.

But he said they spoke the folks at Re­bound and he was able to jug­gle the sched­ules and be in both shows.

“The Act II team said, ‘Go right ahead – this is a fan­tas­tic op­por­tu­nity,’” he said.

Liam also plays piano and drums, has a near-pho­to­graphic mem­ory and is aim­ing for a ca­reer as ei­ther a sports broadcaster or prime min­is­ter.

“I have a big pas­sion for hockey and base­ball,” Liam said. “I play both sports, along with karate and curl­ing.”

Liam said he un­der­stands build­ing a suc­cess­ful ca­reer in sports broad­cast­ing may not be easy, but added, “I’m a tough kid; I can sub­due any­thing.”

As for pol­i­tics, Liam said he has al­ready be­gun putting to­gether an elec­tion plat­form.

“I’m re­ally con­fi­dent I’ll make a good prime min­is­ter,” he said.


Sar­nia's Liam Henderson, 11, stands out­side Er­rol Road Pub­lic School where he's in Grade 6. Liam is a con­tes­tant in the tele­vi­sion show Canada's Smartest Per­son Ju­nior, premier­ing Nov. 14 on CBC.

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